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Published: Sun, 24 Mar 2013 07:29:43 EDT

Last Build Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2013 07:29:43 EDT

 



Take The Long View When Sizing Up A Portfolio's Performance

Sun, 24 Mar 2013 07:29:43 EDT

So here we sit, hovering around record stock market highs, so there’s no reason to have any regrets, right? Well, probably not, unless you somehow managed to lag the market indexes over the past year. And why should that misfortune befall anyone? Good grief, all you had to do was stick your money in a broad-based index fund and forget about it. Sheesh, any imbecile can do that. But imbeciles, being imbeciles, are fully capable of screwing that up. Indeed, my own Stable High Yield model at Covestor actually did underperform the market over the past 12 months. But I’m not just any imbecile. I’m an imbecile with a plan. And that plan is actually working quite well. Allow me to explain. Stable High Yield has a one-year return of 12.2%, net of fees (as of March 12), lagging the S&P 500’s return of 13.2%. This comparison would seem to validate the oft-heard assertion that most professional money managers underperform the market. But I’m not the least bit disappointed by my own underperformance. First of all, 12 months is a no more relevant span of time than any other for purposes of measuring investment performance. Oh, there’s the popular appeal one-year performance, just as there is for three-year, five-year and 15-year. But to an investor in a fund or to a subscriber of a Covestor model, what replicative effect do those particular time spans have unless the investor were invested for precisely those periods? In other words, Fund A may have a five-year annualized return of 14%, but if you happened to have held it for only a portion of that five years you may have only gained 7%, or 3%, or perhaps even lost money on your holding. Now, this is not an advocacy piece for buying-and-holding, and it’s certainly not one for market timing. Rather, it’s meant to merely provide perspective on portfolio-specific historical assessment. Moreover, evaluating the performance of a managed portfolio for any given segment of time is a manipulated exercise, fraught with massaged vagaries and always, always, imbued by its sponsor with certain, shall we say, “cherry-picking” inclinations. After all, unless one’s name is Nicolas Cage or Willie Nelson, anyone can find a slice of time when he was the most brilliant of investors (see also: baseball great Lenny Dykstra). So how does one best analyze the performance of a portfolio? Well, except for those that are by charter term-bound (short-term funds, intermediate funds, etc.), it seems to me that the most objective period of time for purposes of comparison would be the longest available, i.e., “since inception.” It levels the playing field among the portfolios being compared. It is for that reason that I’m not at all disturbed by the underperformance of the model over the past 12 months, because since its inception in July 2011 it has beaten the S&P 500 by 44% (12.2%, net of fees vs. 8.5%, as of March 12, 2013). Plus, it has done this with a beta of 0.24 vs. the S&P 500, meaning it is 76% less volatile than that index. To put this “since inception” way of thinking into perspective, let’s take a look at one of today’s top-performing, professionally-managed models at Covestor. (As I’m loath to impugn any colleague, and because the information is easily found anyway at Covestor.com, I’ll not identify it.) Over the past 12 months that model is up 35.5% net of fees, ranking near the top of those managed by the 76 professionals. But over its lifetime, which began in January 2010, it has actually underperformed the S&P 500 by 79%. To further illustrate how selective analysis can skew general perception, consider again that my Stable High Yield fund is a percentage point below the S&P 500 for the past 12 months. It underperformed; that is, it underperformed if any given investor subscribed to the model on March 13, 2012 and is still holding it today. But that’s an unfair and arbitrary context. Instead, to objectively compare performance, on at least a somewhat [...]



United Commercial Bank's Spectacular Rise And Fall

Mon, 17 Oct 2011 08:50:16 EDT

PAUL ELIAS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â¿¿ The U.S. economy was stuck in a worsening credit crisis, but Tommy Wu was seemingly on top of the world during the black tie dinner the night of Nov. 29, 2007.

The Hong Kong native was being honored at New York's Pierre Hotel by the American Banker publication for turning a sleepy San Francisco Chinatown savings and loan into one of the nation's largest banking companies serving Chinese Americans. ...




Charlie Sheen Pays Bail for Lenny Dykstra

Tue, 26 Apr 2011 11:03:11 EDT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Charlie Sheen paid $22,500 to help bail former major league baseball star Lenny "Nails" Dykstra out of jail, according to a report from TMZ.

