Category Archives: Portfolio Management

Mantra: Interest Rates Have to Rise, Interest Rates Have to…

I thought of structuring this post like a fictional story, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it good enough for publication.  Well, truth is often stranger than fiction, so have a look at this Bloomberg article pointing at a 37% loss in the ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT). A few points to start […]

Even with Good Managers, Volatility Matters

This is another episode in my continuing saga on dollar-weighted returns. We eat dollar-weighted returns.  Dollar-weighted returns are the returns investors actually receive in a open-end mutual fund or an ETF, which includes their timing decisions, as opposed to the way that performance statistics are ordinarily stated, which assumes that investors buy-and-hold. In order for […]

Factor Glut

I use factors in my investing. What *are* factors, you ask?  Factors are quantitative variables that have been associated with potential outperformance.  What are some of these factors? Valuation (including yield) Price Momentum (and its opposite in some cases) Insider Trading Industry factors Neglect Low Volatility Quality (gross margins as a fraction of assets) Asset shrinkage […]

Numerator vs Denominator

Every now and then, a piece of good news gets announced, and then something puzzling happens.  Example: the GDP report comes out stronger than expected, and the stock market falls.  People scratch their heads and say, “Huh?” A friend of mine who I haven’t heard from in a while, Howard Simons, astutely would comment something […]

Managing Money for Retirement

Investing is difficult.  That said, we can make it harder still.  We can encourage people with little to no training to try to do it for themselves.  Sadly, many people get caught in the fear/greed cycle, and show up at the wrong time to buy and/or sell.  We get there late, and then our emotions […]

Time to Chase Bill Gross?

Jason Zweig at the Wall Street Journal had a very good piece on whether to follow Bill Gross as he goes from Pimco to Janus.  Let me quote one paragraph: Morningstar estimates that over the past five years, the average investor fell behind Pimco Total Return’s 5.6% annual gain by 1.6 points a year—largely as […]

Retirement – A Luxury Good

Recently I was approached by Moneytips to ask my opinions about retirement. They sent me a long survey of which I picked a number of questions to answer. You can get the benefits of the efforts of those writing on this topic today in a free e-book, which is located here: http://www.moneytips.com/retiree-next-door-ebook.  The eBook will be […]