Back To Bodie and the 10/90 Portfolio?

My latest post covers a lot of ground related how much pre-retirement income needs to be replaced in retirement as well as considering Zvi Bodies’ ideas on asset allocation (they tie together). From the post; The article makes note of something I have been talking about for years which is that some people live below their means. Someone very happy on a $40,000 lifestyle with a $60,000 take home pay would logically focus on their expenses not a percentage of their income. This can boil down to simple spreadsheet work but obviously it would be a bad idea to wake up on day one of retirement and decide “ok, I’m going to start tracking my expenses. “ The key here is about finding the balance between living a reasonable lifestyle before and after retirement as well as avoiding the extremes being 80, Cenegenics commercial-healthy and out of money versus dying with $20 million in the bank unspent. Please click through to read the entire post. Meanwhile the tour of the Grand Canyon continues. As time as gone on our interest in National Parks on multiple levels has continued to grow and we are fortunate to have some many of them in our timezone. The first picture is on a little trail from the North Rim Lodge out to a view point.   The second picture is from Cliff Dwellers. In my last post I mentioned the ruins and interesting rocks and this would be one of those rocks.     The last picture is from the Fire Center at the South Rim. In the foreground obviously is a Ranger...

Make That Four Weeks Of Gains

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; West Texas Intermediate Crude fell 5.8% after falling 5.5% the previous week. While cheaper energy prices are viewed as a net positive, there are not many positives from the ongoing volatility in the space. Gold was down slightly on the week. The Wall Street Journal posted an article about gold’s waning appeal as a “safe haven” which was puzzling to us. If gold is a “safe haven” it is because it has a low to negative correlation to equities. In the three months through October 20th while equities fell 5%, gold as measured by one of the popular ETFs gained 6%. Gold has certainly been a poor performer over the last few years while equities have skyrocketed. Gold appears to be doing exactly what it is supposed to do, we would argue that if gold is your top performing asset then chances are things aren’t going so well. Please click through to read the entire update. More Grand Canyon pictures. The first one is looking out from Moran Point   The second one is from the town (?) of Cliff Dwellers which has some very interesting rocks and ruins.   And finally another fire truck, a Type 6 at the Tusayan Ranger Station near the South Rim...

Yieldco or Yieldno?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets takes a look at yieldcos which are almost sorta kinda like MLPs but typically are spun off from solar companies. I first saw these and subsequently wrote about them a little over a year ago and Barron’s circled back over the weekend which I took as a chance to write about them again here. From the post; My take from a year ago on these was essentially I want to learn more but these are likely going to be very risky. At high level something that yields 7% in a zero percent world is going to be risky and if you don’t think that is the case then you probably don’t understand the risk. The factors driving down yieldcos appear to be the poor performance of energy prices with the thinking being if fossil fuels are cheap who needs solar? (I realize they aren’t necessarily substitutes for each other but they often trade that way) and the apparent slowing of the global economy which of course reduces energy demand. The reason the price declines have been so large might have to do with how levered the businesses tend to be. Please click through to read the entire post. More pictures from the Grand Canyon all heavily filtered on Instagram. The first one is from Desert View which about 23 miles east of the main area of the South Rim. The view from there is stunning.   The next picture is obviously buffalo. A year or two ago this herd was introduced in at the North Rim fairly close to the park entrance on...

Market Stasis

This week’s Market Update is posted and includes the following; Any signs of inflation, or at least the Fed’s target for 2% price inflation as measured by the CPI, have apparently packed it in as CPI reported a drop of 0.2% month over month and flat year over year. It was also announced there would be no COLA adjustment for Social Security recipients. Please click through to read the entire update. Last week we took our (almost) annual trip to the Grand Canyon. The first one is on the road between the North Rim and South Rim.   Next one is the Marble Canyon Lodge which is right next to the turn off for Lee’s Ferry.   Last one for now is a Type 6 Engine from the National Park Service (NPS) stationed at the North...

The Zinc Rally?

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following. Earnings season got started with a whimper from big aluminum but more importantly estimates are calling for a 4% decline when all is said and done. For much of this bull market (if it still is a bull market) earnings growth although healthy came in large part from increased margins not increased revenue. Reuters’ coverage of the upcoming earnings season included the term “earnings recession.” Please click through to read the entire update. Last weekend and this coming weekend I’m taking my EMT refresher course and this truck was parked outside for some...