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Old 08-01-2008, 09:43 AM   #21
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This thing is going to the moon.
Indeed.

So FDCaptain...did you get your moneys worth?
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:50 AM   #22
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Cute Fuzzy Bunny,

Wake me up when PRPFX starts trending down would ya.

You obviously have your opinion and you should let others have theirs. Why are you so negative and mean? That's not behaving like a Cute Fuzzy Bunny.

You will no doubt respond to this with some other "holier that thou" comments. For me, this conversation is over as it is not providing any benefit other than for you to puff your ego.

Good day!
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:14 AM   #23
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Its negative and mean to point out that a particular fund may not be a good investment choice or that you should at least understand it fully and then make sure it does what its supposed to do before putting down your hard earned money?

I'm not expressing an opinion as much as stating facts. The fund says it exists to maintain the value of principal and grow it reasonably without taking on too much risk.

The fund didnt maintain the value of its principal nor grow it from 1987 through 2004. Inflation adjusted it lost money, while charging 1% expenses and creating a lot of taxable events.

From 2004 to current, it demonstrated extreme volatility upwards.

In short, about as far from its stated intention as you could get.

One could have invested in vanguards wellesley fund during the same period and actually gotten low volatility, principal stability and reasonable growth without a lot of risk. A $10k investment in 1987 would be worth $60,000. Invested in PRPFX you'd have $35000.

But if you really want some comment thats aside from good advice and readily available fact, how about that I put you on my ignore list after your third post about six months ago?
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:20 AM   #24
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One could have invested in vanguards wellesley fund during the same period and actually gotten low volatility, principal stability and reasonable growth without a lot of risk. A $10k investment in 1987 would be worth $60,000. Invested in PRPFX you'd have $35000.
Psst....
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:27 AM   #25
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Psst....
Love my Wellesley!! Not that it's for everybody, but


Psst....Wellesley!
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:31 AM   #26
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Its never fun to tell someone that their dog's ugly.

Lets look at a pretty picture of the five funds I mentioned, and remember that the average expense ratio you'd pay for this is ~.25% instead of .95%+

Couple of steady performers, couple of rockets. One or two showing a little volatility at any given time but bought and viewed as a package, very little volatility. Far better returns, weighing in at about 16.5% annualized. The permanent portfolio is that black line down near the bottom that seems to be doing nothing very interesting.

And as a package they've always been good performers. Not just for the last 5 years.

Oh, and once again "buy low, sell high"...

Perhaps it'd be more constructive if you described why you'd expect the fund to do as well over the next 5 years as it has over the last 5, or maybe even explained why its done well over the last 5?

I'm also guessing that with 37% turnover per year, PRPFX isnt a lot of fun to hold in a taxable account.
I cannot read the funds on the graphic. Maybe it's my new glasses, but cannot make the funds out on the right.

FWIW, I do not put any long term money in PRPFX, I only put money in which has a shorter than 15 year timeframe- a timeline which suggests any large (>30%) equity position is too much risk.

I consider this a place to put cash I need, just not now, and will return between 6-7%. That return is higher than any CD or money market, but below what I expect the market to return (if market was only returning 6% long term, I think most of us would be looking at other places to put money).

The 25% position in gold definitely changes the chart on this fund relative to any other fund you compare it to. Much of the recent return can be attributed to the run up in gold.

Agree ER is higher than what I normally pay too (all other funds I own are less than 1%). Most are below .75%.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:46 AM   #27
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FWIW, I do not put any long term money in PRPFX, I only put money in which has a shorter than 15 year timeframe- a timeline which suggests any large (>30%) equity position is too much risk.
Would you then be surprised to find out that PRPFX has almost 37% of its assets in equities (per morningstar), more than Wellesley has?

Quote:
I consider this a place to put cash I need, just not now, and will return between 6-7%. That return is higher than any CD or money market, but below what I expect the market to return (if market was only returning 6% long term, I think most of us would be looking at other places to put money).
Did you know that PRPFX holds 13.3% in cash instruments earning less than available cd rates?

Excepting the last few years, the funds annualized returns are well less than 6-7%.

Its my opinion (heres the opinion part) that the fund wont sustain a return of 6-7% a year going forward. Theres nowhere for that sort of return to come from. And if it does, that'll pretty much mean the US economy is pretty much completely off the rails, down the gully, and into a murky lake. Full of alligators and the creature from the black lagoon.

It means that the dollar would be practically worthless, the US economy destabilized, and investors running in wide eyed fear of their lives and property.

In that case you could have ten million dollars worth of this fund, and good luck getting your money out of it or doing anything with it if you can.

