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Author: BAGoldmn Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 251797  
Subject: maybe done Date: 5/15/2013 12:35 PM
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Yet another day that the market is beating my leveraged blend of

GS_PCF
High_Relative_Value
H52EarnPS
LowPE_ZLTD
PIH_CSO_simple
YldEarnYear

I think if I don't beat the market in 2013, I'm gonna throw in the towel on the whole MI enterprise, which I've been doing for nearly two decades. OMG, it's been that long, and I've all but proven that I am not smarter than the market, despite a consistent, disciplined long-term mechanical approach.

If I do stop MI, I'll just stick to a simple mix of market ETFs (primarily SPY, with a little DIA, QQQ, etc.) and keep an eye on the Arezi ratio to adjust my leverage once in a while.

I think the only reason why I haven't done this long ago is because it's fun to put my hands in the cookie jar. I like trying to beat the market, even though I can't seem to do so over the long run. I can still taste how sweet it was those times I trounced it, and seem pretty good at blocking out the very bad but predictable taste of losing worse whenever the market turned south.

Bottom line I gotta ask myself: is sticking to mechanical investing really just an emotional decision after all is said and done?

What an irony that would be!
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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243076 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/15/2013 5:12 PM
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How have you done, generally speaking?

Jim

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Author: tpoto Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243080 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/15/2013 8:43 PM
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Well, if you blend the last 4 screens on your list 
(those available on backtest.org),
you would have brought a $25K up to $18+M

What's wrong with that?

This was based on
$25K start
$8/trade commission
.2% spread
blend of 4 screens 3 deep.

Output from Jamie's backtester:

	Screen	S&P	Screen	        S&P
	  return%	 $25,000 	 $25,000 
1989	65	35	 41,250 	 33,750 
1990	6	-5	 43,725 	 32,063 
1991	64	31	 71,709 	 42,002 
1992	50	7	 107,564 	 44,942 
1993	48	10	 159,194 	 49,436 
1994	9	2	 173,521 	 50,425 
1995	36	39	 235,989 	 70,091 
1996	36	23	 320,945 	 86,212 
1997	57	28	 503,884 	 110,351 
1998	40	35	 705,438 	 148,973 
1999	15	18	 811,253 	 175,789 
2000	49	-11	 1,208,767 	 156,452 
2001	82	-9	 2,199,957 	 142,371 
2002	30	-22	 2,859,944 	 111,050 
2003	56	28	 4,461,512 	 142,143 
2004	35	10	 6,023,042 	 156,358 
2005	39	8	 8,372,028 	 168,866 
2006	30	14	 10,883,636 	 192,508 
2007	12	6	 12,189,672 	 204,058 
2008	-22	-39	 9,507,944 	 124,476 
2009	42	33	 13,501,281 	 165,552 
2010	22	15	 16,471,563 	 190,385 
2011	-6	3	 15,483,269 	 196,097 
2012	21	14	 18,734,756 	 223,550 

8912i25000c8s.2BL(H52EarnPS)13(LOWPE_ZLTD)13(PIH_CSO_simple)13(YLDEARNYEAR)13

Notes: even if you paid a short term tax of 25% (maybe
outside of an IRA account), you'd be ahead by about $5M.
Jumping up the spread up by a factor of 5 (.2% to 1%)
would cut the return to about $7M.

If you run the first two screens (1-3) thru the 
Keelix backtester, you end up with a CAGR in the mid 30s.

Yes, 2009-2012 return seems to be a dead heat between S&P and
the screens, both doubling in value.


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Author: FlyingCircus Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243081 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/15/2013 11:17 PM
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I think the only reason why I haven't done this long ago is because it's fun to put my hands in the cookie jar.

We are of the same mind, brother. Along with OMG has it really been that long - 15 years for me. Screen blends have underperformed in every time period inside of 5 years.

FC

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Author: FLARAM Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243083 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/15/2013 11:34 PM
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I went through a similar realization a few weeks ago. I defiantly am not doing as well the
last 5 years as I did the first 8 years. However after carefully going over my performance record
I still beat the S&P by a few percent. I intend to continue on but am not putting all my eggs
in the MI basket.

RAM

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Author: Syvash Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243084 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 1:22 AM
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Well, if you blend the last 4 screens on your list
(those available on backtest.org),
you would have brought a $25K up to $18+M


tpoto

In your real life MI experience how well have you done? Has it been a lot better than 3% to 5% above S&P?