Dykstra, 48, was being held on $150,000 bail after he was charged with bankruptcy fraud earlier this month. Sheen put forward 15% of the bail payment. Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Lenny "Nails" Dykstra

Dykstra previously came to Sheen's aid when he helped hire a lawyer to negotiate the actor's return to the hit CBS and Warner Bros. comedy series Two and a Half Men after Sheen was fired from the sitcom in March. ...

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Dykstra Nailed in Bankruptcy Fraud

Fri, 15 Apr 2011 17:04:36 EDT

Story updated to reflect the correct price of the former Dykstra home.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra has been charged by the U.S Department of Justice with bankruptcy fraud for selling items from his former mansion. Former outfielder Lenny Dysktra.

Dykstra, who filed for bankruptcy in July 2009, is being charged with embezzling from the bankruptcy estate after allegedly removing, destroying and selling $400,000 worth of property without the permission of the trustee, according to a filing with U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles. ...

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Buy on a Pullback

Fri, 24 Apr 2009 09:20:36 EDT

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Dykstra: Dow Chemical Home Run

Thu, 23 Apr 2009 10:11:02 EDT

The past two weeks have been good ones for my Nails on the Numbers subscribers. Last week, my deep-in-the-money options trading system won four times. The four options positions that crossed the finish line added $11,150 to my win column.

Then Wednesday, my position in Dow Chemical, my Jan. 12 pick, won a whopping $15,750 on 160 contracts. It's the biggest single win on my scorecard to date. I had two $13,000-plus wins last summer. Quicker wins of $1,000 to $2,000 are more typical.

Last week, my quadruple win opened with a $1,000 payout on Alcoa on its third trading day in play. Then on April 14, I closed out an extended position in Intel, a Sept. 8 pick, into which I'd put $123,000 over time in an effort to bring down its average cost. Intel's big drop since the market crash had put the position in jeopardy. But I managed it carefully, bringing my average costs within reach until the market gave me my win. ...

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Dialing Up a Play in a Defense Name

Wed, 22 Apr 2009 08:27:56 EDT

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Catch This Stock Before It Pops

Mon, 20 Apr 2009 09:01:44 EDT

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Ripe for the Picking

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 08:49:16 EDT

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Dykstra: Doing Your Homework Pays Off

Thu, 16 Apr 2009 09:13:55 EDT

My deep-in-the-money options trading system has had a good week. Bets on some of the companies I follow paid off.

This week, I've had wins on Alcoa, Halliburton and Intel.

These wins bring the record for my Nails on the Numbers newsletter to 102-1 since TheStreet.com began publishing it about a year ago. And these wins bring my total so far this calendar year to 10. My win total just for this week is $10,150. Granted, that's an atypical week, and Intel had been out there 218 days. But with nine positions still open, more wins are on the way. ...

Click to view a price quote on AA.

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Buy Into the Engineering Sector

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 09:02:09 EDT

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Dykstra: Focus on Value Stocks

Tue, 14 Apr 2009 10:21:21 EDT

I heard the sad news last night that legendary Phillies broadcast announcer Harry Kalas passed unexpectedly yesterday as he was getting ready to do what he loved best: Call a game. Harry was a great guy and a terrific broadcaster. They don't make them any better.

Harry will be missed by the team, the fans and myself. He's been a mainstay at Phillies games since 1971. That's quite a track record for anyone.

The track record for my deep-in-the-money options trading system is now 100-1, with Monday's $1,000 win on Alcoa. To pick winning stocks, I use a lot of measures to judge whether shares are truly value-priced. ...

Click to view a price quote on AA.

Click to research the Metals & Mining industry.




Top Five Stock Ideas of the Week

Tue, 14 Apr 2009 09:01:00 EDT

While the market seems to be stabilizing (obviously a relative term in this environment), simply hoping for a continual steady move up is not a sound strategy.

While people can argue buy-and-hold vs. other more active strategies, we believe that the recent volatility has caused enough pain that investors are now paying more attention and searching for more active ideas.

So today, we offer five ideas from our stable of newsletters. Each newsletter has an array of ideas, but we will select five each week as a teaser to all the other great ideas you can get from all the different newsletters we offer. ...

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Special Alert: Making an Exit

Tue, 14 Apr 2009 07:31:55 EDT

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Betting on a New Offshore Play

Mon, 13 Apr 2009 08:28:39 EDT

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