Is This Your Portfolio?

 WHERE YOU SHOULD STAND TODAY.  The Ideal Portfolio (another Schwartz View).

 Yep, let me offer up one man’s view of what the ideal portfolio should be today and why:


·         Very minimal exposure to the stock market!  This major, modern day margin call on institutional investors is causing havoc.  I’ve likened this margin call to the one which wiped out many individual investors quickly back after the 1929 stock market crash, only this time around its institutional investors getting slaughtered and thus the process of meeting their margin calls is being stretched out.  All are deleveraging their portfolios big time and since the securitized investments killing them are so opaque and illiquid, it’s a terrible, long, drawn out process.

·         Where you do have exposure, have some in the Energy Service sector.  Business is going to remain strong and money is going to funnel into this sector as long as oil stays up there, even if oil tanks 50%.  The world is in now in a new competitive battle to secure our energy futures.  Thus companies which help countries like Brazil find and produce oil should do well.

·         Where you can, hedge your long stock exposure.  One does this by having some inverse mutual funds and/or ETFs (exchange traded funds).  Happily today, investors have access to this modern day invention of being able to go short (bet on declines) with inverse investments.  You just buy a fund or ETF which goes up as the market goes down.  I would recommend having small inverse positions, especially in financials.  This allows you to ride through a day like yesterday knowing that a part of your portfolio is rising while your long positions are falling.  The next day you check your portfolio’s value and see how you did.  That’s what I do each morning.  Say the stock market fell -3.00%, like yesterday, & your account lost just -0.20% like my ProFunds managed account did you might figure your hedge is just right.  Just tinker with the hedge until you get it right.

·         Hold NO BONDS.  I’ve been recommending this for some time now.  Yes, we may get a deflationary collapse at the end of this 25 year “too much of everything” Kondratieff disinflationary economic backdrop we’ve been in since former Fed chairman Paul Volker broke the back of runaway inflation in the early 1980s.  But the world is now experiencing our first return to higher inflation jolt.  Thus we’ve started a new bear market in bonds.  I can’t help but remember when I first became a stockbroker with Merrill Lynch back in the late 1970s, the client who say she would never, ever buy a bond again, after losing money on bonds going back two or three decades.  Well, we’ve had a 25 year bull market in bonds and its over or close.  Thus, my recommendation is no bonds.  (Except some very short term laddered US Treasuries for income.)

·         Hold a little Gold.  Yes, some will keep warning of a deflationary collapse ahead, when the economy really tanks and thus say gold will collapse as well.  But gold is in a long term uptrend, a bull market, and no one knows quite how it will react in various market and economic scenarios.  Buy SPDR Gold Trust (symbol GLD) as opposed to the miners themselves, thus eliminating one unneeded uncertainty.  FYI, I’ve seen gold rise and gold sector funds fall, so watch yourselves.

·         Hold a little foreign currencies.  Again, in today’s modern day investment world, the individual investor can easily bet on foreign currencies … by buying their ETFs or tracking stocks.  I’ve been recommending & still am, buying Swiss francs & Japanese yen, symbols FXF and FXY.  Both are Big Picture superstar guru Jim Rogers’ picks and are in long term bull markets and dipping now so it’s a good spot to buy in on weakness.  Today let me add the Chinese renminbi, symbol CNY, to the buy list since there is a exchange-traded note in existence.  Not a fast mover but it’s also in a long term bull market and probably is now one of the most reliable bull markets going.

·         Hold a little agricultural commodity position.  The middle class global world has grown tremendously, yay!, and thus the general commodity bull market has now spread out to foodstuffs.  A larger global middle class, means more and better food is needed, especially increased protein.  Food commodities are up so only buy on pullbacks here if you don’t own any now.  My picks have been and remain symbols RJA and DBA.  Again buy the commodities themselves as much as possible and not the companies which produce such although ETFs like MOO have been doing well to this point.  Today, let me add iPath Livestock ETN (symbol COW) to the buy list if I haven’t already, a livestock play.  Looks like with corn prices so high, cattle is being killed off (thus one can still get steak and hamburger at $1.99 a pound) because it costs too much to feed ‘em.  But that will change too and red meat prices will skyrocket.

·         Finally, hold small positions in lots of alternative, clean green energy stocks.  I see new fortunes being made by those riding the wave of the US and globe getting off oil.  The best way I’ve found to buy these is to keep the shopping list of alternate, clean green stocks I’ve compiled and posted for you back on June 6th in this space handy.  (If you don’t have it email me and I’ll send you a copy.)  Buy a bunch of these stocks on weakness.  I bought one for myself yesterday.


Disclaimer!  I hold or plan on holding many of the ideas recommended above.


Posted 06-27-2008 10:14 AM by Richard Schwartz