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Showing posts from October, 2015

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Clearly, Not Everyone Is Getting Rich Off The Stock Market

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Well, the NY Fed was out today with its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for Q4 2017. Clearly, Americans are in a lot of debt. Take a look.


Just a couple of quick hits from the report. Total U.S. household debt rose $193 billion in the 4th quarter, to a new all-time peak of $13.15 trillion. That's 17.9% above the most recent trough in Q2 2013. Broken down by segment, what do you suppose was the largest gain in percentage terms? Credit cards, with a 3.2% increase. In the picture above, the widening gap represented by the red arrows reflects the fact that non-housing debt is rising at a faster pace than housing debt.

Here's what's troubling about that. Below is a picture of the stock market, as represented by the S&P 500 index, over that same period; from the most recent credit trough in Q2 2013 to the end of 2017.


And thus, the title of this article. Over that period, the S&P 500 index rose by 75%; from roughly 1,600 to 2,800. Apparently, however, the r…

The ETF Monkey Vanguard Core + REIT Portfolio: Q3 2015 Update

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In an article dated 7/22/15, I introduced the ETF Monkey Vanguard Core + REIT Portfolio. As outlined in that article, this is a variant of the ETF Monkey Vanguard Core Portfolio that I developed as a writer for Seeking Alpha. Following the various links provided, readers can trace the building blocks used to construct both portfolios as little or as much as desired.

In each variant, the basic premise was that an investor can build a highly-diversified, low-cost, portfolio using a small number of ETFs. In the case of this portfolio, four ETFs are used. As outlined in the original article, this portfolio was "purchased" at the 6/30/15 closing prices. As a reference point, we will use the S&P 500 index, which closed at 2,063.12 on 6/30/15.
Q3 Update