Here is the back test for the for screens post discovery estimated date Jan 2004 of these screens.

http://www.backtest.org/0412i50000c7s.2st25lt20th12BL(H52Ear...

with the $7 commission 0.2% spread 25% ST tax.

CAGR 11% vs 5% S&P and initial $50,000 became $124,830

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Author: tpoto Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243085 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 7:32 AM
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I normally use the screens from
backtester.com
keelix.com
tradesim.info
for my initial selection of stocks
and then sell when the MACD(13,34,89)
histogram turns negative.

I also sell when I go on vacation so
as not to be concerned about what's going on.

With a lot of good stocks in hand
I like to run them through finviz and Zacks to
get more information on the company.
Fidelity will also give me reports from
various rating agencies (Ford, Columbine, Ned Davis,etc.)

My trade $ are all in an IRA and have
done quite well.

I also like using the 2 ratio method,
the Bernie screen and the best sector
rel. strength ETF methods (all presented
on this board before).

Recently, I have been using the RSI method of
picking S&P500 stocks on dips. Less of a bid-asked
differential and know more about those companies than
the smaller ones normally selected by our screens.

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Author: H2OBURY Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243086 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 8:53 AM
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Very little of my investment portfolio is now in mechanical investing, probably only 5%. I remember when it was 90 to 100%. Mostly now it consists of spy, dia, qqq, iwm, mdy, brk-b, a Janus balanced fund, a Janus 2030 fund, and 30% cash.

Quite a change from MI in its heyday.

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Author: ww4321 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243088 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 10:00 AM
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Very little of my investment portfolio is now in mechanical investing, probably only 5%. I remember when it was 90 to 100%. Mostly now it consists of spy, dia, qqq, iwm, mdy, brk-b, a Janus balanced fund, a Janus 2030 fund, and 30% cash.

Quite a change from MI in its heyday.

I am retired 70 year old.

Any mostly in CASH.

Do you have any suggestions for me?

thanks in advance.

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Author: BAGoldmn Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243093 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 11:58 AM
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How have I done generally speaking?

As old timers on the board know, I used to spend a ton of time keeping track and reporting my results. I stopped doing that probably over a decade ago, when the investment of my time just wasn't worth it, because my portfolio had shrunk so much after the dot com bubble (and then again in 2008).

My "Killer Portfolio" has always been an 18-position blend of the best backtested mix of six 3-deep screens. Over the years, I've varied the screens a bit, and varied my trading frequency a bit too, between monthly and quarterly, depending on how busy I was (in the very early days, I think there were some annual screens too).

Generally speaking, I've beaten the market when it goes up and did worse when it went down. The last time I tried to calculate net CAGR (after tax, margin, trading, SEC fees, etc.), I think I was barely in positive territory and no better than SPY. If I counted my time as a cost (rather than an emotional hobby), I think my returns would be negative.

So when I see SPY climbing like it has this year (and the end of last), and my port hasn't leaped way ahead of it, I get pretty dismayed. Maybe the new mix has better downside protection without the mojo of the likes of ANCER and such. So when SPY inevitably tumbles at some point this year, we shall see how the cookie crumbles....

If I fall worse, I think it's pretty clear: the only reason for me to stay in MI is emotional investing!

Don't you just LOVE telling your friends you beat the market (even if it only happens once in a while and doesn't offset those damned losses)?! I still long for those days of yore in the last century when I can remember six-figure, single-month gains, like a dream, till they turned into nightmares.

We can try, but life isn't mechanical after all. Or if it is, I sure haven't figured out or heard the algorithm yet.

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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243095 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 12:42 PM
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I am retired 70 year old.
Any mostly in CASH.
Do you have any suggestions for me?


http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=wfc-pl&ql=1
In a nutshell, bought at today's price it's a flat 5.66% dividend yield forever.
There are minor details, but that's 96% of everything one needs to know.

Jim

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Author: GeekGod Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243097 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 12:57 PM
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http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=wfc-pl&ql=1
In a nutshell, bought at today's price it's a flat 5.66% dividend yield forever.
There are minor details, but that's 96% of everything one needs to know.


