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May 14th, 2012 at 10:56 pm » Comments Off
I’ve been writing a book since last September, and it will be available for purchase on September 17, 2012.
It is called “The Original Counter-Argument.” And for the subtitle you’ll need to inhale some air:
“The Founders’ Case Against the Constitution and Warnings of Despotism, Adapted for the 21st Century.”
Quick synopsis: I’ve taken the key letters, essays, and speeches from those Founders who were against the ratification of the U.S. Constitution back in 1787-88 and translated them into modern English.
Because their words were prophetic! They warned about consolidating all of the various state governments into a single national government, that it would lead to waste, abuse, and even tyranny. And that was at a time when the population of the United States was 78 times smaller than it is today!
I’ve learned so much from translating these works. I cannot wait to share it with you. I am releasing it on September 17, 2012, which will be the 225th anniversary of the Signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia. But that day was just the beginning…
I’ll have more to say as the date gets closer. Here’s a link to the pre-order page at Amazon:
February 28th, 2012 at 9:34 am » Comments Off
This is the home of the Mad Money Machine Lazy Portfolio Analysis.
The following table shows the returns of the Lazy Portfolios from the “Investment Professionals.” They are sorted by 5-year returns ending 2011. To see the contents of each portfolio, search for the portfolio name on this page.
And now a different look at the same portfolios, showing Annualized returns for 5 years plotted against the annualized risk (Standard Deviation).
October 27th, 2011 at 9:56 am » Comments Off
I gotta admit, I am intrigued by Bitcoin. I love gadgets as much as the next guy. I spent my early years programming computers and designing information systems. I also love the idea of friction-free money. And of a currency that is, possibly, hyper-inflation proof.
The innovations in the Bitcoin realm are coming quickly. And since I last looked, they now discourage mining bitcoins on your own. And also since I looked, there are now physical Bitcoins! I just read an article asking whether they might be considered illegal. These things look great and help push their acceptance forward.
So I finally installed the Bitcoin app and have a Bitcoin address for you to send me some:
Not to bribe you or anything, but I figure if I can get a couple of coins from my (diminishing) audience, I would be encouraged enough to do another MMM show.
October 15th, 2011 at 9:40 am » Comments Off
I just received word that the Taylor Larimore 3 Fund and 4 Fund lazy portfolios that I have listed on this site are in error.
There should only be a 3 Fund portfolio comprised of the following (and the %’s vary for individual investors):
40% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
20% Vanguard Total International (VGTSX)
40% Vanguard Total Bond Market (VBMFX)
I will correct this in future portfolio analysis updates.
September 26th, 2011 at 11:02 am » Comments Off
Whoosh, getting whipsawed in 2011. Let’s step back and take a slightly longer term view of the performances of the Lazy Portfolios. (Caution, none of these portfolios were rebalanced!)
One thing that is particularly striking is that PRPFX took a much sharper dip so far in September than the pure Harry Browne 4xETF portfolios. I suspect this is partly due to the fact that PRPFX owns some silver (down very sharply) and also some foreign currencies (down due to rising dollar).
Me still likey the Permanent Portfolio, even though what was once up about 12% for 2011 is now up (only) 6.5%.
Biggest Losers on the chart (caution, not rebalanced) were Dilbert (-1.9%) and Vanguard Windsor (-1.5%), and MMM Do It Yourself Funds (-0.7%). Glad I got out of that idea.
October 26th, 2010 at 7:14 pm » Comments Off
Craig at Crawlingroad.com/blog has just released episode one of a new podcast that talks about the Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio. I encourage you to subscribe to it in iTunes and listen to every episode he puts forward in the future. It is going to be great.
Use this link to subscribe in iTunes (copy and past it into iTunes using the Advanced -> Subscribe to Podcast… menu:
June 24th, 2009 at 10:03 pm » Comments Off
Hey folks, I’m still here. Been doing a lot of golfing, amusement park going, beach combing, etc. I love summer and hot weather and don’t want to waste it by being indoors. This is just a ping to let you know everything is fine and that you can expect a show 161 probably next week. It would help if we got a rain day or two.
January 4th, 2009 at 10:01 pm » Comments (0)
I have updated the Lazy Portfolio Smackdown page to show the preliminary results for 2008. Note that after a few weeks the results will be updated once again after Yahoo! gets their dividend data included in the historical quotes for each fund. I do not think that the dividend data will alter the results though.
The game started one year ago. I asked people to create a buy and hold portfolio of index funds or ETFs that would exhibit the best return-to-risk ratio in 2008. This would be measured by “top-leftedness” on a plot of Return on the Y axis and Standard Deviation on the X axis. For positive returns, the Sharpe Ratio accomplishes this nicely. But when all returns are negative, the Sharpe Ratio gets screwy (a technical term) and I had to reset 0% to be at -50% to make it work. Even when all returns are negative, we still want to be top left on the chart.
Winners were to be selected from each of three risk bands: 0% to 8%, 8% to 16%, and then 16%+. Funny how the game worked out. Last year was a RISKY year. Only one person had a portfolio with a Standard Deviation of less than 8%. Congratulations Cosmo, you had a STDEV of 3.5% and a return of 5.1% with your portfolio holding a single fund: the Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index (VBISX). You are the winner of Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors by Mark Hebner. And if you actually had your net worth invested in that portfolio, you had a great 2008.
Next up, the medium risk band. As it turned out, nobody had a positive return here, as you can see in the following chart. Which one is top left? The one who lost the least amount is Ariel with a return of -12.6% and a STDEV of 8.2%. Ariel also put the entire net worth in one fund: Vanguard Wellesley Income Adm (VWIAX). Congratulations Ariel, you too are the winner of Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors by Mark Hebner.
Finally the guys who took great risk. This one is a littly silly because here you can gamble on something extremely risky and come out the winner if your number comes up. I should have limited it to something reasonable like 25% or something. Nonetheless, the winner is mudfud who invested in one fund: the China Bear 2X Fund (which was closed on November 14th by the way). Now who in their right mind would really put 100% of their portfolio in this fund? That wasn’t the idea behind this game. Still, if you could handle a risk of 56.1%!!!! OUCH!!! then you got a return of 42.4% for your gamble. Congratulations mudfud, you too are the winner of Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors by Mark Hebner.
You can see all of the other entries at the Lazy Portfolio Smackdown page and you can see the portfolios of the so-called “Professionals” — those who make a living recommending portfolios to folks like us.
I’ll be talking more about the results on the Mad Money Machine podcast. Please load it into your iTunes or visit MadMoneyMachine.com to listen on your computer.
December 12th, 2008 at 6:32 am » Comments (0)
US auto bankruptcy, bank bailouts, $50 billion Ponzi scheme, rising unemployment, layoffs, gold backwardation, Cramer saying markets are corrupt, inflation, deflation, on and on and on and on. Hey guys, the torrent of news, mostly bad, is unbelievable. I’m so awash in it that I’m wondering how I can deal with it on the show this week. I’m so bewildered by it all that I could not get stuff together in a meaningful way for a show today. Maybe I’m spending too much time reading and analyzing the news. Maybe I should do what is right and turn off the internet. (Ha, the phrase used to be turn off the TV.)
So I’m going to take a breather, do some exercising, clear my head, go to a Christmas party, take a step back, and reassess. Then try to pump out a show early next week. OBTW: Mad Money Machine will be celebrating its three year anniversary on the next show. Like I need that added challenge of doing something special.
December 10th, 2008 at 9:05 am » Comments (0)
Is it just me, or did the Microsoft Live.com CashBack program drop to 8% from 25%? Comment at Drop.io/MadMoneyMachine if you want.