Powerfund Portfolios Performance Review

Powerfund Portfolios Commentary

April 2018 Performance Review

May 5, 2018
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

Our slant towards longer-term bonds didn't help in April compared to benchmarks. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)4.64%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)4.42%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)2.65%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)2.47%
Gold Short (DZZ)2.30%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)1.64%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)1.55%
Vanguard Telecom Serv ETF (VOX)1.36%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)0.61%
Vanguard Value ETF (VTV)0.42%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)0.37%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)0.28%
Homestead Value Fund (HOVLX)-0.28%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)-2.03%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)-2.39%
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)-2.66%
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)-7.51%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)-10.65%
Bond Funds1mo %
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)0.38%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)-0.49%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)-0.83%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)-2.04%
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)-2.77%
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)-2.80%

March 2018 Performance Review

April 4, 2018
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

The relatively tame overall decline of 2.56% in the S&P 500 in March belies the extreme swings that have occurred in the market lately. In the last two months we've seen a fairly quick 10% drop followed by a very quick recovery and then another collapse just recently. Hot tech stocks actually moved to new highs in the bounce back. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)6.77%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)6.46%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)4.02%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)1.39%
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)1.15%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)-0.47%
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)-0.73%
Gold Short (DZZ)-0.76%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)-0.76%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)-0.84%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)-0.88%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)-1.19%
Vanguard Value ETF (VTV)-2.44%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)-2.56%
Homestead Value Fund (HOVLX)-2.67%
Vanguard Telecom Serv ETF (VOX)-2.86%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)-3.08%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)-9.26%
Bond Funds1mo %
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)4.11%
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)1.77%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)1.51%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)0.63%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)0.56%
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)0.10%

Februrary 2018 Performance Review

March 2, 2018
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

The problem with a fast climbing market is that sometimes it falls just as fast. This was the case in 1929, 1987, and 2000. Valuations like P/E ratios are relevant to long-term returns but don't mean much when facing extreme short-term volatility. Investors want to make money during sharp rises but don't want to get caught without a chair when the music stops; they tend to leave quickly and in droves at the first hint of a downturn. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)10.49%
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)9.48%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)7.18%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)4.92%
Gold Short (DZZ)4.37%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)-3.02%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)-3.23%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)-3.70%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)-4.11%
Homestead Value (HOVLX)-4.30%
Vanguard Value (VTV)-4.44%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)-4.73%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)-5.11%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)-5.23%
Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)-5.72%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)-6.13%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)-6.15%
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)-6.94%
Bond Funds1mo %
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)-0.66%
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)-0.75%
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)-0.93%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)-1.03%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)-3.13%
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)-4.29%

January 2018 Performance Review

February 3, 2018
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

Too much of a good thing is the main worry right now. We cut taxes into an already heating up economy which will lead to more inflation which will cause the federal reserve to raise rates higher than they would with no tax cuts. This means higher mortgage and other financing rates — and if those go high enough we could be looking at another recession. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)12.45%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)10.97%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)8.39%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)7.79%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)5.71%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)5.63%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)4.86%
Homestead Value (HOVLX)4.85%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)4.75%
Vanguard Value (VTV)4.71%
Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)1.14%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)-3.13%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)-5.11%
Gold Short (DZZ)-5.97%
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)-5.98%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)-6.86%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)-13.01%
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)-13.42%
Bond Funds1mo %
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)2.92%
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)1.19%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)-0.92%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)-1.10%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)-1.86%
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)-3.34%

December 2017 Performance Review

January 6, 2018
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

In 2017 the Powerfund Portfolios gained 13% and 12.1% in our Conservative and Aggressive portfolios respectively. It must have been a hot year in the markets because these were underwhelming returns, not considering downside. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)3.49%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)2.20%
Homestead Value (HOVLX)1.91%
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)1.83%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)1.68%
Vanguard Value (VTV)1.65%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)1.64%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)1.53%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)1.10%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)0.98%
Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)0.64%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)0.63%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)-1.30%
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)-3.16%
Gold Short (DZZ)-4.63%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)-5.88%
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)-7.61%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)-9.18%
Bond Funds1mo %
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)2.16%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)1.55%
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)0.72%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)0.44%
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)0.25%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)-0.01%

