Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

General Discussion on the Permanent Portfolio Strategy

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bedraggled
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by bedraggled » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:06 pm

I believe last year someone suggested if/when CraigR or Medium Tex post, people should jump in their cars and track them down. Time was of the essence then. Might have to take one of the idled cruise ships to find CraigR.

Maybe with the virus inconvenience, just let it go for now.
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by craigr » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:31 pm

Kevin K. wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:51 pm
craigr wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:28 am
Kevin K. wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:42 pm
It was indeed great fun to read the witty William Bernstein quote! If only the rest of the crew on that forum had a fraction of Bernstein's brilliance and sincere appreciation of risk parity portfolios like the PP. His book "Deep Risk" is essentially a dialogue with Craig's writing on the PP and Browne's work itself and for me anyway helped me appreciate the PP more and, especially, made me realize how brilliant the Golden Butterfly iteration of the PP is.
Bill Bernstein and I are friends and when I am visiting in town where he lives I have gone to his house for dinner with him and his lovely wife. I talked to him quite a bit when he wrote the book Deep Risk and am mentioned in the acknowledgements which is why is why it has my overtones in it I suspect.

I think Bill's main critique of the PP is that it has tracking error vs. a more conventional portfolio. This is completely valid to me. This is probably why the portfolio tends to attract very engineer/technical/introvert types that are able to detach themselves emotionally I feel. It takes a certain personality to take the Red Pill and just let go of trying to predict the markets. It also takes a certain kind of person that is OK with a portfolio that just tries to ride the middle and doesn't get worked up when Bob in Accounting is bragging about their 22.7% gains in TechCorp stock that year.

I think the PP really incorporates philosophy of being very detached yet prepared for the unexpected. One thing I've always liked about the portfolio is that it gives you options to respond to extraordinary scenarios. You can hang tight, but if things are going truly off the rails you aren't so locked into a single asset that you lose everything. It's important in a crisis to always have options available to respond even if you don't have to use them. For me, that PP does exactly that.
It's always a treat to read your posts Craig! Let me add my gratitude to that others have expressed here for everything you've done to get the word out about the PP and Harry Browne.

Tracking error regret is one thing that Bernstein mentions but I think his more important quibbles with the PP as expressed in "Deep Risk" are that the 4 x 25% PP errs in allocating equal parts of the portfolio to deal with events that are anything but equally likely to occur, aren't equally devastating if the do occur, and involve different costs to defend against. Then there's the not-incidental matter that Browne spoke of gold as offering inflation protection when cash and stocks perform that function.

Bernstein does a much better job critiquing the PP than he does of providing actionable alternatives, but if memory serves he recommends a larger allocation to stocks (including international and tilts to small and value) and oodles of liquidity (i.e. cash). I see the Golden Butterfly as the best integration of Bernstein's ideas thus far in that it tilts towards prosperity (the most likely economic condition over time) and includes a sizable chunk of value stocks. Higher returns than the PP but more interestingly much higher safe withdrawal rates and much faster recoveries from drawdowns as well.
Yes I see his point on the equal split and we did talk about that. The issue really is if I knew what the proper risk of each asset was based on the future then I'd just go all in on that one and ignore the others (or hold the one best asset and a bunch of cash). I don't think looking at past markets can predict these things which is what some risk parity approaches are trying to do.

But I get it that owning more stocks is an easy way to take advantage of the most likely outcome and I can't fault people for taking advantage of that bias if appropriate. Over the years when people have wanted to do a VP side of things I just recommended buying more of the total stock market index and leave things alone. I don't know what that figure is though. Is it 50% stocks and ~17% bonds/cash/gold? Or is it 30% stocks? It's what people can stomach I suspect.

But for pure simplicity I think the 25% split is pretty hard to beat. The performance differences around the edges are often negligible in real life if it allows the investor to hold the course and not panic in a market crash. Or, even worse, go into their portfolio and start tinkering all the time with different ratios thinking they are fixing things.
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by craigr » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:34 pm

bedraggled wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:06 pm
I believe last year someone suggested if/when CraigR or Medium Tex post, people should jump in their cars and track them down. Time was of the essence then. Might have to take one of the idled cruise ships to find CraigR.

Maybe with the virus inconvenience, just let it go for now.
I am lurking from time to time so you never know when I'll appear. Hopefully Tex will come around some time. I've not heard from him in a while.
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by boglerdude » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:11 am

craigr wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:34 pm
I am lurking from time to time so you never know when I'll appear. Hopefully Tex will come around some time. I've not heard from him in a while.
Whats your take on Trump and the lockdown. IIRC you commented that Trump would close the border as part of bringing in medicare for all
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by mathjak107 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:02 am

dualstow wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:30 pm
mathjak107 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:35 pm
Investors make this silly statement all the time as they stay invested every day but tell others they wouldn’t invest new money at this price ..DUH.
Well, I’m holding NEE (variable portfolio) and I would not invest new money. I am happy to hold it and collect dividends. If it should drop, even precipitously, I can still sell it at a profit.
I don’t want to buy more gold at 1994/oz, but I’m happy to hold that too. That’s part of the pp so I’ll go by the bands or at the very least, an annual checkup.