The "minor details" being the future of inflation? ;)

(By the way, I think it was you Jim who recommended some Wells preferred in early 2009, which I did very well on. Thanks for that, and all your advice on these boards.)

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Author: ww4321 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243099 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 1:18 PM
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http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=wfc-pl&ql=1
In a nutshell, bought at today's price it's a flat 5.66% dividend yield forever.
There are minor details, but that's 96% of everything one needs to know.

Jim



Do you buy them at market or limit prices?

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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243101 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 2:02 PM
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Do you buy them at market or limit prices?

Limits don't seem to trigger, presumably because I don't buy or sell 100 shares, so I buy at market.
Bid/ask isn't usually too bad, and it's not something you're going to trade actively.

In a nutshell, bought at today's price it's a flat 5.66% dividend yield forever.
There are minor details, but that's 96% of everything one needs to know.
...
The "minor details" being the future of inflation? ;)


Note the word "flat" was included in my description : )
The payout is fixed in nominal terms at $75 per share per year.
Simply divide 75 into your purchase cost to get your yield.
I wouldn't lose sleep, there won't be material inflation for years.

Jim

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Author: ww4321 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243102 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 2:27 PM
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http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=wfc-pl&ql=1
In a nutshell, bought at today's price it's a flat 5.66% dividend yield forever.
There are minor details, but that's 96% of everything one needs to know.

Jim

Jim, My last question is would you use interactive brokers low margin to buy WFC preferred L

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Author: vobob Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243106 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 3:08 PM
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So as a guy new to the board this is deflating. If the vets are saying they are bailing out, does it make sense for a new guy to jump in? If so, then what?

I did see some info on index switching and timing, is that the best that can be done? Depending on returns, I'm 15 to 20 years away from retirement with a decent amount of money in an IRA, a similar amount in a 401k and some available taxable dollar to invest as well. If not MI, can you guys point me in a better direction?

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Author: sailrmac Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243107 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 3:34 PM
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I gave up the unemotional method more than a decade ago. However, I didn't give up on MI. The screens still provide a great source for idea's to further research. You might want to condsider doing the same if you enjoy the research.

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Author: sailrmac Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243108 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 3:36 PM
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MI is a good source of idea's, particularly in a tax protected account.

You might want to consider a different, more buy and hold strategy, for your taxable account.

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Author: ww4321 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243109 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 3:40 PM
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So as a guy new to the board this is deflating. If the vets are saying they are bailing out, does it make sense for a new guy to jump in? If so, then what?

I did see some info on index switching and timing, is that the best that can be done? Depending on returns, I'm 15 to 20 years away from retirement with a decent amount of money in an IRA, a similar amount in a 401k and some available taxable dollar to invest as well. If not MI, can you guys point me in a better direction?


Just buy SPY as noted by the first message in this group.

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Author: TGMark Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243112 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 4:26 PM
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I'm hanging in there, seven years now. I seem to be doing OK, CAGR about 13%. Not stellar, but 2006 was not the best year to start on an MI strategy...


Mark

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Author: Radish Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243113 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 4:43 PM
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and I've all but proven that I am not smarter than the market, despite a consistent, disciplined long-term mechanical approach.

Pretty much what I concluded years ago. After trying MI for years and keeping careful track of my returns and also of my return on an actual S&P fund, my conclusion was that with very careful application of MI-screen trading I could possibly fairly consistently beat the S&P by a very small amount. But in real life, I'd make the occasional mistake trading the stocks of the screens... and those took my actual returns very consistently slightly below my returns on the S&P fund. With the potential to go way below given mistakes of greater magnitude.

Given that the "total stock market" funds tend to perform microscopically better than S&P funds, I decided that financially I'm better off just doing those rather than MI.

Of course sitting on a fund forever is not nearly as much fun as trading MI-screen stocks, so that's one down side.

Phil

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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243115 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 5:44 PM
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So as a guy new to the board this is deflating. If the vets are saying they are bailing out, does it make sense for a new guy to jump in?

Um, you didn't see "vets" are bailing. You saw one guy.

