Blog Archives

Revisiting Risk and Reward (Part 3)

A previous blog article explored income-centric risk and reward definitions, which could be viewed as more suitable to retirement than the usual academic definitions. Corresponding quantitative analysis of some simple US portfolios was provided. A follow-up article explored the perspective of retirees located outside the US.

This article extends this investigation by exploring in more technical depth the tie-in between Safe Withdrawal Rates (SWR) and variable withdrawal methods, through the use of a clever metric named Withdrawal Efficiency Rate (WER). 

Posted in Asset allocation, Market history, Market statistics, Portfolios

Revisiting Risk and Reward (Part 2)

A previous blog article explored income-centric risk and reward definitions, more suitable to retirement than the usual academic definitions. Corresponding quantitative analysis of some simple US portfolios was provided.

This article extends this investigation by taking the perspective of investors located in various developed countries (a form of ‘out of sample’ testing).

Posted in Asset allocation, international stocks, Market history, Market statistics, Portfolios, Retirement

Revisiting Risk and Reward

Financial literature from academics has been strongly influenced by the ground-breaking work of Harry Markowitz and William Sharpe, and the concept of risk & reward for a multi-asset portfolio. Although brilliantly innovative, this work is often misused, equating risk with (portfolio) volatility and reward with (portfolio) returns, and applying such principles without acknowledging the fundamental differences between investors and speculators, or accumulators and retirees.

This article will explore risk and reward from a perspective more suitable to retirement, and perform corresponding quantitative analysis of some simple portfolios.

Posted in Asset allocation, Market history, Market statistics, Portfolios, Retirement, Value premium

Global investment portfolios 2018 update

The Credit Suisse Global Investment Yearbook 2018 summary is now available for download from Publications – Credit Suisse. The yearbooks are an extension of the research of Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh, and Mike Staunton, first published in the 2002 edition

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Posted in Market statistics

Momentum and P/E vs. Market Cap visualizations for new Vanguard factor ETFs and others

This guest article is authored by Bogleheads forum member lack_ey.  See  this forum post for additional commentary. Vanguard’s factor funds, which launched in February 2018, provide yet another take on long-only factor investing within US stocks, joining similar mutual funds

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Posted in Market statistics, Vanguard

Under the hood – Vanguard US stock index funds in 2017

Vanguard issues annual reports for the firm’s international and global index funds on October 31 of each year. The reports provide information that can highlight some of the underlying conditions affecting a fund’s future capital gains distribution outlook; an indication of a fund’s foreign tax credit; the level of security lending in each fund, and […]

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Posted in indexing, Market statistics, Vanguard

CAPE and Safe Withdrawal Rates

Michael Kitces wrote an intriguing article in 2008, which notably quantified the (empirical) relationship between the Cyclically Adjusted PE ratio (aka CAPE) and safe withdrawal rates (SWR) of subsequent retirement cycles. This blog article extends this study, adding ten more years of data (i.e. up to 2017), and then ponders about the practical applicability of such findings.

Posted in Market history, Market statistics, Retirement

Reducing transaction costs: cross trading and in-kind redemption

One of the main arguments for investing in passive index funds is the relative assurance of reaping a fair share of market returns. But as market benchmarks bear no costs, an index fund manager needs to reduce frictional costs in

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Posted in Market statistics, Vanguard

Telling Tales – 2017 update

This article provides updated Telltale charts, including 2017 returns. It focuses on the relative past performance of value and size factors compared to the total US market, as well as studying international and real estate funds. 
Using Telltale charts can be very informative, truly ‘telling the tale’ of what happened over time to portfolio trajectories, illustrating return to the mean properties, or lack thereof.

Posted in Asset allocation, international stocks, Market history, Market statistics, Portfolios, REITS, Value premium

Under the hood – Vanguard international index funds in 2017

Vanguard issues annual reports for the firm’s international and global index funds on October 31 of each year. The reports provide information that can highlight some of the underlying conditions affecting a fund’s future capital gains distribution outlook; an indication

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Posted in international stocks, Market statistics, Vanguard
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