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Asset Allocation Sentiments
Old 07-11-2007, 08:17 AM   #1
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Asset Allocation Sentiments

Hi All,

I'm new to the Forum but don't feel like it since I've been reading and learning now for several months. I'm up to around page 210 of postings (a lot of time on my hands here at work). The information gathered has been valuable.

I'm 46 and at a WR of 4.6% and am looking to RE next Spring. I currently work for a bank and each week buried on the Company Intranet is a "Portfolio Manager Commentary" in which "Current Sentiment" towards Asset Allocation components are given. For example, Large Cap Equities are "Favorable", Small Cap Equity are "Neutral", International Equity are "Favorable", etc and a little verbage supporting those sentiments. I've relied on this information in the past but once I retire, this information will not be available to me. Could anyone offer a website that would provide similar information?

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:39 AM   #2
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I think it's safe to say that most posters here would agree that shifting allocations based on the interpretation of current conditions by a market expert is likely to result in poorer results than a simple "buy & hold" strategy using diversified low-cost index funds or life-cycle funds.

You might want to read "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" or "The Four Pillars of Investment", or at least look over some of the tutorials on the Moneychimp website before you continue to search for a credible market forecaster.

Why Invest in Index Funds?

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Old 07-11-2007, 11:40 AM   #3
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I think that type of information is short sighted and viewed as timing in some circles.

I have a long term allocation

99% equity, 1% bonds (bond grows by 1% every 6 months)

74% domestic, 25% international

44% large cap
15% mid cap
15% small cap
15% international large cap
10% international small cap

and stick with that allocation going forward. When I retire I'll downsize each by about 5% into cash and bonds.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:09 PM   #4
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I recommend you read Bogle's common sense investing book. He (and more and more, I) believes that the best approach is to buy the whole market and do essentially nothing else for a long, long time. Your only allocation decision is stocks v. bonds. I am vastly oversimplifying this, but that's the essence.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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You don't work for MorganStanley do you? The "current sentiment" passed out is total crap. Look at the track record of that for past years. It is financial porn. Your investments and asset allocation will do better by not reading any of it.

Read something like The Four Pillars of Investing and All About Asset Allocation. Get away from bank provided porn.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
You don't work for MorganStanley do you? The "current sentiment" passed out is total crap. Look at the track record of that for past years. It is financial porn. Your investments and asset allocation will do better by not reading any of it.

Read something like The Four Pillars of Investing and All About Asset Allocation. Get away from bank provided porn.
He's new, care to be a little nicer??
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer View Post
I've relied on this information in the past but once I retire, this information will not be available to me. Could anyone offer a website that would provide similar information?

Thanks!
I believe you could write "Favorable", "Neutral", "Unfavorable", "Highly Favorable",
"Highly Unfavorable", and "Outlook cloudy, ask again later" on a dice, then just
roll it once/quarter to get an outlook just as accurate for each asset class.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:18 PM   #8
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Although I read the commentary weekly, the section on asset allocation rarely changes and I *may* change my allocation once a year - just depends - generally on the "sentiment". It's worked okay for me in the past.

Going forward into retirement I just do not know where to look for this general commentary and was thinking there'd be something similar on the web. After searching *I've* been unable to find anything and was wanting to see if anyone else had a recommendation.

I work for a regional bank based in the Southeast.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:27 PM   #9
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Welcome to the board, Eng.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer View Post
It's worked okay for me in the past.
Well, that's one heckuva strong endorsement! I'm curious what attracted your faith in this particular commentary more than any of the thousands of others out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer View Post
Going forward into retirement I just do not know where to look for this general commentary and was thinking there'd be something similar on the web. After searching *I've* been unable to find anything and was wanting to see if anyone else had a recommendation.
Is the lack of this commentary going to keep you from ER'ing? Because if you're going to ER without it then I'm not sure that I understand why it's relevant to your ER. And if you don't feel comfortable ER'ing without it then you might want to build up the ER portfolio until you feel you can life without it.

Or you could take a trial subscription to Mark Hulbert's ranking of investment newsletters. Maybe you'll find what you're looking for in his rankings. And again, if the cost of Hulbert or of his recommended newsletter would cause you to delay ER, then maybe it's worth rethinking this whole commentary idea.
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:07 PM   #10
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Mark Hulbert's newsletter is available for free at many libraries, and a single trial issue might also be free.
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Old 07-11-2007, 04:22 PM   #11
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I'm all for rebalancing but my nerves wouldn't handle changing my AA once a year based on some "experts" comments. Don't know if I would call that market timing or gambling or something else??
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Old 07-11-2007, 07:25 PM   #12
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Standard and Poors publishes the weekly The Outlook which is available either online or at your local library. My broker makes it available free in the research area of its web site. It has "general commentary" that might fulfill your wishes to read something. Check it out.
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