Here's a few quotes:
"Every investment strategy goes through periods where it works poorly. That’s life. If you have a strategy that always works well, that means:
You haven’t run it long enough or You’re not running enough money, or You’re not taking enough risk."
----------------

"Most investors do poorly, but it’s not because good investment methodologies are secret. It’s because they do not have the will to stay with a winning strategy during a period when it is under duress."
-------------

"Value strategies work over the long run, but not necessarily in the short term. There can be prolonged periods of underperformance. It is these periods of underperformance that ensure that not everyone becomes a value investor (coupled with a hubristic belief in their own abilities to pick stocks).

"It is this periodic underperformance that really helps ensure the survival of such strategies. As long as investors continue to be overconfident in their abilities to consistently pick winners, and myopic enough that even a year of underperformance is enough to send them running, then strategies such as the Little Book are likely to continue to do well over the long run. Thankfully for those of us with faith in such models, the traits just described seem to be immutable characteristics of most people. As Warren Buffett said “Investing is simple but not easy”."

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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243117 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 7:01 PM
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My last question is would you use interactive brokers low margin to buy WFC preferred L

Probably not, at least not more than at the 10-20% level tops, and even
then if I were using leverage I'd use one of the methods I mentioned.
Never reach for yield. If rates are low, live with it.
WFC-PL is trading at $1346 and it traded at around $350 (briefly) during the crunch.
If you know how to do the math on leverage limits, plug that into the equation.
The drop itself is a problem at all if you can wait it out, but if you have broker margin you can't do that.
Well, maybe you can, but it's not your call, it's the broker's call.

"Leverage is the only way smart guys go broke"--Warren Buffett
Having been burned on this front (hit with a margin cut and call 2008-11-20), trust me on this one, he's right.

Leverage in investing is a good thing if and only if you meet five criteria:
- the underlying asset is sufficiently safe and sufficiently reliably not falling in value
- the price/value ratio is attractive enough at the time of entering the position to offer a good margin of safety
- the cost of the leverage is very low and will remain so
- the loan can't be called
- the loan is long term or guaranteed to be renewable in some way.

(from my post http://boards.fool.com/buying-calls-has-a-risk-i-am-not-sure... )
Yeah, I know it's tacky to quote yourself, but hey, it's late here.

Jim

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Author: KBGlenn Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243119 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 7:14 PM
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Certified old guy here who bailed a while back, but still enjoys following the board. Some quick thoughts.

1. Trading/investing and beating the mkt consistently way more difficult than it appears for emotional, system and plain simple execution reasons.

2. Your personal time is a cost, don't underestimate it.

3. Timing matters a lot. If you get that right, you can invest/trade anything and you will make money. Get it wrong and the opposite is also true.

4. If number 3 is true and leveraged and diversified ETFs exist, why mess with individual stocks?

5. There are many profitable methods, ultimately the one that will work for you, is the one that will work for you.

6. Number 5 is the most important thing I wrote. It's a bit Zenish but it is the most accurate.

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Author: vobob Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243120 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 7:17 PM
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Um, you didn't see "vets" are bailing. You saw one guy.

The replies from Flying Circus, Flaram and H20bury all seem to concur at least in part.

I'll put you in the Dissent file ;)

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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243121 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 7:39 PM
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5. There are many profitable methods, ultimately the one that will work for you, is the one that will work for you.

6. Number 5 is the most important thing I wrote. It's a bit Zenish but it is the most accurate.


For sure, this is a bigger factor than you might expect.
You should see the private emails between myself and Zeelotes.
Each of us uses apparently successful strategies that the other would never consider due mainly to temperament.
Sometimes each of us thinks the other is nuts. See "Cats, skinning of".

Jim

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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243123 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 8:36 PM
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would you use interactive brokers low margin to buy WFC preferred L

No. No! NOOOOOO!!!

You wouldn't use leverage in this way on an issue that doesn't have a fairly stable(-ish) price. WFC-L doesn't qualify in this regard.

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Author: FlyingCircus Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243124 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 11:05 PM
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You can't take my angst as anything but continued angst on whether this board's scope works without timing. I have been on the fence about this for at least 5 years - but, there are many mechanical *methods* that increase profit, beyond just MI *screens* which focus on one asset class, blind to market timing considerations.

Mechanically selected US/global equity individual stocks as classically practiced here and backtested, are one method. Clearly, the outperformance of this method over the last several years has come into question.

Asset class momentum strategies (a.k.a Ivy and their copycat ilk) are another method.

Leveraged and inverse/leveraged ETFs off short term market timing indicators are yet another.