November 2017 Performance Review

December 5, 2017
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

It doesn't seem like what you would want to do in the face of dead-end bonds and fast rising equities globally (not to mention the increasing likelihood of corporate tax cuts), but we may have to take the portfolio's risk levels down a bit soon. Hopefully a risk reduction will be contrarian and not stupid…but the two often walk hand-in-hand. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
Vanguard Value (VTV)3.52%
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)3.20%
Homestead Value (HOVLX)3.11%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)3.06%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)2.89%
Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)2.48%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)1.66%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)0.86%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)0.85%
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)0.41%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)0.40%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)0.18%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)0.16%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)-0.05%
Gold Short (DZZ)-0.53%
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)-1.39%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)-5.76%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)-9.81%
Bond Funds1mo %
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)2.11%
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)1.35%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)0.75%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)-0.17%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)-0.18%
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)-0.45%

October 2017 Performance Review

November 6, 2017
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

OK it's official: the market is overheating. What minor skittishness there was around the 30th anniversary of the 1987 crash evaporated faster than a Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler spilled on the hood of a VW Rabbit in the parking lot of a summer concert featuring Poison, Ratt, and Cinderella. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)12.20%
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)4.80%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)4.77%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)2.81%
Homestead Value (HOVLX)2.78%
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)2.63%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)2.44%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)2.32%
Gold Short (DZZ)1.99%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)1.87%
Vanguard Value (VTV)1.83%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)1.77%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)0.46%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)-0.79%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)-1.28%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)-1.55%
Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)-2.20%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)-9.27%
Bond Funds1mo %
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)0.80%
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)0.56%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)0.11%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)0.09%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)0.02%
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)-0.76%

September 2017 Performance Review

October 7, 2017
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

Stocks were hot and recent bond gains evaporated as investors moved back into risky assets. Interest rate sensitive stocks (like telecom and utilities) were down as well — 10-year treasury bond yields moved from just over 2% in early September to over 2.3% by the end of the month. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
Gold Short (DZZ)6.33%
Homestead Value (HOVLX)5.33%
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)4.83%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)3.53%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)3.22%
Vanguard Value (VTV)2.98%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)2.52%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)2.40%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)2.24%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)2.06%
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)1.25%
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)-0.29%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)-0.53%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)-0.78%
Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)-1.38%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)-3.24%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)-11.54%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)-15.70%
Bond Funds1mo %
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)1.20%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)-0.31%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)-0.54%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)-0.84%
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)-1.87%
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)-4.03%

August 2017 Performance Review

September 8, 2017
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

The portfolios had a good month relative to the benchmarks and Vanguard's total portfolio fund. With our gains in August we're almost neck and neck with a double-digit (for 2017) S&P 500 with significantly less downside risk. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)13.18%
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)4.41%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)3.05%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)2.90%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)2.13%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)1.78%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)1.48%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)1.27%
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)1.03%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)0.29%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)0.07%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)0.07%
Homestead Value (HOVLX)0.06%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)0.02%
Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)-0.23%
Vanguard Value (VTV)-0.47%
Gold Short (DZZ)-7.95%
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)-9.47%
Bond Funds1mo %
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)4.89%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)2.08%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)0.85%
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)0.74%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)0.64%
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)-0.03%

June 2017 Performance Review

August 2, 2017
Category: 
Powerfund Portfolios

Even with the drag of shorting and longer-term government bonds, we had a solid month against benchmarks with the extra boost from some foreign markets. Coincidentally, our conservative portfolio had the exact same return as our Vanguard Star fund benchmark, which is riskier than our conservative model portfolio. ...read the rest of this article»

Stock Funds1mo %
iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)8.33%
iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)7.05%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)5.31%
Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)4.13%
Vanguard Utilities (VPU)3.45%
Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)2.95%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)2.94%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)2.88%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)2.83%
iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)2.30%
[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)2.04%
Vanguard Value (VTV)1.54%
Homestead Value (HOVLX)1.45%
ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)-0.58%
Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)-1.76%
Gold Short (DZZ)-4.28%
Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)-6.02%
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)-16.75%
Bond Funds1mo %
SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)2.93%
Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)1.18%
Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)0.45%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)0.39%
[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)0.37%
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)-0.53%
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