Sunday, April 25, 2010

Permanent Portfolio

The Harry Browne Permanent Portfolio (HBPP) is an investment asset allocation, which allocates 25% in 4 distinct non-correlated assets:

stocks - for prosperity
bonds - for deflation
cash - for recession
gold - for inflation

The Browne notion is that is impossible to predict/guess financial market events with any consistent skill, so it's better to have non-correlated assets that perform well as a total portfolio. Eg in the 1970s when stocks & bonds both declined, gold went up.

Supposedly since 1970s this portfolio has performed similar to an 100% stock portfolio, with the worst year being down ~15%, while stocks have been down ~50% at times.

mymoneyblog review

craigr's Crawling Road blog & discussion forum - many knowledgable gurus on here, veteran HBPP personal investors

UKer Clive/JF from crawlingroad forum site. Clive advocates for currency diversification, to hedge against domestic currency collapse. This is contra US "convential wisdom" that USD is somehow forever safe, & anything international is riskier, stupidly conflating stable rich countries like Canada or Germany or Japan (which might be safer than the US, at least for some years) with unstable countries like Argentina or Pakistan. This is also contra Harry Browne's own thoughts, of having 75% of the PP in USD-priced assets & 25% in gold.

US economic problems such as a trade deficit, budget deficit, unwillingness to cut profligate cartels such as the Military Industrial Complex. Also, many key assets such as oil & derivates being priced mostly in USD. Maybe in the future only 50% of oil will be priced in USD. Either of these issues could make it hard for the USD to get much stronger, with much risk of it getting weaker.

It seems that diversifying among global currencies would be "safer" than holding assets exclusively against any 1 currency.

Belgian Marc De Mesel, who like Clive shows (an extreme) example of domestic currency risk, with the 2008 Iceland PP

Boglehead's HBPP forum page

8 Lazy ETF portfolio reviews, which includes HBPP

Get Rich Slowly review


Great personal finance site mymoneyblog

fwd - I stumbled upon this free personal finance blog. Excellent free advice on IRA retirement accounts & other personal financial matters. The blogger is like a Consumer Reports, stays up on the rates/deals/hidden fees for the "custodian" IRA vendors like Vanguard, Schwab, Zecco, etc. Vanguard seems like a good deal as far as minimizing index fund Expense Ratios & having stable fees, without bogus hidden fees.

Amazing this is this guy is a 30 yo hobbyist, his real job is IT. I guess he loves to say follow money market & home loan rates, instead of a typical guy's hobby like say playing NFL fantasy football. My guess is that this hobbyist's free advice is probably superior than most personal financial planner "professionals"!

Finance quote & info sites

USian finance info sites for financial quotes/data, especially for assets with a ticker: ETFs, funds, individual stocks.

Google Finance - good graph feature, can quickly modify the time scale of the graph from intraday to multiple years. Would be nice if they included dividend-included returns

Morningstar - The Morningstar X-Ray is useful feature for slicing a portfolio (especially an broad index based portfolio) into asset allocation components - cash, bonds, US stock, non-US stock, other, not classified. It calculates weighted avg expense ratio. Especially equity stock components, which are broken down by geo regions like N America, Japan; industrial sector, stock type, & a 3X3 box for Valuation (Value/Core/Growth) X Size (Large/Medium/Small). For bonds & cash as a total group, it has a 3X3 box for Interest Sensitivity (Short, Intermediate, Long) X Credit Quality (High/Medium/Low).

Seeking Alpha - note has avg bid ask spreads & expense ratios clearly listed

Yahoo Finance - good for historical prices & dividends

D-Traxs funk music site

1970s & 80s funk music D-Traxs.