RTW is yet another - momentum on global large region/country based ETFs, a.k.a. Decision Moose. It worked wonderfully from the bottom in 2009 (what didn't), and abruptly stopped working by end of 2010. That's been dead money for nearly 3 years now. Why? Who knows?

Please don't put me in the same boat as H20. Even the best screens can typically underperform for weeks at a time, let alone days.

YEY traded weekly with a 5 deep hold is up 27% TTM according to Bill2m's ledger. Yet I applied seasonal timing to it and was out of it from May to October last year. My TTM return is .6%. Where's the issue?
Is it the screen? Or is it my timing method / application?

FC

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Author: FLARAM Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243125 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 11:11 PM
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Hold on I believe this thread is projecting a more negative picture of MI than it actuality deserves.
Although I posted above that I was dissatisfied with recent results that didn't mean I haven't beaten
the S&P. It is only the last 31/2 years I have only slightly ahead after a lot of effort.

I retired early 12+ years ago partially because I had invested/traded better than some. Since starting
MI I have managed to more than quadruple my 401K while withdrawing more than 4% a year in a
period were the S&P return has been less than 2%. Some years or sets of years have been very good
some like this last few years disappointing. Some screens and momentum predictors stop working
and new ones take their place.

I am not quitting, I'm too stubborn for that, but I am working on better screening software and
backtesting analysis tools. I know there are many more sophisticated investors out there that can
analyze companies better than I but there are many times more seat of the pants follow the heard
people I still believe I can outperform.

RAM

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Author: winker Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243126 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/16/2013 11:46 PM
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I'm still using what qualifies as MI on perhaps a third of my portfolio, but it's very "simple" MI (like Faber's asset allocation method or some of the basic bear catchers) using mostly ETF's and index funds. The rest tends to be either buy and hold or straight asset allocation with threshold rebalancing.

Once I got close to retirement with a more than adequate "nest egg number" I became much more conservative, with a general goal of doing no worse than matching what would amount to a global moderate fund and hoping that the application of MI would reduce the drawdown risk. So far I've been happy with the results.

Larry

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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243130 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 10:15 AM
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Yet I applied seasonal timing to it and was out of it from May to October last year. My TTM return is .6%. Where's the issue?
Is it the screen? Or is it my timing method / application?


The issue is the timing method you used.
Timing should be based on price or a related derivative (NH-NL, etc.), not the calendar.

The behavior of prices means something. The position of Earth in its orbit around the sun doesn't.

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Author: DoesMIWork One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243132 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 1:17 PM
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Hey! Aren't you one of the key architects of the database, backtester, etc??? Say it ain't so!

I've done very poorly since 2008, when I started. I do think MI does work, but there will be long times, often too long, where the system will go into hibernation, like Decision Moose and many value-with-momentum screens.

While I am not a math major,I am an engineer. I think we are all missing something on the math. A five screen blend 3 hold deep with 45% CAGR is just too perfect. There's got to be some math that says that this 45% unrepeatable, full of *%*%#@!

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Author: FlyingCircus Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243135 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 2:30 PM
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The issue is the timing method you used.

Of course it is! However, my point was it's the conundrum any MI investor/timer faces. To the point:
* The actual results of all the MI screens Bill2m tracks show marked decrease in performance in the summer months (including YEY)
* Many backtests show marked decrease in performance in the summer months (including YEY)
==> so there is rational evidence that screens (including YEY) could be avoided in summer months and not markedly affect performance.

So the point is the user (in this case me) can make an informed, probability-based choice and STILL have it underperform for a long time.

YEY has also underperformed recently in the "bullish" period - it was essentially flat for me from October on. While the indexes have gone up close to 20% in 6 months, the screen has been flat.

Variant screen performance over a day, over a week, even a month, there should be absolutely no complaining or other expectation. But consistently 3 months, 6 months and longer, the "why" of that is worth analyzing.

FC

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Author: FlyingCircus Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243136 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 2:32 PM
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As mungo has posted many times, start with an expectation of maybe half (paraphrasing) of the backtested CAGRs and go from there.

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Author: TMT33 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243138 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 3:16 PM
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Per GTR1, the lowest YTD return across start dates of YEY 10 stock hold is 19% thru 5/7 (when I ran some data).

