|Model Investment Portfolios|
|Download the Demo Showing Hypo Historical Returns and Yields of all Investing Models||Directions and Explanation of How Returns are Calculated||Investment Model Explanation Text||Information About Calculating Your Investment Risk Tolerance||Most Everything Important to Know About Using Asset Allocation to Manage Money is Here|
(is listed below. The financial planning software modules are on the right-side column)
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This is a Do-It-Yourself Money Management System for Investors
So you'll need to open your own discount brokerage account and make your own trades, as we don't custody client's accounts like a local financial adviser.
It's Also the Only Complete Turnkey Investment Portfolio Building System for Financial Advisors
First, what Investing Models Are:
Model allocations are a very old investment strategy. You may know it as: Managing Managers, Composites, Composite Portfolios, Asset Allocation Funds, or Fund of Funds (FoF). Other variations are in the text below. They're all the same thing, regardless of how the words are mixed up.
Model is the name given to something that represents a facsimile of the real thing. For example, a model airplane is designed to look like the real aircraft. In this case, investment portfolios that actual people own in the Real World look and act like the master investment portfolio models. So if there's $1B of assets in a master model, and you own $25,000 of it, then you'd have something tiny that looked, and acted, just like the real thing. This way you're able to get similar results of the whole pie, just by owning a tiny slice.
The results will never be exactly the same, just similar. The only way someone would own an exact investing model is if they initially bought all of the investment vehicles in the exact amounts, on the first trading day, the trades all magically settled the same day, all distributions were reinvested, they never made another trade other than the quarterly rebalancing and investment switches that occurred in the master model (and all of these trades settled on the same day), never put new money in, never paid taxes on it, and never redeemed shares. None of that ever happens, so model investment portfolios are never the real thing. The actual results will be close, and sometimes even better, but never exactly the same as the master model portfolios.
Even though they are not real, model investment portfolios are very popular and helpful to get the point across. For financial advisers, they're the oldest and most-commonly-used standardized method of showing what actual investment portfolios would look like in terms of funding vehicles, risk, asset class mix, income yields, and what historical performance has been.
If a pre-existing investment portfolio (a set mix of asset classes funded with specific investment vehicles) exists before one invests in it, then it's a model portfolio. If a unique personalized investment portfolio is created, but did not exist beforehand, then it's not a model portfolio.
This image best sums up this investment strategy
There are a total of 69 model allocations; because thirteen have five investment risk tolerance categories (Conservative, Moderately Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, and Aggressive). Then there's three Conservative High-income Models and one Retirement Target Date Model.
Plus, here's the investment calculator for modeling market timing strategies (this doesn't count as an investor model, but it uses the model allocations to backtest timing strategies).
The regular, static / passively-managed, investment models are:
The five Fee-based Models are for investment advisors working on an investment management fee basis (AKA an RIA). Here mutual funds with front-end loads are bought at NAV (Net Asset Value, or in English the initial sales charges on A-shares are waived so the investor doesn't pay them).
15 all No-load Mutual Fund Models for investors managing their own money, or investment advisors working on a fee-only basis (without access to A-share mutual funds at NAV).
15 all Front-end Loaded Mutual Fund Models for investment advisers working on a commission basis.
Five Benchmark Index Models. This is used for properly comparing passive investment management with active investment management (because they also serve as benchmark portfolios constructed specifically for this purpose).
The same asset classes and allocation weights as the other normal portfolio models with 16 asset classes are used, but they are funded with benchmark indices. They cannot be invested in like all of the other model portfolios, and so they just serve as a proper point of reference for comparison purposes (so model performance can be properly compared apples-to-apples).
Five Index Fund Models for both investors managing their own money and fee-only professionals that like to use index funds. These have three less asset classes than the regular models because there are no index funds for them yet (13 total). All of the fund picks are no-load, under $5,000 minimum initial investment, and there are no Load-waived funds, so any investor can buy them. So this is the asset allocation mix solution if you don't want to keep up with someone else's mutual fund picks and changes. Just index and rebalance.