If it goes the other way and oil, the dollar and gold RTM, you'll lose your shirt while US equities go ballistic.

Good luck.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:41 AM   #28
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Indeed.

So FDCaptain...did you get your moneys worth?

Reminds me of the firehouse.....I love it.
Spirited debate on tactics!

Glad to learn from all posters.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:15 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Its my opinion (heres the opinion part) that the fund wont sustain a return of 6-7% a year going forward. Theres nowhere for that sort of return to come from. And if it does, that'll pretty much mean the US economy is pretty much completely off the rails, down the gully, and into a murky lake. Full of alligators and the creature from the black lagoon.
Good luck.
I do feel PRPFX will handily return better than the 12.91% as they have over the last 5 years (the 6-7% goes so far back they were trading in beaver skins).

Also, I do not rule out the possibility that in the future "the US economy is pretty much completely off the rails, down the gully, and into a murky lake. Full of alligators and the creature from the black lagoon" given the potential that Obama may crawl up from that lagoon and put us all in the care of the welfare state.

Be very careful of what you wish for.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:29 PM   #30
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Jeez and I thought you said the conversation was over!

When the fund was incepted (1982) I'm pretty sure beaver skins werent any longer considered a good currency.

Since you must not be able to see the charts I posted above, let me help with the actual numbers. From its inception through about 2004 the fund tended to return an average of around 3.5-4% a year. For a very healthy 8 year stretch it lost money or went sideways. The 6.7% is annualized since inception but almost half of that came from its performance over the last 4 years.

Good luck with your fund. I think you're gonna need it. I just read a very interesting profile analysis that estimated a 5% return this year with an upside of 28% and a downside of 35%.

Gotta love those "low volatility" funds.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:39 AM   #31
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Jeez and I thought you said the conversation was over!
And, I though you had me on ignore? I liked it better when you did.

Look, I do not know why you have such a burr under your saddle regarding PRPFX. I do not care. All I am saying is that PRPFX is a great alternative to TIPS, CDs, etc for a person seeking moderate returns with very limited risk.

There are a lot of people on this board who are very conservative in their investing. That is good! But, you do not need to suffer with CD-like rates when there are other alternatives out there.

In a recent thread on the ER board asking what YTD returns people were experiencing, a lot of people replied anywhere from -5% to -15% YTD. Do you not think they would welcome a fund that is actually up almost 5% YTD? Do they really care what a fund did 20 years ago?

When your investment can get 12.91% annual returns over the last 5 years with only 3 negative quarters, you can sleep pretty well at night.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:53 AM   #32
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I liked it better when I wasnt clicking on "view post" too.

I dont have a burr under my saddle about the fund. Its just painfully obvious that a lot of people dont understand the fund, what it invests in, what those investments are good for, and they dont have very good expectations. But that hasnt stopped them from buying in and then exhorting others to do the same.

For conservative investors, this fund contains a lot of speculative elements that just ran up a lot in price. They could just as easily run back down.

Who cares about 20 year old results? Gosh, many people here rely on Firecalcs analysis of data from the last 140+ years to determine their potential success. In fact I'd propose that someone who buys investments base purely on their 5 year trailing results is a few courses short of having a clue about investing.

Do you imagine the folks who bought a bunch of QQQQ's in early 2000 after seeing them go up 400% over the prior 5 years slept well at night? How do you think they were doing around 2002?

One last time: buy low, sell high.

I dont really expect to change your mind since the facts seem to be getting in the way of what you think. But I'd sure like to make sure other people take the time to look at investments like this and walk away with knowledge and good expectations. Not just look at the last five years performance, get excited and throw their money into it.

Here's the section from the funds prospectus regarding risk. Note that the current level of highly volatile elements of this fund (gold, silver, real estate, equity, currency) is well in excess of 60%.

Not exactly a CD. My favorite part is down at the bottom where they note that if a bunch of people sell the fund all at once, they might pay you in the gold coins the fund is holding instead of cash. I wonder if you have to show up somewhere to get your bag of coins or if they ship them to your house?



"Principal Investment Risks. An investment in the Permanent Portfolio is not guaranteed; you may lose money by investing in the Permanent Portfolio. Even if the Permanent Portfolio does achieve its investment objective over the long term, it is subject to the risk of suffering substantial short-term losses from time to time, because investment prices generally respond to changes in the pattern of inflation with lags and delays that are impossible to foresee. The principal risks of investing in the Permanent Portfolio are:

• Risks of investments in gold and silver – gold and silver generate no interest or dividends, offering only the potential for price appreciation. Investments in gold and silver are subject to special risk considerations, including substantial price fluctuations over short periods of time, and are affected by various factors, such as economic conditions, political events and monetary policies.