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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243139 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 4:11 PM
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my point was it's the conundrum any MI investor/timer faces. To the point:
* The actual results of all the MI screens Bill2m tracks show marked decrease in performance in the summer months (including YEY)
* Many backtests show marked decrease in performance in the summer months (including YEY)
==> so there is rational evidence that screens (including YEY) could be avoided in summer months and not markedly affect performance.


Somewhere in my bookshelf or directory full of papers & articles is (are??) discussions of the methodologies of making screens. Not screens themselves, but the way screens are constructed. Perhaps O'shaughnessey in the latest edition of WWOWS?

The discussion basically says that every rule or screening factor must have a rational reason *why* it is a good characteristic to use. Things like low P/E, low P/CF, etc. are things that you can make a cogent argument for.

But I don't know how to make a cogent argument for a date on the calendar. "Everybody goes to the Hamptons?" "School is out?"

Simply saying "backtests over the last couple of decades have worse performance over the summer" isn't an argument. It's an observation. And it's the type of thing that "Fooled By Randomness" is all about.

I've always thought it was kinda data-dredging. There are a zillion things that you can backtest for, and *some* of them will align with the data. But how do you know if it's just happenstance? If there's not a strong rationale for why that factor is good, then the only argument you have is "well, it worked that way when I tested it."

As far as timing by price -- SMA, RS, momentum, NH-NL, etc. -- IMO the arguments seem weak. They are basically rooted in human nature of the way investors tend to behave. And the empirical observations goes back several centuries.

FWIW, I just skimmed the index of WWOWS 4th ed. I don't know if O'Shaughnessey investigated timing or not - but the index does not have ANY entries for: calendar, May, sell, summer, or timing. 650 pages and he didn't mention any of these.


My YEY has also underperformed recently in the "bullish" period - it was essentially flat for me from October on. While the indexes have gone up close to 20% in 6 months, the screen has been flat.
That's why it's a good idea to run several different, unrelated strategies/screens.


My account which is 75/25 YEY and BND had grown 11.7% from Oct 1 to May 1 -- 7 months. So I guess the YEY portion grew around 15%.
SPX grew 10.9% in that same time. ACWI grew 8.3%. SPY (dividend adjusted) grew 12.2% Kinda hard to compare directly, since I go by last Friday of month rather than last calendar day.

But, true, my total portfolios have underperformed the S&P almost every month for the last couple of years.
FWIW, my YEY has been one of my stellar performers over the last couple of years.

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Author: Radish Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243141 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 5:56 PM
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DoesMIWork,

Hey! Aren't you one of the key architects of the database, backtester, etc??? Say it ain't so!

Well, I wrote a series of Excel macros that simply applying screens to downloaded stock data. The backtesters, and the screen designs themselves, are far more important to MI.

The fundamental problem as I see it is that back testing a screen tells you how that screen worked in a world that no longer exists and will probably never exist again. Unless that screen performed well due to fundamental principals that continue to exist into the future, there's no reason to think that a screen that did well in the past will do well in the future also.

Unfortunately, there's really no way to know whether the principals of a screen's success continue into the future or not. Someone who has an exceptional understanding of everything that affects stock prices will be good at determining which principals matter and which don't... but that "someone" isn't me.

I used to think that you're better off with screens that have worked well in the past than without having any data from the past to guide you at all. These days, I'm not so sure that's true. It limits you to those things that can be backtested.

Phil

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Author: mark19601962 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243144 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 7:23 PM
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Has not the s and p been about the best performing asset class for the last few years?

That could be part of the problem.

I track that, and since 7/22/11, it has beaten everything. small value emerging markets, reits, large value, all the classes.

It could be as simple as that.

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Author: mark19601962 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243145 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 7:39 PM
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But I don't know how to make a cogent argument for a date on the calendar. "Everybody goes to the Hamptons?" "School is out?"

There are some temporal anomalies that have worked for centuries. Stocks do better in January. It is not tax loss selling because countries with a different tax season still have the January effect.

The week end effect. Stocks do worse on Monday. This also extends across international markets.

If something has worked for 100 years, and has worked across all markets, who says we should not take advantage of it.

Also, these effects work after discovery, and out of sample.