Five ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) Models for both investors managing their own money, and fee-based advisers that like ETFs.
Two sets of investing models for $60,000 minimum accounts (ten models total). The same five-investment risk tolerance categories use only 13 asset classes here. This allows you to get the benefits of this investment management strategy, with only $60,000 worth of either no-load or front-end load mutual funds.
Two sets of investor models for $20,000 minimum accounts. They have the same five-investment risk tolerances and use eight asset classes. This allows you to get the benefits of this investing management strategy with only $20,000 worth of either no-load or front-end load mutual funds.
Five allocation models made from only American Funds. We optimized their 22 funds, and use it to compare against our Fee-based Moderate Model, as you can see on the table of returns on the main asset allocation page.
Three hypothetical Conservative High-income Models (CHIMs) for investors wanting to squeeze as much yield as possible out of a conservative mutual fund asset allocation. It's even more conservative than our conservative models.
There's a fee-based CHIM and then the same thing was duplicated using all no-load, and all loaded mutual funds. All of the text below is only for the Fee-based Conservative High-Income Model.
Yield is the combined distributions of an investment and is part of total return. For a mutual fund, it's the combined dividends the fund takes (realizes). These are the taxable events, which if you choose not to reinvest, end up in your cash (sweep, or money market) account. Mutual fund yields are calculated like this:
Annual Yield = Dividends / (NAV + Capital Gains Distributions)
The last 12-month's fee-based CHIM income yield was 5.2% and the total return was 14.5%. These are hypothetical because they don't account for past fund switches, rebalancings, or allocation changes.
This investing model is different than the regular models because its goal is to maximize income, not beat any benchmark index. You can see the YTD and last three year returns on the Investing model demo.
Here's an estimate of how the numbers work out: If you invested $100 a year ago at the beginning of last month, and the total return was 14.5% and the yield was 5.2%, then now you'd have ~$5.30 in cash to spend, the fund would be worth ~$109.30 (meaning you could sell all or any amount of this at any time for any reason, which you CANNOT do with real estate, annuitized annuities, Limited Partnerships, individual bonds, private stock, gold, etc.).
Then the number of mutual fund shares you owned would be the same, and you'd have ~$5.20 of income to report on your taxes (assuming the mutual funds were not in a Roth IRA, no municipal bonds were used, etc.). How much in taxes would vary as the composition of dividends, capital gains, and interest income would be random based on what the funds actually distributed.
This may not look like much, but on average it's twice the yield on all of our other investing models (and even more compared to what most everyone else is getting). The most important thing is (if you set it up correctly) the number of mutual fund shares you owned will most always be the same after you get paid, as it was before you got paid! Good luck trying to find something that performs this function, with these returns and low risk, for this price!
For example, the yield on the Conservative American Funds Model was only ~1.7% and the last 12 months return was only ~6.1%. So if you had a million bucks in the Conservative American Funds Model (which by the way, is much better in too many ways to count compared to the usual "portfolio" of American Funds the average commission-based financial advisor would sell you with their random ad hoc selections), your monthly retirement paycheck would only be ~$1,417. With the Fee-based CHIM, it would be ~$4,333. So investing the "American way" results in a ~67% reduction of retirement income here. So in order to receive the same amount of retirement check with American Funds, you'd have to constantly sell massive amounts of shares. This will make your nest egg run out of money years, if not decades, before you pass away. With the CHIM, you wouldn't need to sell shares; so when you pass, you'd still have around your original million bucks intact.
Then if you gave your million dollar nest egg to a life insurance company in exchange for the usual plain vanilla fixed annuity, not only would you realize even less retirement income than with American Funds (~10% less), it wouldn't even keep up with cost of living inflation at all (unless you paid the huge insurance premiums for an inflation rider, then you'd get about 15% less paycheck than by using American Funds). Then when you pass away, your heirs would receive nada bupkiss el zilcho (unless you paid the huge insurance premium to provide a death benefit, then you'd get about 15% less paycheck than with American Funds). So if you combine the cost of these two needed insurance contracts to insure for these two huge risks that are 100% certain to happen, you're making around 20% to 25% less spendable income with American Funds. So this adds up to be around 70% to 80% less retirement income paycheck than the CHIM would probably provide over your retirement years. Now are you awake? Of course not. This is why this stuff matters and why you need to wake up and pay attention ASAP to what's really going on in life, and not just what a salesperson is feeding just you to get their huge immediate commissions!
