What features of ITA Wealth Management differentiates this blog from other investment sites? Long-time followers observed changes in investment philosophy as more importance is now place on risk reduction vs. when I first started this blog. The two major crashes in this century certainly made an impression on how I look at investments. Here are a few key features to ITA.
- Index instruments are featured as they are low cost, and based on much research, they outperform those who would select individual stocks.
- Access to individual portfolios are available to Platinum members.
- Portfolio management varies from passive management (Schrodinger portfolio) to the use of options (Hawking portfolio).
- Platinum members have access to the inner workings of 16 portfolios. The Rutherford and Hawking portfolios are managed and monitored by HedgeHunter, a contributor to this blog.
- Portfolios are reviewed every 33 days. The reasons for choosing the 33-day period is the following.
- The 33-day interval rotates the review period throughout the month vs. updating portfolios at the end over the month when mutual fund managers may be readjusting their portfolios.
- We avoid the wash-sale problem of trading within a 30-day period.
- We avoid the short-term trading fee from discount brokers such as TDAmeritrade since we primarily, but not exclusively, use commission free Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
- Platinum members have access to the TLH Spreadsheet, a portfolio tracking Excel™ program. Not only does the TLH (named for three authors) spreadsheet generate the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for the portfolio, it does the same for three index funds. In addition, the user can set up a customized benchmark that will track the Strategic Asset Allocation plan laid out by the portfolio manager. “Camtasia” help sessions are available.
- A second critical spreadsheet is also available to Platinum members. Launched this past weekend, the Sample Allocation Sheet 7.1.3 ranks securities based on three metrics and then uses those rankings to make investment recommendations based on settings the user chooses from within the spreadsheet.
- A Forum is available to users to exchange investment ideas. Questions are quickly answered.
- ITA includes investment book recommendations.
- References to other investment articles and blogs appear from time to time.
- Bullish Percent Indicators are used to give readers and overview of broad market conditions.
- Portfolio Performance results are published each week.
Launched on February 14, 2008, ITA Wealth Management began as an experiment with blogging. I had a vague notion of what a blog was, but I really did not know what all was involved. For example, I learned there was public domain software (Word Press) that ran behind what you see on this site, much as Linux is to computer operating system. You might ask, where are all the blog entries going back to the launch date? About 1000 entries were lost when the first site where I housed my blog was hacked by someone from Sweden. Everything was lost as I did not have a proper backup, assuming the hosting site did. So I started over again. The earliest material now available is found at this site. (http://itawealthmanagement.com) If anyone does not have an account on that system and wishes one, just send me your name, user name, and e-mail address and I will set up an account with a temporary password.
If you go back to this “original” site and read the early entries, you will find the investment philosophy has evolved somewhat since the “early” days. And I expect this will continue. The crashes of 2001-2003 and again in 2008 focused the mind that buy and hold has some disadvantages unless one has a hundred year outlook. Most of us don’t. While three portfolios (Schrodinger, Copernicus, and Pasteur) are passively managed, the remaining portfolios use some combination of Strategic Asset Allocation, Cluster Analysis, and Momentum Analysis for portfolio management. The latest Sample Allocation Sheet is instrumental in helping investors manage their portfolio. While portfolio back-testing is used, we understand the limitations. Out-of-sample testing is performed with many of the existing portfolios and the performance results are posted each week. We attempt to be transparent so readers know exactly what is going on within the various portfolios.
How can you best use this blog to manage your own portfolio?
- Always log in through the Home page, not the ITA Blog page. If you are a Platinum member and register or login through the ITA Blog tab or page, you end up with both a Guest and Platinum membership. Login through the Home page and you will immediately be taken to the ITA Blog page. All critical material is available from the ITA Blog tab.
- Track one of more of the portfolios. Use the Portfolios tab to see how each are managed.
- I always check the Comments found over in the right-hand sidebar. Check the dates to see if any Comments were missed.
- Check the Forum material to make sure nothing was missed.
- Categories: If you look for material using Categories, you will pull up the oldest posts first. This is a good way to read through investment themes as presented. New readers would do well to first read Beginning Investors and Critical Material.
- Search Engines: Searching a term will bring up the most recent blog first. The search engine for the blog is separate from the search engine for the Forum.
- The lower left footer contains popular blog posts over the past 30 days. The center footer contains investment information and the right-hand footer identifies random posts on the blog. Look over these footers when you have time as articles of interest are likely to show up.
Questions are always welcome. If you have never posted a comment, I need to approve the first one as this holds down Spam. This is an educational site designed to help investor avoid mistakes I made over the years. Join the conversation as we all try to learn together.