Portfolio Update – October and November 2021 – Strategic Rebalancing

It is December, and this is a period when most investors usually end up overseeing their portfolio allocations to start fresh in the coming year, and preforming periodical rebalancing.

While most just rebalance mechanically back to the original asset weights, we will be looking at whether rebalancing can be carried out in a way that improves returns and minimizes drawdowns when compared to both buy-and-hold strategies, as well as periodical rebalancing.

Many investors – both retail investors investing their personal wealth, and asset managers with millions in AUM – usually employ calendar rebalancing of a portfolio. This could be the quarterly rebalancing of a mutual fund, or that the retail investor sits down annually for a few hours during the Christmas holidays ahead of the new year to rebalance the portfolio.

Such periodical rebalancing is built on the fundament of mean reversion. It essentially sells the winners of the past period, and buys the losers. Over time, this is from where a rebalancing premium is captured when your portfolio consists of several uncorrelated assets. All Seasons Portfolios are a typical such portfolio that benefits from the rebalancing premium.

However, Man Group has researched strategic rebalancing techniques that could mitigate drawdowns through more bespoke methods for rebalancing. Their discussed techniques cover both the periodical rebalancings, as well as mid-period rebalancing when assets’ weights in portfolios deviate by more than a predetermined amount (rebalancing spans).

The retail investor should therefore consider the implications of trend and momentum both for periodical rebalancing and ad hoc rebalancing when using rebalancing spans, and implement a strategic rebalancing approach to further improve risk-adjusted return by minimizing drawdowns and thus the overall portfolio volatility, and potentially capture additional percentage points of return from trend.

In this post, we will be looking at a few ways of how to implement strategic rebalancing for your portfolio. I will also especially highlight the ways I have taken strategic rebalancing to heart in my All Seasons Portfolio.

Continue Reading Portfolio Update – October and November 2021 – Strategic Rebalancing

Portfolio Update – September 2021 – Why The 60/40 Portfolio Is Not Balanced

When it comes to the All Seasons Portfolio strategy, or any other risk parity strategy for that matter, one of the fundamental ingredients is how to allocate the capital between assets in the portfolio based on risk rather than capital.

Why this is important, or even why bother doing it at all, is a question I get quite often. I think therefore it is time to have a closer look at risk parity portfolio allocation principles. Here I mean the reason for why the allocation to the assets is based on their risk (volatility) rather than equal weight based on capital.

In this article, for a comprehensible description, we will be examining a simple two-asset portfolio to illustrate the importance of weighting assets based on risk rather than capital. For this example, I will be using a 60/40 Portfolio consisting of 60% stocks and 40% bonds, as this is popularly (and erroneously) considered as a “balanced portfolio”, and as this is a portfolio allocation strategy among both retail and institutional investors.

Continue Reading Portfolio Update – September 2021 – Why The 60/40 Portfolio Is Not Balanced

Portfolio Update – July 2020 – The value of currency hedging

  • Worst month for the US Dollar in more than a decade: how it impacts European investors and how to protect against currency risk
  • Monthly portfolio update: Fairly stable month: impacted by negative currency movements
  • Book tip: Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises by Ray Dalio (link at the bottom of the post)
  • In case you missed it: I have ditched all intermediate-term bonds

Hope you are having a good summer so far, even though I am guessing it is spent quite close to home this year. Unlike others here in the Nordics, I have worked through July, and will have my vacation from mid-August instead. Looking forward to get some time off to read about investing.

I am really pleased to see that there seems to be great interest out there for low-volatility investing and balanced asset portfolio allocations. I strongly believe that the past decade has made stock investing feel easy, but there are more risk in it that you might have thought. Over the long term, the economy, and thus the financial markets, experiences big shifts in the long-term cycle. Now, total debt levels to GDP are at extreme levels not seen since the Great Depression.

This ratio is enhanced by decreasing GDP world-wide due to lockdowns and increased debt to cope with the effects of the coronavirus. Are we nearing the end of the long term debt cycle and are nearing a great deleveraging that must ensue thereafter? According to Ray Dalio, we were nearing the end of the long-term debt cycle even a year before the Covid-19 outbreak hit the markets, as he describes in a video posted by Yahoo Finance from early 2019.

That is quite scary when you think of it, and if I was heavily invested in stocks, I would be terrified. Luckily, several assets in the All Seasons Portfolio and a balanced portfolio will protect against such downturn. You will find a link to Ray Dalio's book Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises (2018) at the end of this post. If you have not read this already - it is now more relevant than ever.

Even though it is interesting, that is not the main topic for the day. Instead, we will be discussing EUR Hedged investing.

