Muscular Investing

Brian Livingston
About the author: is the author of Muscular Portfolios (2018), which reveals the 21st century's best-performing long-term trading strategies, and coauthor of 11 Windows Secrets books (1991-2007). He has been assistant IT manager of UBS Securities, a consultant to Morgan Guaranty Trust (now JPMorgan Chase), and technology adviser to Lazard Ltd., all in New York City. His columns appear in the Muscular Investing blog most Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Learn More

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Muscular Investing

Jack Bogle Reveals Investing Secrets in Tell-All Book - part 2

by Brian Livingston

Bogle’s new book, Stay the Course, reveals one little thing individual investors do that costs them one-third of their return — but is easily prevented. • A difference between the trading of investors in traditional index mutual funds and that of investors in the flashier index exchange-traded funds (ETFs) explains a lot about the varying amounts both groups end up putting in their pockets. • Part 1 of this column appeared on Jan. 15, 2019. • John Clifton Bogle passed away on Jan. 16, 2019, four months shy of his 90th birthday. My hope is that, by understanding his Read More 

Muscular Investing

Jack Bogle Reveals Investing Secrets in Tell-All Book

by Brian Livingston

John C. Bogle — known to all as ‘Jack’ — has been advocating the simplest portfolio strategies for decades. Surprise! They’ve outperformed the S&P 500. • In the last book he says he’ll ever write in his lifetime, the legendary index-fund pioneer lets fly with some scathing but profitable revelations about mutual funds, ETFs, and the colorful cast of characters who made them all come to life. Figure 1. Bogle in 2016. Photo by Daniel Burke/Institute for the Fiduciary Standard/CC-BY 4.0. • More than 100 million households in the US Read More 

Muscular Investing

Which ETFs Will Outperform This Month? Here's the List - part 4

by Brian Livingston

If you want the best raw performance over the long term, expanding your menu to 13 asset classes, plus a simple mechanical formula, is just the ticket. • Standing on the shoulders of giants in finance — including Nobel Prize winners — ETF pioneer Mebane Faber developed and publicly disclosed the best way to select the low-cost index funds that are most likely to outperform in the coming month. Figure 1. Faber is co-author of the 5-asset Ivy Portfolio and the architect of an improved 13-asset strategy, which the book Muscular Portfolios calls the Papa Bear Read More 

Muscular Investing

Which ETFs Will Outperform This Month? Here's the List - part 3

by Brian Livingston

Jack Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard Group, has urged investors for over two decades to hold a simple 50/50 portfolio: half US stocks and half US bonds. • The book Muscular Portfolios calls this ‘the Baby Bear Portfolio.’ On first glance, it strikes many traders as too simple to work. But over the past 46 years, it’s delivered almost the same total return as the S&P 500 with much smaller losses. Bogle addresses the Council of Institutional Investors in 2005. Photo by Ken Cedeno/Bloomberg/Getty Images. • Parts 1 and 2 of this Read More 

Muscular Investing

Which ETFs Will Outperform This Month? Here's the List - part 2

by Brian Livingston

The secret to long-term performance is not letting your portfolio skyrocket during bulls. Instead, keeping your losses small in bears is the key. • A clone of a strategy by Steve LeCompte delivers on both counts using simple rules. Surprisingly, it has similarities to the way Warren Buffett racks up his huge winnings in the market - and it’s easy for you to do the same. • Part 1 of this column appeared on Jan. 1, 2019. • I mentioned in Part 1 of this column that Warren Buffett’s portfolio, which trades under the symbol BRK/A, doesn’t beat the S&P 500 Read More 

Muscular Investing

Which ETFs Will Outperform This Month? Here's the List.

by Brian Livingston

The S&P 500 crashes more than 30% every 10 years, on average. Another such destruction of your wealth is on the way. • Can a simple formula keep your life savings from being shredded while still delivering market-like returns across bear-bull cycles? The answer is ‘Yes.’ Best all of, it’s free of charge. The steps are fully disclosed and supported by years of actual use. Figure 1. Users of Muscular Portfolios check a website once a month to make sure they hold the three asset classes with the best statistical odds of rising in the 30 days to come. Source: Read More 

Muscular Investing

Mark Hulbert Sentiment Indices: Advisers Are Contrary Indicators - part 4

by Brian Livingston

Advisers are just as bad at predicting the prices of gold and bonds as they are at forecasting equities, if not worse. • Whenever financial gurus are especially confident in their guesses about the market, the assets tend to move in exactly the opposite way. You may not be able to time the market using this information, but at least you can avoid wasting money on predictions. Figure 1. When advisers are most bearish on gold, the prices of gold-mining stocks tend to go up, not down — and vice versa. • Parts 1, 2, and 3 of this column appeared on Dec. 18, 20, and Read More 

Muscular Investing

Mark Hulbert Sentiment Indices: Advisers Are Contrary Indicators - part 3

by Brian Livingston

When professional advisers and newsletter editors are most bullish about the market, the Dow and the Russell 2000 go down, not up. • When they’re most bearish, large caps and small caps go up, not down. What explains the backwardness? Hulbert’s tracking confirms the essential findings of ‘behavioral finance’ — the human mind becomes overconfident and consistently guesses wrong. Figure 1. The most bearish and bullish predictions occur before rises and declines in the stock market that are exactly the opposite of what most advisers expected. Source: Hulbert Sentiment Read More 

Muscular Investing

Mark Hulbert Sentiment Indices: Advisers Are Contrary Indicators - part 2

by Brian Livingston

How does Hulbert know the weight financial advisers are recommending on the stock market and other asset classes? • He subscribes to their newsletters and websites, and then averages their percentage allocations. No, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can use their collective wisdom for market timing. When the gurus are the most bullish, the market is the most likely to fall. Figure 1. When advisers who time the stock market are recommending some of their highest allocations — a 60% to 80% investment in equities — the Dow Jones Industrial Average actually tends to go down in the Read More 

Muscular Investing

Mark Hulbert Sentiment Indices: Advisers Are Contrary Indicators

by Brian Livingston

After decades of editing the Hulbert Financial Digest, Mark Hulbert is now debunking financial advisers’ guesses. • His Hulbert Sentiment Indices show that gurus who make predictions are so often wrong that, in many cases, you can profit by doing the exact opposite of what they say. Save your money and don’t put your faith in expensive market-timing newsletters or consultants.   • My goal is to help the more than 100 million households in the US, Canada, and other countries that hold 401(k), IRA, and similar savings accounts. Using 21st-century financial Read More 

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