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March 2015 Performance Review

March was a pretty lousy month for stocks globally. The 2015 market is turning out to be a little topsy-turvy, with quick rebounds and drops. Our Conservativeportfolio moved more or less with the markets, while our more uniquely positioned Aggressive portfolio bucked the benchmarks with a nice gain, giving us a decent spread of about 4% over the S&P 500 thus far in 2015.

Oil’s Well That Ends Well

The primary reason for our trade on 3/13 and 3/16 was to cut back on our oil short, DB Crude Oil Double Short ETN (DTO), which has performed very well in the Powerfund Portfolios, even without a collapse in either the global economy or the stock markets. We wanted to get out of utilities and floating rate junk bonds and also to use the recent major slide in the euro to get back into foreign bonds after a long hiatus. We rebalanced the portfolios a little, too. 

Trade Alert!

We're throwing open the windows, sweeping the floors, and tidying up both Powerfund portfolios with big spring cleaning trades in each. We're cutting back on a speculative short fund that's produced some of our biggest gains ever. We're waving goodbye to a fund we've held twice since 2003. And we're saying hello to a brand new position in an international bond fund of mystery - a fund category we ditched years ago when the Euro was riding high. Read all about it by clicking here.

February 2015 Performance Review

What the interest rate gods giveth in January, they taketh away in February. The S&P rebounded to new highs, and we're even breaking through Nasdaq 5,000 again—just like we did in March, 2000! The reality of fabulous tech earnings growth finally caught up with NASDAQ prices of 15 years ago. 

January 2015 Performance Review

So far, so good. 2015 is off to a nice start. At least for us. The S&P 500 was down 3% while both of our portfolios were up just over 2%. That's a 5% performance gap, and it's only been four weeks.

December 2014 Performance Review

Another year is in the can, and what a year it was. On the surface, 2014 was a great one: the economy ended on a high note and the U.S. stock market shook off a late-year slide to post a 13.51% 12-month return. This on top of the bond market's near 6% gain (and 2014 was supposed to be the year of the great bond collapse). How could an investor perform poorly in such an environment? All too easily, it turns out.

Commodity Collapse

We’ve learned something in 2014. Commodity investing is dead. Long live the information economy. Oh, real assets, we hardly knew ye!

November 2014 Performance Review

The U.S. stock market, fueled at least partially by (what now seems like) permanently low interest rates and a lack of investment opportunity abroad, is on to new highs again. The strange thing is that oil is plunging, non-U.S. economies are weak, and recent Black Friday sales were lackluster. You'd almost think we were in another global recession. 

Watch Out For Winners and Bill Gross Wannabes

Using past performance to pick your investments doesn’t usually work. You’ve heard this all before. It’s not a guarantee of future returns, yada, yada, yada…But what's a poor investor who still believes in the virtues of good old-fashioned stock and bond picking supposed to do? Choose funds with bad returns?

October 2014 Performance Review

And poof it was gone. So much for our stock market correction, which abruptly reversed course a mere month after its start and before it became a 10% "correction" (at least for U.S. stocks). The recovery was slightly faster than the drop, and as of now has taken the stock market a tad higher than the previous peak of September 18th.