Showing posts from October, 2016

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Clearly, Not Everyone Is Getting Rich Off The Stock Market

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…

T & VZ: Another Example Of Rebalancing Theory At Work

Regular readers know that AT&T and Verizon represent two of the four individual-stock positions in my portfolio. Combined, my target weighting for these two stocks is 5% of my portfolio. These are significant income-generators for me. With dividend yields just a hair under 5% at today's prices, these two stocks contribute almost 10% of my total dividends in the portfolio.

Today, I own 5 shares more of each stock that I did at the beginning of the year. And those shares were virtually free, thanks to my process of disciplined rebalancing. Let me explain.

As of June 21, 2016, following sharp increases in price, AT&T & Verizon held weightings of 2.87% and 2.84%, respectively, in my portfolio. Combined, that represented a 5.71% weighting, or some 14.2% (in relative terms) over my target weight.

So, in disciplined fashion, I sold enough of each to bring their weightings back to approximately 2.50%. Here are the transactions:

ADDENDUM: The ETF Monkey 2016 Model Portfolio Q3 Update

On October 5, I published the Q3 update for The ETF Monkey 2016 Model Portfolio on Seeking Alpha.

In that article I noted that, of the 3 implementations I set up, the Charles Schwab implementation was the winner through Q3.

This morning, in the process of doing research for another article I hope to write on the value of dividends in your ETF-based portfolio, I happened to note that the Charles Schwab implementation had brought in substantially less dividends through Q3 than either the Vanguard or Fidelity implementations. When I dug in to understand the reasons why, I quickly discovered that the following three Schwab ETFs pay dividends annually as opposed to quarterly:
Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF)Schwab Emerging Markets Equity ETF (SCHE)Schwab U.S. TIPS ETF (SCHP) While, in theory, this does not imply additional outperformance by the Schwab implementation of the portfolio (since the share price should be reduced by the value of the dividends), it does mean that this impleme…

Jamba Juice Exits the JambaGO Platform

My regular readers may recognize the fact that Jamba Juice (JMBA) is the one tiny, speculative position in my personal portfolio.

When new CEO David Pace took the reins a few months back, it quickly became apparent that the new management team, and likely the company's large investors, felt that previous CEO James White had devoted too much time and expense to developing peripheral lines of business, and not enough to developing the core business.

As a result, I was not surprised to see the company recently announce that they are exiting the JambaGO business.

Essentially, this operation dispensed pre-made smoothies from a machine, similar to the way you might buy a Slurpee at 7-Eleven. I would not be surprised to find that the new management team felt that this initiative likely diluted their "premium" brand.

Speculative investors might look to pick up a few shares. This new team just might be on the right track.