Continue Reading Portfolio Update – July 2020 – The value of currency hedging

Portfolio Update – June 2020 – We’re In The Clear: Shift To Stocks! But Not Really…

  • Summary of June 2020 in the economy - Stock market is still uncertain
  • Monthly portfolio update: Fairly stable month: long-term bonds down, stocks, gold and commodities up
  • Book tip: Balanced Asset Allocation: How to Profit in Any Economic Climate by Alex Shahidi (link at the bottom of the post)
  • In case you missed it: Deep Dive post about how to hedge against inflation on my Patreon page was published earlier in June

I am so glad that you have found your way to my June portfolio update of the All Seasons Portfolio blog. It is a rainy afternoon here in Stockholm that I am writing this in early July. Still keeping social distancing and working from home quite a lot. Hoping to see a change soon, for the benefit of all fellow Europeans. We really need to get the economy going again, as I am sure you agree. Hope you have been able to keep your job though.

This month, I have come to the conclusion that the time for stocks is now, at least if you look at what is going on in the markets. Not sure if I am convinced this is the way we are heading, so I prefer to diversify my portfolio properly.

The stock market have bounced back from the steepest downturn in memory, and what looks like the shortest recession in history if you only look at the stock market development. The stock market is almost back at similar levels to where they were before all hell broke loose in February, regardless but S&P 500 saw almost flat development over June with +1.8%. Mostly, the climb in stocks were driven by tech and "stay at home" companies, as Nasdaq composite rose 6% over the month.

On top of that, central banks and governments over the world are launching new stimulus packages by the week, as we covered in last month's update. The two acronyms TINA and FOMO are the main forces driving the markets upwards. As a reminder, these stand for "There Is No Alternative" and "Fear Of Missing Out", meaning that investors see that there is no alternative to stocks to achieve return, and investors are afraid to be left at the station if they do not jump on the train as soon as possible. Both of these are driving great amount of money into the stock market, increasing demand.

Continue Reading Portfolio Update – June 2020 – We’re In The Clear: Shift To Stocks! But Not Really…

Portfolio Update – March 2020 – Have you been taking too much risk?

  • Reading tips on how the All Seasons Portfolio Strategy has developed during the coronavirus bear market
  • Have you been taking too much risk as an investor?
  • The monthly portfolio update - Stocks still down, gold is up again
  • A lesson learned from a mistake I made on choosing my Long Term Government Bond ETF.

Hi, and happy to have you back for another monthly update!

Here in Sweden, as you may have heard, our government are taking a different approach than the rest of Europe. I don't condone how they are treating it, but I have been working from home for more than 3 weeks now (and counting), doing my part in not spreading the virus further. We are all in this together and everyone has a responsibility to limit the spreading.

And now down to business. Another month has passed with heavy impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus on the financial markets. There is so much that could be written on the coronavirus outbreak and its effects on the economy, and honestly, it is way more than can reasonably be covered in this blog post.

I will, however, share how it has impacted my portfolio so far, some personal observations, and also reflect on risk taking, as I believe many retail investors have been in over their heads on the stock market in recent years and only now get a glimpse of what risk means. And of course, I will share the usual monthly portfolio update.

Continue Reading Portfolio Update – March 2020 – Have you been taking too much risk?

Portfolio Update – February 2020 – Coping financially after the corona virus

  • Corona update: All Seasons Portfolio development was -3.46% 21 Feb to 6 Mar, compared to -14.33 All-World Stocks
  • Bonds helping to avoid the worst drawdown
  • Stocks, gold and commodities in negative territories, while gold has gained back some losses during the beginning of March
  • All Seasons Portfolio Strategy shows its value during shaky markets; it is good to diversify across asset classes to decrease portfolio risk
  • After these few weeks, my confidence in the strategy remains strong

Hi and welcome back,

Let's cut to the chase straight away - it is during special circumstance that I write this month's portfolio update. February har been a rocky month all over the world and asset types. I am sure you have felt the effects of the spread of the corona virus Covid19 in your portfolio. I guess that you are also very curious about how the All Seasons Portfolio has performed during a time when the VIX index, which measures market volatility, has reached 54 (so far)?

Have you been at all curious how the All Seasons Portfolio strategy has worked out in the middle of the corona outbreak and the worries on the financial markets? Luckily, that is what I have set out to answer this month.

Considering that the All Seasons Portfolio is designed with the thought in mind that it should withstand the volatility on the stock market, my portfolio should have fared quite well? That is what I will answer in this month's portfolio update.

The layout of today's post will be that first, we will look at the past two weeks specifically how the All Seasons Portfolio has managed the risks of the corona outbreak and the volatility on the markets. We'll go through each asset classes and look into the day-by-day development of my All Seasons Portfolio. Lastly, we will look at the month-by-month portfolio updates as we always do.

Read more to find out how my portfolio has been impacted by the bear market caused by the corona virus.

Continue Reading Portfolio Update – February 2020 – Coping financially after the corona virus