One also must factor in risk and total return when considering how high or low yield is. This model's income is extremely high considering the low risk (because of the extreme diversification and low equity exposure) and relatively high total return.
Taking that into account, this compromise between high yield, low-risk, and high total return is better than anything else we've ever seen (if someone has a better investment strategy to get higher yields with less risk, then we'd be doing that too).
These yields were a lot higher in 2010, but after banning fund families that abuse leverage and derivatives, play shenanigans and other tricks that make the fixed-income parts of the portfolio not be conservative (e.g., PIMCO), it's down. The bright side of that is that the yields are much more stable, the funds are a lot more conservative, shenanigans by the funds are mostly eliminated, and thus more suitable for retired investors.
This is as good as it gets, and is ideal for investors that don't want to sell shares to raise money to spend on living expenses. If you do your research, you'll see it's extremely difficult to get this rate of income without selling anything; all while realizing low-risk, good returns, and the other advantages of using only open-ended mutual funds (low costs, liquidity, transparency, etc.).
If you're retired and need money from an investment portfolio to live off of, then this may help make it last a lot longer. This is because the more income distributions a portfolio sheds without selling shares, the fewer shares you'll need to sell to get the paycheck you need, and the fewer shares you sell, the more money you're going to have later. Also the more conservatively a portfolio is constructed, the longer it will last too, especially when the markets are down. Once you sell shares, they do not just magically grow back (if you're spending all of the distributions instead of reinvesting them, which is what you'll do with this model portfolio).
Capital gains taxes are also kept to a minimum when you don't redeem shares for income. There's no profits to report if you don't sell and realize any gains.
So two of the main tricks to not run out of money when you reach an advanced age is to not sell shares, and never invest in any form of "self-destructing bonds" or these types of bond ETFs or mutual funds, as explained in the Money eBook.
While on the subject, here's the way we like to think about the value of paying an advisor to construct an investment portfolio for the purpose of producing a sustainable retirement paycheck: Take the TOTAL amount of their fees, expenses, and commissions and divide that by the amount of income realized over the past year (don't count share sales as income, just dividends and capital gains distributions).
If it's more than 20%, then you'd probably do a better job of managing your money yourself using our CHIM, you'd probably get a higher yield with a higher overall rate of return with less risk, you'd end up selling many less shares, worrying about trust, ethics, security, and privacy issues would be history, and you'd save all of their fees and commissions - forever!
For example, if you have a $1M portfolio, pay 1% in fees, and are getting 5% income (without selling shares), then you're paying 20% of your income in fees. More than 20% and we think you'd be better off doing it yourself, and not paying any of their fees anymore. More than likely, you've only been getting ~3% income yield, and they've been selling shares, so this would yield 40% of your income going to pay the advisor. This is way too high, so just DIY!
Also, the CHIM is just about the only "thing" you can just buy, read the directions, and use; that will help you set up and manage tiny endowment-like funds. As long as your average spending yield is lower than the CHIM's average yield, then there's little-to-nothing else anyone has ever invented that will perform this function - without having to hire actuaries or a team of expensive investment advisors that specialize in endowment fund investing. In other words, the CHIM is the money tool that does this job as close as you can get without spending "real money" on the project.
Also while on the subject: Why fixed annuities are not the answer (and why you shouldn't fear buying bond mutual funds when you think interest rates are about to go up). There's more math and evidence that this is the best way to get retirement income on the fixed annuity page (click the link above)
The Asset Allocation Models Include:
All of the 69 model allocations described above.