• Risks of investments in Swiss franc assets – the Swiss franc is subject to the risk that inflation will decrease in the United States, or rise in Switzerland. Swiss government bonds are subject to some risk of default, and their credit quality is not rated by U.S. rating agencies.

• Risks of investments in real estate and natural resource companies – any decline in the general level of prices of oil or real estate would be expected to have an adverse impact on these stocks. The prices of such stocks are particularly vulnerable to decline in the event of deflationary economic conditions.

• Risks of investments in aggressive growth stocks – investments in aggressive growth stocks are subject to both market risk and capitalization risk. Market risk is the risk that the value of the Portfolio’s investments will fluctuate as the stock market fluctuates and that prices overall will decline for short- or long-term periods. Aggressive growth stock investments are subject to greater market risk of price declines, especially during periods when the prices of U.S. stock market investments in general are declining. Capitalization risk is the risk that investment in companies with smallto
mid-capitalization tend to be more volatile than investments in large-capitalization companies. The Portfolio’s investments in small- and mid-capitalization companies may have additional risks because such
companies often have limited product lines, smaller customer bases and fewer financial resources than larger companies.

• Risks of investments in Dollar assets – investments in U.S. Treasury securities are subject to interest rate risk. This is the risk that changes in interest rates will affect the value of the Portfolio’s investment in U.S. Treasury securities. Prices of U.S. Treasury securities fall when prevailing interest rates rise. Price fluctuations of long-term U.S. Treasury securities are greater than price fluctuations for shorter term U.S. Treasury securities, and may be as extensive as the price fluctuations of common stock. Investments in corporate bonds are subject to both interest rate risk
and credit risk. See “Principal Investment Risks” for the Versatile Bond Portfolio below for a discussion of these risks.

• Risks of investing in foreign and emerging markets – many foreign stock markets are not as developed or efficient as those in the U.S., and securities of some foreign issuers may be less liquid and more volatile than securities of
comparable United States companies. In general, there is less overall governmental supervision and regulation of securities exchanges, brokers, banks and listed companies; less publicly available information about securities; and accounting and auditing standards often may be less strict and less reliable than in the United States.

• Risks of in-kind redemptions – to avoid liability for corporate federal income tax, the Portfolio must, among other things, derive at least 90% of its gross income each year from items including interest, dividends and gains on sales
of securities. Gains on sales of gold and silver by the Permanent Portfolio would not qualify as “gains on sales of securities.” Consequently, profitable sales of gold and silver (as might be required for the Permanent Portfolio to
adhere to its Target Percentages) could subject the Portfolio to liability for corporate federal income tax. To try to reduce this potential adverse tax result, the Fund may require redeeming shareholders in the Permanent Portfolio to accept readily tradable gold or silver bullion or coins from the Portfolio’s holdings in complete or partial payment of redemptions, if it can satisfy a federal tax law provision that permits it to do so without recognizing gain. See “Redemption of Shares–In-Kind Redemptions” below."
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:47 AM   #33
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I liked it better when I wasnt clicking on "view post" too.
I liked it better when you weren't clicking the "submit reply" button.

Anyone who has read any prospectus knows that they are filled with Risk Statements. Nothing different, or inherently more risky, with PRPFX.

I really do not care what you, or anyone else does with their money. Obviously, the consistent and stable returns of PRPFX are not for you. Especially since your crystal ball is so clear as to the future. So, continue to clutch your CDs and TIPS or whatever investment you are comfortable with. Afterall, there is an investment choice for everyone.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:49 AM   #34
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Seriously, 100% PRPFX in a va. You'll all thank me later. There will be no revision to the mean with this one; it's going to the moon.
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:08 PM   #35
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I liked it better when you weren't clicking the "submit reply" button.
ME TOO!

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Anyone who has read any prospectus knows that they are filled with Risk Statements. Nothing different, or inherently more risky, with PRPFX.
Ah, so all funds are of similar risk? A fund full of commodities, currency hedges and fairly high risk stocks is just like a money market?

Would you mind if I put that statement in the #2 spot on my list of most ridiculous things ever said about investing?

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consistent and stable returns
Huh. Show me the consistent and/or stable parts. Goes nowhere for 20 years and then goes up a lot for a couple of years. Nothing stable or consistent about it, unless you mean almost consistently bad, followed by almost consistently unstable.

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your crystal ball is so clear as to the future
I have no such ability. But I'm a bit too smart to invest in anything without understanding its holdings, their risk and return levels, and making an informed decision about it.

