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.
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.
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.
One-twelfth of 2011 is already behind us and it appears that the Permanent Portfolios have decided to give the other Lazy Portfolios a head start on the year. Said another way: The Permanent Portfolios are ON SALE! Here is the table of returns through January.
Scott Burns’ Six Ways from Sunday Portfolio
Scott Burns’ Four Square Portfolio
David Swensen’s Lazy Portfolio
Scott Burns’ Five Fold Portfolio
Taylor Larimore 4 Fund
Taylor Larimore 3 Fund
William Bernstein’s Basic No-Brainer Portfolio
Rick Ferri Core Four
David Swensen’s Yale Endowment
Scott Burns’ Couch Potato Portfolio
Bill Schultheis’ Coffeehouse Portfolio Vanguard
William Bernstein’s No Brainer Cowards Portfolio
Scott Burns’ Margarita Portfolio
FundAdvice Ultimate Buy & Hold
MMM Do It Yourself Funds
Larry Swedroe Simple
Ted Aronson’s Lazy Portfolio
Larry Swedroe Min Fat Tails
Dilbert World’s Simplest
Permanent Portfolio Fund (PRPFX)
Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio (ETF)
Paul Boyer Permanent Portfolio (ETF)
The individual components of the Permanent Portfolios are as follows:
VTI +2.0% – Total Stock Market
TLT -3.1% – Long Term Bonds
IAU -6.4% – Gold
SHY +0.1% – T-bills
VBR +0.6% – Small Cap Value
VWO -3.4% – Emerging Markets
And for reference, here the components of all of the Lazy Portfolios we track here.