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WHAT'S NEW? Our Latest Updates!

August 2003 performance review

August saw the Conservative portfolio move up just shy of 1%. The bigger movers included the Vanguard Dividend Growth fund, up 2.35% and the newly added Pictet International Small Company fund, up 5.7%. This latter fund is a bit risky, but the relatively small position keeps it from generating too much risk to the portfolio.

Great Expectations

Investors these days expect a lot from the companies they are buying stock in over coming years – earnings have to grow to meet current high expectations. Investor’s expectations tend to be wrong, not just about earnings and stock prices, but about Wall Street in general. Look no further then the scandals of recent years.

July 2003 performance review

For the month of July the Conservative portfolio slipped 1.25%. our worst showing of any of our model portfolios. The culprit: one of the lousiest months on record for bonds (the conservative portfolio is bond heavy). Most of the punishment was in longer-term government bonds, which were down almost 10% for the month. We don’t own much of these types of bonds, so the damage was somewhat blunted for us.

Changes

At the end of July we made some changes to the model portfolios. We mentioned this was coming in our last newsletter, and alerted subscribers to the actual changes when we made them.

June 2003 performance review

Our Conservative portfolio was essentially flat, up just .36% in June. The weak link was international bonds, which have been among the strongest asset classes over the last year or so.

How We Manage

All of our model portfolios are up since we launched them at the beginning of April 2002 save one, the Daredevil portfolio (our most risky) which is down 1.2%. We’re satisfied with this performance as the Dow, S&P 500, and NASDAQ are still down 12.42%, 13.4%, and 12.47% respectively in the same period. 

July 2003 Trade Alert!

We are lightening up a bit on stocks and increasing our bond positions with shorter maturities and higher credit profiles in each of our model portfolios. These changes lower overall risk and lock in gains made from above-target stock allocations and bond durations over the last year.

May 2003 performance review

The Conservative portfolio was up 5% in May, beating April’s return of 3.31%, which had been the largest return in a month since we started the portfolio. The Portfolio is now up 9% since its April ’01 inception. We’re pleased with this return considering the fact that the stock market as a whole is down 20% for the same period.

C.O.S.T.S.

We’ve had a remarkable streak of choosing funds for our model portfolios that, soon after our allocating them, were either closed to new investors or were purchased by other fund families and converted to load funds.

April 2003 performance review

The Conservative portfolio made its biggest one month move to date, up 3.3%. Bonds and stocks were both strong this month and didn’t cancel each other out like they have in other months. Every fund in the portfolio was up this month. As we mentioned in this months newsletter, this type of convergence can raise risk.