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So, continue to clutch your CDs and TIPS or whatever investment you are comfortable with.
Well, I do have some 6.25% cds, but I'm afraid I have no TIPS.

Quote:
Afterall, there is an investment choice for everyone.
Even for the financially naive, apparently.
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:36 PM   #36
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i like permanent portfolio, its equally diversified against the major economic possibilities we can have. its not a growth fund its a capital preservation fund. if the fund makes more than 6 or 7% consider it a bonus.

while buying other asset classes may offer similiar returns the one economic scenerio most funds miss is deflation/depression...... the long term treasuries cover that aspect and thats what seperates this fund from others

the fund is a bet on everything and a bet on nothing. all economic events
recession
deflation
inflation
prosperity

all get equal weighting. under worst case scenerios typically any class loooses as much as 50% while offestting classes can triple if conditions warrent it.......
basically this is the fund i own which i put my money of last resort in so i can let the rest of my portfolios bet on the prosperity we have had since ive been in the markets since the 80's. this is a fund that is designed to hold money in bullet proof form,even cash cant do that.

for the diversification the fund provides the costs are fairly low. i used to pay fidelity a yearly fee for just storing my gold coins in the bank of delaware and for insurance.

its a fund that most likly will never have to say im sorry
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:47 PM   #37
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Why dont you explain what the diversifications are and how they're expected to work, in particular why its gone up the last 5 years and why it might continue to go up at this magic 6-7% rate in the future?

Then explain how the fund is a capital preservation fund when it lost money for 20 years when inflation was factored in. It was a stable PRICE fund for quite some time. You'd have done better in a money market or a short term bond fund until around 2004.

Seems its historically not reacted to any of the mentioned economic events at all. And its recent couple of years run up were not during a time of deflation or excess inflation, a mixed bag of prosperity and no recession.

As far as I can see, it went up because gold shot up, and because the dollar dropped. Gold went up seemingly uncorrelated to anything, along with a lot of other commodities. I still havent heard anyone come up with a good explanation for that.

Things that go up inexplicably often go down inexplicably. I like explicable investments. Earnings, interest, growth. Not "some funky mixed bag of crazy stuff that may or may not react in a certain manner to specific economic stimulus, which so far hasnt really been evident but since theres so much crazy stuff in there, something good has got to happen to some of it. at least in the last couple of years is has!". Oh, and dont read the prospectus. Those are full of BS anyhow.

Also, since the dollar has dropped in value, your improved fund value if cashed out would be worth less from the inherent devaluation.

Basically whats going to happen with this fund at some point is gold will drop (inexplicably, as usual), the dollar will pop and the fund value will plunge, people will start bailing out and the fund will end up sending bags of gold coins to the investors.
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:58 PM   #38
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looks just fine to me,, gets even better the last 10 years when the s&p returned less than a treasury bill.


1970 + 4.1%
1980 + 22.1%
1990 – 0 .7%
2000 + 2.7%
1971 + 13.4%
1981 – 6.2%
1991 + 11.5%
2001 – 1.0%
1972 + 18.7%
1982 + 23.3%
1992 + 4.0%
2002 + 7.2%
1973 + 10.6%
1983 + 4.3%
1993 + 12.6%
2003 + 11.8%
1974 + 12.3%
1984 + 1.1%
1994 – 2 .4%
2004
1975 + 3.7%
1985 + 20.1%
1995 + 16.6%
2005
1976 + 10.1%
1986 + 21.7%
1996 + 5.2%
2006
1977 + 5.2%
1987 + 5.3%
1997 + 6.7%

1978 + 15.0%
1988 + 3.6%
1998 + 7.4%

1979 + 36.7%
1989 + 14.8%
1999 + 4.7%
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:02 PM   #39
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looks even better last 10 years

The Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:32 PM   #40
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It's an absolute return strategy diversifier. What is so hard to grasp about that and why do people have such a burr in their britches against it? It has been too expensive for me in the past but with their price tag dropping under 1%, it will now be a diversifier for me. You can do it more cheaply through ETF's {about 20 bps} but keeping it in line is more work than I wish to do on a small piece of my portfolio.

I also use Hussman Strategic Growth as an absolute return piece, TIP's, real estate and natural resources/commodities as real asset diversifiers. Index funds both domestic and foreign make up a lions share of the pie and my wife's TIAA GIC makes up our "traditional bond" piece of the pie {a consistent 5.5'ish%}.

33% domestic equities
22% international equities
15% GIC
30% diversifiers

I expect to underperform good markets, outperform bad markets with reasonably low volatility and sleeping well at night.

Everyone here has to know their comfort level. This is mine.
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