Lagging Results

By on August 8, 2006

Originally published in October 1997:

The market recently broke out of its trading range, if you ignore the DJIA. Expect the upside action to continue as the year ends. The bears can’t hold back the steady stream of liquidity coming into the market. Inflation is not likely to rear its ugly head so bonds should be steady to higher in the coming months.

Lagging Results

If you’ve checked out the performance page at this site, you can see the long term results of the aggressive portfolio are seriously beginning to lag behind the S&P 500. When I started this site about a year ago the portfolio was beating the S&P 500 over five years by a small margin. The reason for the falling performance vis a vis the broadly based large stock index is basically two-fold: 1) Large stocks have performed exceptionally well the last three years, and, 2) 1993, 1994 and 1995 were unexceptional years for the timing system due to the lack of up and down volatility in the stock market.

The years 1991 and 1992 were good years for the “Real World” portfolio. 1992 is dropping off the five year performance number as this year progresses. That leaves 1993, 1994, and 1995 making up the bulk of the five year performance calculation. Until those years start fading off, the performance page is going to look pretty glum. I am not extremely confident things are going to get better in the next few years. I expect a fairly strong, steady advance in stock prices for at least the next five to seven years. In this environment the Tactical Timing System will not shine. I could be wrong about the market and we could return to normal volatility. If this is the case, the “Real World” portfolios will likely outperform a buy and hold strategy.

Full disclosure of results is a feature of this site that you’ll seldom find in other publications of this nature. Of course, who can blame other investment newsletter publishers who depend on the success and sales of their newsletter for income. Results would be difficult to find here if they effected my ability to put food on the table. However, this being a hobby allows me the freedom to publish the results….good or bad.

Portfolio Activity

Forty-five percent of the position in Raymond James Financial (NYSE: RJF; 36) was sold due to it becoming more than 10 percent of the conservative portfolio. UST (NYSE: UST; 30 9/16) was purchased to bring the conservative portfolio to approximately 55% equities; 45% cash. UST is the dominant maker of smokeless tobacco products.

Portfolio Updates

Novellus Systems Inc (NYSE: NVLS; 124 5/8) will likely be a beneficiary from the transition to the use of copper rather than aluminum in the production of semiconductors, according to an analyst at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. NVLS jumped when this news was announced by IBM. Also boosting NVLS was talk of a two for one split in the future.

Unilever N.V. (NYSE: UN; 220 3/4) shareholder’s votes were counted on September 22 regarding a proposed four-for-one stock split. The split proposal passed, and it will most likely occur on October 13. UN is holding steady, but long term growth prospects are good.

Recommended Allocations

Aggressive portfolios: 75% equities, 25% cash.

Conservative portfolios: 55% equities, 45% cash.

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