The mutual fund picks spreadsheet for all 21 asset classes. These portfolio models only use 16 asset classes (the other five asset classes are for use with the comprehensive asset allocator software). There's 21 mutual fund recommendations, times five ways of managing money, totaling over 100 monthly-updated investment recommendations.
To keep everything updated and balanced, you can also subscribe to keep these models and/or just the mutual fund recommendations fresh on a monthly basis. You'll receive the reasons for all switches to decide whether or not to sell the old mutual fund and buy the new one.
A short monthly "newsletter" for subscribers explaining what happened over the last month regarding the models, mutual fund selections, generic site information, and sometimes market commentary.
A sheet for inputting a comparison portfolio. This has two purposes:
First, it allows for quick and easy rebalancing of actual portfolios, compared with one of the models of your choice. This shows how much the actual allocation mix is off by, both in percentage and dollar amounts. This tells you exactly how much to buy or sell in each asset class (with tickers) to bring the portfolio back into balance.
Then you can compare the asset allocations, the returns, and the differences in returns, between the model allocations and the actual portfolio held.
There is also a matrix of these returns, and the differences between the actual investment portfolio. It also displays past portfolio returns, and the asset allocation mix of the comparison / actual portfolio. Some of this can be seen on the demo.
Over 50 charts graphically show all of the asset allocations, and the actual / comparison model portfolio.
Five html files that may help you use model asset allocations with 401k plans. Once you buy the models, or have the Money eBook, you'll also get step-by-step directions on how to better allocate a 401(k) plan by yourself.
Three spreadsheets showing the linked returns and mutual fund switches since inception for the Fee-based (since 1/99), and the No-Load and Load Models (since 1/03).
Linking returns uses the "Time Weighted" methodology, and is the standard used in accounting for past trades when calculating historical investment performance. You can use all three of these spreadsheets to audit the returns yourself. About this, and how the returns are calculated, are in the directions.
The most valuable feature, that no other vendor has, is that this allows you to create portfolios that are ready to be implemented in the Real World. This is called a turnkey system. What this means is that all you have to do is insert the key (buy it), then turn the crank (read the directions), and the machine spits out the finished product all ready to use in the Real World (your portfolio).
We use Morningstar Principia for their mutual fund database to pick the mutual funds every month, and that's all (it costs ~$700 per year and they raise their prices ~15% every year).
Our investing software gives you both a great investment strategy, and the funding vehicle recommendations, but doesn't have this database needed to evaluate strategies nor the investment vehicles used. So advisors may need both if they want to use our models as a framework to create other models. But if you don't want to do that, or if you're a DIY investor, then you won't even need Principia if you have our system, because everything is already done for you. So this is the one and only turnkey money management system you can buy that makes it so you won't need to buy or use any other investment software.
All mutual fund asset allocations display their last 12-months income yield, except the benchmark index allocation models, which don't have yields.
The portfolio models, mutual fund selections, and all of the portfolio returns are updated and sent out to subscribers around the 15th of each month.
Advisers can input their own fees and trading cost numbers into the Fee-based Model's Linked Returns spreadsheet to see how the returns change.
These same asset allocation model concepts can also be used with variable annuities, variable life insurance (VUL), 401k / 457 / 403bs, 529 plans, and with just one mutual fund family like we do for American Funds (or using as many fund families as you want).
Most investment managers' models do not account for past trades, so the actual returns investors' realize are usually 10% to 30% less than what's advertised via their hypothetical returns. The only way to see how well a strategy is really doing is to run the actual numbers. You can see these differences using our Moderate Fee-based Model on the chart of comparison returns on the main asset allocation primer page. This is explained in detail in the directions.
Using the Table of Historical Investment Model Returns
These are the actual returns from inception (1 January 1999) showing the returns as if you initially bought all of the investment vehicles in the exact amounts, on the first trading day, the trades all magically settled the same day, all distributions were reinvested, you never made another trade other than the quarterly rebalancing and investment switches that occurred in the master model (and all of these trades settled on the same day), never put new money in, never paid taxes on it, and never redeemed shares.