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Author: mark19601962 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243146 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 7:44 PM
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The fundamental problem as I see it is that back testing a screen tells you how that screen worked in a world that no longer exists and will probably never exist again. Unless that screen performed well due to fundamental principals that continue to exist into the future, there's no reason to think that a screen that did well in the past will do well in the future also.





Phil,

That is absolutely true, but what if a screen does well post discovery, and out of sample.

Also, there do seem to be some basic principles that we know are indicative of stock price. Value and momentum.

All that being said, sadly I have to agree with you, that the market keeps changing, so what worked before, may not work going forward.

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Author: elann Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243149 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/17/2013 11:29 PM
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So as a guy new to the board this is deflating. If the vets are saying they are bailing out, does it make sense for a new guy to jump in? If so, then what?

Sounds like a herd mentality to me. If you want to succeed, think, evaluate, and decide for yourself. Use other people's comments as ideas. Don't blindly mimic their decisions.

The same applies to all the questions about which screens or screen families other people like. It's okay to ask, but never ever take someone's word and run with it. Always do your own testing and make your own decisions!

If you're too lazy to do that, buy an index fund.

Elan
A "vet" who hasn't bailed out.

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Author: ww4321 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243150 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/18/2013 10:01 AM
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very simple that has done well-----not a new idea

buy SPY above 200 daY SMA or 10 month sma

200 day is one of vwry oldest indicators and most used.
Barry Richolz says too many whipsaws in it so maybe use mothly.

Low draw downs and approximately 13% per year.

Plus Spy Is held for long term gains in some cases'

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Author: hiphop One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243161 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/18/2013 4:54 PM
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So as a guy new to the board this is deflating. If the vets are saying they are bailing out, does it make sense for a new guy to jump in? If so, then what?

As yet another one of the board members who has been around for a while (1997). I was around at the time that we were photocopying old VL index pages out of the Stanford business school library (and nearly got my library privileges yanked for trying to get to the CRSP database). I keep almost all of my investments in some form of MI. I have suffered through 50% draw downs on my portfolio three or four times now, and it has always come back. Sometimes it has taken longer than I had hoped.

I have made mistakes (mostly when being emotional, like exiting the market on Dec. 31 because our political class were playing chicken with each other). Mostly, I have learned to be sanguine about MI and just keep on keeping on.

1999 through early 2000 was an aberration, to the upside, but if I look across my years of doing MI and ignore that pop, the growth has been fairly noisy exponential growth. I have beat the market over the long term, underperformed it during some years, outperformed it during others.

My screens have changed, albeit slowly, and I have finally added some timing to my portfolio during the past two years. I often think that the timing hurts rather than helps (mostly I use the NAHL), but I understand that when it helps, it helps much more than it hurts when it is wrong.

I add options to the mix (both 6/3 long, and Cohen style puts) and I use MI to give me my candidates to comb through.

Since May 1997 through yesterday, my portfolio has had a CAGR of 15.44%, during that same time frame, the SP500 has had a return of 6.08% with dividends reinvested.

Since May 2010 through yesterday, my portfolio has had a CAGR of 13.59%, during that same time frame, the SP500 has had a return of 15.025% with dividends reinvested. Without the dividends, it was 12.864%.

Since May 2012 through yesterday, my portfolio has had a CAGR of 37.54%, during that same time frame, the SP500 has had a return of 22.47% with dividends reinvested.

I'm OK with years of underperformance, especially as I don't know which index (SP500, Nasdaq, Dow) is going to be the best one to invest in ahead of time.

The have been some minor additions and withdraws along the way, so my numbers are probably not entirely accurate (though they are pretty close). But looking back on my 16 year history with MI, I definitely have learned a great deal about investing, about myself, and learned that sometimes I should pay attention to more than just the ticker symbol.

I'm an engineer, and MI jibes well with my intellectual background. I have a day job, so I don't need to live off of the returns quite yet, though hopefully it will allow my kids to have a decent education. All in all, it has worked for me.

--Gabriel

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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243172 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/18/2013 7:13 PM
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Since May 1997 through yesterday, my portfolio has had a CAGR of 15.44%,
during that same time frame, the SP500 has had a return of 6.08% with dividends reinvested.
...


Real life, very good, and plausible returns. I love it!
(why do I say plausible? Hey, if you'd said 45%/year we wouldn't have believed you)
That's what we're here for.

