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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).
January 18th, 2012 at 8:11 am » Comments Off
The dividend results are in, and I’ve updated the numbers, graphs, and tables. Not much change in the relative performance of the portfolios, but the year-end percentages did rise.
And here is the table:
December 31st, 2011 at 9:19 am » Comments Off
Another year bites the dust and Harry Browne once again wins.
Here are the Lazy Portfolio Smackdown results for 2011. Note: these numbers are preliminary because mutual fund dividends have not yet been reported. So those lazy portfolios that hold mutual funds that pay dividends in mid to late December will probably end up about 1% higher than these numbers.
Incredibly, the Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio wins again. It beat all other non-permanent portfolios by at least 5.5%! Have a look at the chart:
Click on the image to get a larger, more readable graphic.
To see the components of each Lazy Portfolio, visit the Professional Lazy Portfolios page.
Look how steadily the Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio (HBPP) gained during 2011. Especially when compared to the rest. Look at the wild ride they would have put you through from April until September. Tough to stomach that!
And for those of you who love a more tabular look:
Breaking down the HBPP, here are how the individual components performed for 2011:
WOW, who would have thought that long-term treasuries would go up 34%? And look at gold, up almost 10%, which also marks its 11th consecutive year of gains. Holy bullion Batman! Even cash money did you better than your bank account, up 1.4% in short-term Treasuries.
Thank you Harry Browne!
How about the losers? Well, the silly Dilbert portfolio, all stocks, dropped almost 10%. Scott Adams recommended this (google it), but it is pretty dumb. Not much less dumb is the portfolio I put out a few years ago, also all stocks, that sought to mimic the IFA Portfolio 100, their riskiest plan. So in a year when risky stocks did poorly, portfolios that invested in all risky stocks stunk.
How about something more reasonable? Good old Rick Ferri, the guy who says his “best investment in gold was his wedding ring” how did he do for you in 2011? Here is his portfolio (prior to December dividend reporting)
He puts 40% into a broad bond index, thinks REITs are cool, and adds some international equities for spice. The portfolio gained you less than if you had put the whole thing into SHY, the short-term treasuries fund. (But dividends for December are still coming) That’s pretty stinky. And as you can see from the chart, you got a pretty wild ride in 2011 to boot. And he makes money doing this?
Which non-Permanent Portfolio did best in 2011? That would be the Scott Burns Couch Potato Portfolio, up 5.9%. (And remember that December dividends aren’t yet included in this result.)
Two funds: stocks and TIPS. Stocks flat-lined. TIPS made you some money. And the ride wasn’t too wild, especially when compared to the others. But HBPP was better in both performance and risk.
I don’t want to wrap up this year-end review without mentioning the poor performance of PFPFX, the Permanent Portfolio Fund. With HBPP up 11.5%, you’d expect that the mutual fund loosely based upon his philosophy would be close to that, but you’d be wrong. PRPFX was up only 2.2% (including December dividends) for 2011. Why? Because it deviates from HBPP in risky ways including Silver, Swiss Francs, and growth stocks. And of course it has a 0.77% expense ratio for its management fees. That is disappointing. But THEY got $118 million, based upon having $15.4 billion invested. I’m not liking this.
Gee whiz, I wish I could create a mutual fund that invested in VTI, 30-year Treasuries, IAU, and short-term Treasuries. I’d pay something like 0.08% and would charge you people 0.20%. Let’s see, with $15 billion dollars under management, I’d take in $18 million each year. Easy money!
November 1st, 2011 at 7:15 am » Comments Off
How do ya like ridin’ the roller coaster? I prefer the Slow Train Comin’. Looks like the Permanent Portfolios are still victorious. Two months to go!
And for your tabular view:
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 6:48 pm » Comments Off
The Lazy Portfolio by Taylor Larimore with just three funds had the following performance, ending 30 Sept 2011:
Since 12/31/09: 5.4%
October 1st, 2011 at 10:08 am » Comments Off
Here’s your monthly Lazy Portfolios update (not that you’re watching that often).
click for full-size ugly graphology
Let’s look at 1 and 2 month returns just for fun, ok? First, returns for September 2011:
Next, returns for August and September 2011 combined:
Ouch Rick Ferri! I think it was this time last year when I went to the Bogleheads convention and Rick Ferri laughed at the idea of owning gold. Who’s laughing now, Ricki? Difference between bottom and top is almost 22%. That’s shocking.
And of course, full Year-To-Date returns for 2011 through September:
Wow, only two Lazy Portfolios are positive this year. Guess who???
It is striking that the PRPFX mutual fund is off so significantly from the pure Harry Browne ETF version. It is probably due to the fact that PRPFX holds some silver, which got killed, and foreign currencies, which were down against the dollar.
Harry Browne, thank you.
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.
September 1st, 2011 at 7:15 am » Comments Off
The divergence between the Permanent Portfolios and the other Lazy Portfolios might actually cause me to turn on the microphone and fire up a new podcast. Wow, lovin’ the PP.
August 11th, 2011 at 7:22 pm » Comments Off
I was feeling a little left out earlier this year… on my portfolio returns that is. But now I am feeling pretty good. Not that feelings should have anything to do with it! Table as of 10 August 2011.