This is a stock market blog about portfolio management,foreign stocks, exchange traded funds and the occasional musing about my firefighting experiences. The point here is to share process

There’s An ETF For That

My latest post at TheMaven looks at Howard Mark’s thoughts on managing volatility over the course of the stock market cycle and includes the following;

If you knew you could get an 8% return every single year for the next 20 years, I mean exactly 8% every year, and that the stock market would have a volatile ride to come out at the same spot in 20 years you’d take reliable 8% instead of the volatility.

And my latest post at AlphaBaskets has this;

If volatility is back, it makes sense for investors to ask themselves whether they should attempt to manage or smooth out their portfolio’s volatility. To my way of thinking, this is clearly part of an active investment strategy, but I would remind readers that active strategies don’t have to be implemented using only active funds they can be implemented with index (passive) funds. 


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March Magic

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following;

The ten year anniversary of Bear Stearns going under was last week. It was an amazing period of history for markets as Bear was of course a venerable name on Wall Street and its failure created more awareness that any company can fail and of course even bigger names than Bear went on to fail or otherwise be rescued by the government. Barry Ritholtz quipped on Twitter that Bear Stearns was bought for less than what the Yankees paid to Alex Rodriguez.

And from my page at TheMaven;

The cost of retirement might be vastly overstated.

A look at a couple of well known fund managers who are changing their strategies to invest in Bitcoin.



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The Bull Market Turns Nine!

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following;

We now know a little more about the steel and aluminum tariffs. While actual trade wars can’t be good for anyone, the detail we have now implies that this all may be a negotiating ploy. Canada and Mexico have a very visible path to being exempt and other countries can negotiate out of them. Last week we said that Trump supporters would say this is the Art of the Deal at work. That hope is alive and well.

And from my page at TheMaven;

The investment merits of putting your head in the sand.

The real meaning of success.




Are Alternatives Substitute For Equities?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is posted and includes the following;

The idea of reducing stress by placing yourself in fewer stress-inducing situations resonates with me personally and professionally. Personally, in that I have been working from home since my mid-thirties so no traffic and far fewer frustrating encounters with people at the office and professionally in that I have long advocated using diversifiers (now called alternatives) to manage portfolio volatility. We know that volatility causes people to reach a breaking point where they do self-destructive things, portfolio-wise. Managing volatility provides the opportunity to put clients in fewer situations where they might reach their breaking point.

And from my page at TheMaven;

The importance of proper position sizing.

An update on the active/passive debate.

Chiricahua National Monument


The ghost town of Lowell which is near Bisbee, AZ.


Trade Wars! Give Me Those Trade Wars!

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following;

It was widely reported that technology grew to take up 25% of S&P 500. Sector weightings in the index can give great clues for signs of excess in markets as was the case with energy growing to more than 30% of the S&P 500 in the early 1980’s, tech getting to 30% 18 years ago and financials at 22% at the peak in 2007. Where tech is often the largest sector in the index, 25% is less troublesome than if some other, usually smaller sector had become that large. For our money, 30% is unsustainable and tech at 25% is merely troublesome and an overweight now, to tech might not be prudent.

Please click through to read the entire update.

Here’s a link to my post at TheMaven about more poor decisions coming to light at the Harvard Management Company.

Over the weekend we took a road trip down to Tucson to visit the Chiricahua National Monument which is actually a couple of hours south east of Tucson and the Saguaro National Park in Tucson. If you like hoodoos (the primary geologic feature at Bryce National Park, then you’d love Chiricahua. The hoodoos in Bryce are red and tan while the ones in Chiricahua are gray with a lot of green lichen on them. It’s a small park, we hiked the Echo Canyon Trail which was through the hoodoos as pictured below.