Nothing is ever going to return 20%/year over the long run.
But if you can beat the index by a few points on average over a large number of years, it really adds up.
Not addressing your tax situation, you have 9.95 times as much money as
you did then, and with SPY you'd have 2.57 times as much money.
I suspect that's even better than most of us will average, but still...
It's worth the bother, even if you had a bit of work and occasional anguish once a month.
It's not as if buy-and-hold is without its own anguish.

Kudos!

Jim

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Author: MoeBruin Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243230 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/19/2013 6:53 PM
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I have been around since the beginning with this board and I still have most of my money in MI as it has done better for me then any other type of investing.

I was fortunate to start right before the bubble making 300% in my first 18 months. In the crash I lost 50% for a net after the crash of plus 50%. Since then my returns have been mostly mixed but overall have beaten the market.

I have not done as well as hiphop. As of April 30th my 10 year return is 10.78% vs 7.88% for the S&P 500. But my 5 year return is only 2.6% vs 5.2% for the S&P 500. This year I was slightly ahead 13.2% vs 12.7% and with May's gains probably still just a slight bit ahead.

I consider my 5 year lag do to two causes: 1) I was slow to use timing but think it is good to stop those huge drops so the last big downfall I got killed by not using it but two years ago I got hurt a bit by using it (i.e. using it too late). 2) Also do to fear of screens mostly being due to cherry picking I until this year loaded up very heavily on the RS-26 screen. And the last few years have been awful for momentum screens.

Now I am balancing and using more of a true blend and using ETF screens to put me into things other then US stocks when appropriate.

I am no longer confident during normal times that I will do that much better then the market but I do feel if the roaring bull ever comes back that I will be glad I stuck it out with MI.

Moe

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Author: chris319 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243243 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/19/2013 8:58 PM
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I took a terrible spill in 2008 because I deviated from MI. I should have stuck with it. In the ensuing years I've had a very difficult time recovering from 2008, despite being back in MI. 2010 was particularly problematic as my real-world trading returns were far below the theoretical (backtested) returns of the screen I was using at the time. The past year or so has been better (different screens). I stick with MI because I haven't found anything better.

The paradox of MI is that there isn't a mechanical method for choosing screens, etc.

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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243254 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/20/2013 12:02 AM
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The paradox of MI is that there isn't a mechanical method for choosing screens

I helps to keep Sturgeon's Law in mind.

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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243374 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/23/2013 5:47 PM
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The paradox of MI is that there isn't a mechanical method for choosing screens
...
I helps to keep Sturgeon's Law in mind.


I dunno.
Zee's research on that subject is pretty compelling.
A random post in his long series on mechanical screen selection
http://boards.fool.com/the-best-measure-for-the-best-blend-2...

Based on his rankings for 2013, this is a possible interpretation of the optimal blend for this year.
http://www.backtest.org/8912SS%28Fundamentals%29%28SS%28PIH_...
(the PIH screens all came up highly ranked but are extremely similar
so I simply replace the bunch of them with an SOS of the whole set)

Jim

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Author: BAGoldmn Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243395 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/24/2013 2:08 PM
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I mean, really, how can I quit MI when it's so much fun to stir this pot?

Do one of you CAGR guys have a couch I can sleep on after the next downturn...?

After AOL blew up (OMG am I old!), I put my kids' accounts into simple buy-and-hold ETFs so they couldn't blame me for making mistakes. Now they are richer than me. But they'll still blame me anyway

So that's why I'm asking about the couches.

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Author: mungofitch Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243431 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/26/2013 5:24 PM
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After AOL blew up (OMG am I old!), I put my kids' accounts into simple
buy-and-hold ETFs so they couldn't blame me for making mistakes.
Now they are richer than me. But they'll still blame me anyway


Having kids richer than you?
I'm not a parent, but if I were, what else would I wish for?
There is a silver lining to every cloud.
Yeah, sure, it might be somebody else who gets the silver....

Incidentally there was a big international survey done recently on the
question "do you expect your children to be better off financially than you are?"
France came in pretty much dead last, at 9% of respondents saying "yes".
Gosh this can be a depressing neighbourhood.

Of course the Monaco Grand Prix was fun today.

Jim

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Author: BAGoldmn Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 243495 of 251797
Subject: Re: maybe done Date: 5/29/2013 4:12 PM
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Yo Jimmy! About that couch...?!

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