Should You Take Social Security Early & Invest It?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets tries to tackle one aspect of Social Security. The decision of when to take Social Security is obviously very important but there are countless approaches on when the best time is and most of them are quite sound. Take it at 62, live off the government’s money while preserving your own. Take it at 62 because you don’t usually start coming out ahead until your late 70’s and there is no guarantee you will live that long. Take it at 70 because the payout is 76% greater than at 62 and 32% greater than at most people’s FRA (full retirement amount). And everything in between. Please click through to read the entire post. Navajo Bridge near Marble Canyon and the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument on the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. A type 6 engine from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 2015. A different look at a Seattle...

Using Sectorology In Portfolio Construction

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is up and covers one of my favorite ETF topics. Financials right now comprise about 14% of the S&P 500. If the SPX is your benchmark index then investing at the sector level means making a decision about being overweight/underweight/equal weight the sector. If for example you decide to be underweight and you want a 10% weighting in financials you would need to look through to the weightings of these country funds. If Singapore has 35% in financials and Sweden also has 35% (pretty close) to financials and you put 10% in each then symbol math has the portfolio at 7% financials from those two country exposures. While there is software of course that will do this math for you I would encourage some manual spreadsheet work which I think would enhance understanding of the exposures and hopefully encourage some analysis of any large individual stocks (Denmark has 23% in one stock). Please click through to read the entire post. From Pike’s Place looking toward Mount Raininer with Safeco Field and Centurylink Field in the foreground. Trophy Tuck (7200 class) Trophy truck that I filtered into a...

Lost Lessons

A few weeks ago I started recording a very brief pod cast type of commentary for Alpha Baskets that I’ve not been real good about posting here. Please click here. Playing around with an app that makes pictures look like paintings Sunset in...

Don’t Look Directly At The VIX

The weekly Market Update is posted and includes the following; There are divergent forces at play with how consumers engage the economy to, well, consume. On the one hand the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey came in on Friday at its highest reading since January of this year. On the other hand there has been carnage in the retail group as the earnings season winds down. In addition to the athletic apparel retailer that dropped 28% on Friday there were several old line (brick and mortar) retailers that also had meaningful declines on the week. When the dust settled, the large retail group ETF had fallen 3.68%. For a little more context that same retailer fund is down 14% for the year versus a 7% gain for the S&P 500 on a price basis. Please click through to read the entire post. Potts Racing at the Mint 400 Defender 110 Ferrari...

8 Brutally Honest Truths You Need To Hear If You Want To Get Your Portfolio Together

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is posted and includes the following; Blaming only makes you weaker Blaming others for investing mistakes is a huge and a common behavioral flaw. You’ve read it here at least a hundred times; the market goes up most of the time, occasionally it goes down a lot and scares the hell out of a lot of people and then it goes on to a new high. The only variable is how long it takes. Whose fault is it if you panic sell? If you make active, narrow decisions in your portfolio, like sectors, niches or individual stocks, you are going to get some of those narrow decisions wrong. That’s just how it is. No one can be right about everything, no one. Please click through to read the entire post. From the Mint 400 back in March Flying Trophy Truck at the Lucas Off Road Series in April Defender 110 ready for...