Compare these results to what you, or your advisors, have been getting. They are probably much better. Why? Because buy-and-hold passive asset allocation strategies work better than stock or ETF picking or market timing. When you think about it, that's all there is to do, there is nothing else other than speculating with derivatives or buying life insurance company products. All of this is just that simple. Read a summary, or go here or here or here for more details.
The great debate that's been going on since the beginning of time is finally over: Can active investment management ever consistently profit more than passive management, after expenses?
These investing models are proof that active management works, and the cost is so low that it's almost insignificant. As long as you don't try to pick stocks / ETFs and/or time markets with the investing models, and use mutual funds that even slightly outperform their asset classes, you'll almost always beat the markets. But not always - read how things changed after the financial meltdown. Now ETFs are the tail that wag the market dog, so nobody is "beating the markets anymore"
The returns shown below are also NOT due to luck. They are very consistent over the time we've been tracking them (1995, but the history of trades was not recorded until '98). There have been only a couple dozen months (out of 172) when the Moderate Index Model beat the Fee-based Moderate Model. If these returns were due to luck, then it would have been around half of the time.
You can see the current hypo numbers compared to the Index Model by looking at the demo's charts, and actual performance for the Fee-based Moderate Model compared to the Index Model on the table of returns here.
On the demo screen print, you can also see all of the current relevant portfolio statistics, like alpha, beta, standard deviation, etc. (these came from the asset allocation software, and are not part of the investing models).
See a table of asset class returns on the mutual fund picks page that show how and why correlation coefficients of asset allocation work so well (all of this is AKA Modern Portfolio Theory, or MPT).
The most Real World thing to do when looking at the table below, is to compare the Moderate Model with the S&P 500 over the various time frames. The longer the time frame, the more meaningful the comparisons are.
The returns are after all mutual fund fees and expenses (e.g., 12b-1s) are taken into account. But they don't account for annual management fees that a professional investment advisor would charge a client. This is because those are estimated on the three links here:
See the table of returns assuming you charge your clients 0.5% annual management fees (low)
See the table of returns assuming you charge your clients 1.0% annual management fees (average)
See the table of returns assuming you charge your clients 1.5% annual management fees (high)
See the table of returns for the No-Load Mutual Fund Models
See the table of returns for the All-Loaded Mutual Fund Models
To download the demo, right click on the link below, and then choose "Save (Target) As..." to save to your hard drive. Then find it and open with Word.Answers to frequently asked demo questions and how to use demos.
Download the Model Portfolio "demo" large Word docx, which has charts showing historical returns for all of the investing models. This is the best place to view the differences in returns between the No-Load and Fee-based Models
Download text for financial advisers that explains the model portfolios to investment management clients.
|Financial Planning Software Modules For Sale
(are listed below)
Our Unique Financial Services
Miscellaneous Pages of Interest
|Time Frames||Conservative Model||Moderately Conservative Model||Moderate Model||Moderately Aggressive Model||Aggressive Model||DJIA||S&P 500||NASDAQ||Russell 2000||MSCI EAFE||Barclays Aggregate Bond|
|The Month of April '13||1.10%||1.27%||1.41%||1.43%||1.55%||1.94%||1.93%||1.88%||-0.37%||5.21%||1.01%|
|Year-to-date (31 Dec '12 to 30 April '13)||3.88%||6.93%||8.02%||9.14%||10.21%||14.11%||12.74%||10.24%||11.98%||10.61%||0.89%|
|Last 12 Months||8.28%||11.37%||13.09%||14.57%||16.41%||15.39%||16.89%||9.27%||17.70%||19.39%||3.68%|
|Last 3 Years Annualized Average||6.54%||8.84%||9.40%||10.18%||10.69%||13.48%||12.80%||10.59%||11.25%||7.44%||5.51%|
|Last 5 Years Annualized Average||5.93%||6.18%||5.86%||5.77%||6.23%||5.93%||5.21%||6.65%||7.27%||-0.93%||5.72%|
|Last 10 Years Annualized Average||8.86%||10.23%||10.88%||11.31%||11.35%||8.49%||7.88%||8.56%||10.47%||9.23%||5.04%|
|Annual Average Since Inception (31 Dec '98 - Monthly compounding)||8.32%||8.88%||8.89%||9.15%||9.27%||5.82%||3.73%||2.96%||7.21%||3.99%||5.70%|
|Conservative Model||Moderately Conservative Model||Moderate Model%||Moderately Aggressive Model||Aggressive Model||DJIA||S&P 500%||NASDAQ||Russell 2000||MSCI EAFE||Barclays Aggregate Bond|
|These Investor Models and the Comprehensive Asset Allocation Software are two different programs, with different pricing tables. So the most asked question is...
"What's the Difference Between the Asset Allocation Software and these Asset Allocation Models?"
With the asset allocation software, unlike allocation models which exist before someone is around to invest in them, the investor submits various life factors needed to calculate a custom allocation mix that reflects their life situation. So it's not just using one of a few generic pre-existing model allocations (there's dozens of asset class mix combinations).
Model portfolios only take one life factor into account - investment risk tolerance category. This is determined by filling out and scoring an investment fact finder. There's little-to-no "work" involved. You just determine risk tolerance, allocate money according to the model's asset class weights, and then make the trades. The comprehensive asset allocation calculator also takes risk tolerance into account as the most important factor in determining the mix, but it also uses a few more life factors.
With the asset allocation calculator, the currently-held investment mix is then compared to the recommended mix of asset classes. Then investments are shuffled around to create the proposed mix (the new investment recommendations, AKA proposed snapshot). It then displays current and proposed snapshots that can be analyzed and compared. Then future projections can be made given various assumptions. This allows complete control over most every aspect of the asset allocation process.
Model portfolios only show investment recommendations (the proposed snapshot), and mostly ignores the currently-held investment portfolio.
So with the comprehensive asset allocation software, there's work involved in creating an investment portfolio that's custom tailored to fit the investor's life. This makes it best suited for larger clients that are paying an advisor enough to make it worth doing the extra work (or doing it yourself).
Our portfolio models only use 16 asset classes, and the asset allocation calculator accommodates an unlimited amount (but we screen mutual fund asset classes for 21). The models have less asset classes to minimize the amount of money needed to buy everything. It's currently around $100k to buy the Fee-based Moderate Model (less for the other four allocations because they don't use every asset class (plus there's also $60k and $20k models for that).
You don't subscribe to the allocation software, because it doesn't change monthly. You'd only subscribe to the mutual fund selections to keep the funding vehicles current. It's best to subscribe to the models to keep portfolios updated with both fresh funding vehicles and allocation changes.
For DIY investors, the choice of using the investing models or the asset allocation software shouldn't be governed by how much money you have. It just should depend on how much time and work you're willing to put into matching the portfolio to your life. Using the portfolio models is fast, easy, and simple. Once you know your risk tolerance category, everything is done except making the trades. The asset allocation calculator is complex and will take an extra hour to create your investment portfolio, but it will match your life better.
|Asset Allocation Model Prices
This is not the Comprehensive Asset Allocation Software, which is here
|Unsupported||With E-mail Only Support||With E-mail and Phone Support|
One-time Asset Allocation Models and Mutual Fund Picks
One-time Asset Allocation Models and Mutual Fund Picks, with Investment Fact Finder
Asset Allocation Models with Mutual Fund Picks, both updated monthly for one year
Asset Allocation Models with Mutual Fund Picks, both updated monthly for one year, with Investment Fact Finder
|Lifetime Subscription for the Models and Mutual Fund Picks (with Investment Fact Finder)||N/A||N/A||$1,750|
|The Models and Comprehensive Asset Allocation Software are two different programs. You can also get the Asset Allocation Software for an extra $100 when you buy from the table above (use that dollar amount's order form from
This page). But the better deal is to just get the whole
Investment Portfolio Building Kit for around the same price
These products are not available if you are a resident of the state of Michigan
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