Maybe it’s an illusion but I’m sticking with it.
one thing i will add is that mental plays a big roll when it comes to our thinking .......

i had the largest amount ever in the pp ... 800k IN EACH ...

i have to admit at these levels i was uncomfortable with so much in it ... not only because the volatility was off the hook when more than 2 assets moved in the same direction but the thought that all parts except cash where at or near all time highs .

i took huge profits yesterday and cut things down to 400k in each ........

the gold profits were just insane.....

88,189.00 in gains from gld and iau , GAINS FROM LONG TERM TREASURIES via TLT 32,837.00.

overall gains ytd for us are over 250k . so i don't mind waiting things out a bit over weight cash ...we still have a crap load of dough in the pp
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by dualstow » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:48 am

mathjak107 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:02 am
one thing i will add is that mental plays a big roll when it comes to our thinking .......
Milk plays a big role on dairy farms. O0
No, I got you- you mean mental accounting, and I totally agree.
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Jo Jorgensen was once Harry Browne’s running mate
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by Kevin K. » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:06 pm

craigr wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:31 pm
Kevin K. wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:51 pm
craigr wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:28 am
Kevin K. wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:42 pm
It was indeed great fun to read the witty William Bernstein quote! If only the rest of the crew on that forum had a fraction of Bernstein's brilliance and sincere appreciation of risk parity portfolios like the PP. His book "Deep Risk" is essentially a dialogue with Craig's writing on the PP and Browne's work itself and for me anyway helped me appreciate the PP more and, especially, made me realize how brilliant the Golden Butterfly iteration of the PP is.
Bill Bernstein and I are friends and when I am visiting in town where he lives I have gone to his house for dinner with him and his lovely wife. I talked to him quite a bit when he wrote the book Deep Risk and am mentioned in the acknowledgements which is why is why it has my overtones in it I suspect.

I think Bill's main critique of the PP is that it has tracking error vs. a more conventional portfolio. This is completely valid to me. This is probably why the portfolio tends to attract very engineer/technical/introvert types that are able to detach themselves emotionally I feel. It takes a certain personality to take the Red Pill and just let go of trying to predict the markets. It also takes a certain kind of person that is OK with a portfolio that just tries to ride the middle and doesn't get worked up when Bob in Accounting is bragging about their 22.7% gains in TechCorp stock that year.

I think the PP really incorporates philosophy of being very detached yet prepared for the unexpected. One thing I've always liked about the portfolio is that it gives you options to respond to extraordinary scenarios. You can hang tight, but if things are going truly off the rails you aren't so locked into a single asset that you lose everything. It's important in a crisis to always have options available to respond even if you don't have to use them. For me, that PP does exactly that.
It's always a treat to read your posts Craig! Let me add my gratitude to that others have expressed here for everything you've done to get the word out about the PP and Harry Browne.

Tracking error regret is one thing that Bernstein mentions but I think his more important quibbles with the PP as expressed in "Deep Risk" are that the 4 x 25% PP errs in allocating equal parts of the portfolio to deal with events that are anything but equally likely to occur, aren't equally devastating if the do occur, and involve different costs to defend against. Then there's the not-incidental matter that Browne spoke of gold as offering inflation protection when cash and stocks perform that function.

Bernstein does a much better job critiquing the PP than he does of providing actionable alternatives, but if memory serves he recommends a larger allocation to stocks (including international and tilts to small and value) and oodles of liquidity (i.e. cash). I see the Golden Butterfly as the best integration of Bernstein's ideas thus far in that it tilts towards prosperity (the most likely economic condition over time) and includes a sizable chunk of value stocks. Higher returns than the PP but more interestingly much higher safe withdrawal rates and much faster recoveries from drawdowns as well.
Yes I see his point on the equal split and we did talk about that. The issue really is if I knew what the proper risk of each asset was based on the future then I'd just go all in on that one and ignore the others (or hold the one best asset and a bunch of cash). I don't think looking at past markets can predict these things which is what some risk parity approaches are trying to do.

But I get it that owning more stocks is an easy way to take advantage of the most likely outcome and I can't fault people for taking advantage of that bias if appropriate. Over the years when people have wanted to do a VP side of things I just recommended buying more of the total stock market index and leave things alone. I don't know what that figure is though. Is it 50% stocks and ~17% bonds/cash/gold? Or is it 30% stocks? It's what people can stomach I suspect.

But for pure simplicity I think the 25% split is pretty hard to beat. The performance differences around the edges are often negligible in real life if it allows the investor to hold the course and not panic in a market crash. Or, even worse, go into their portfolio and start tinkering all the time with different ratios thinking they are fixing things.
Your wisdom and deep understanding of both Harry Browne’s work and real-world investor behavior really shines here Craig. It’s truly a treat to hear your voice again on this forum. Thanks very much!
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by jhogue » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:29 am

I think that the most damaging charge of Bill Bernstein’s “Wild about Harry” review of the Permanent Portfolio was that its investors were way too fickle: rushing into the portfolio when gold was moving higher, and heading for the exit in droves when stocks are shooting through the roof. Bernstein is too smart a critic not to recognize the fundamental error of blaming the portfolio for the mistakes made by investors who don’t really understand what they are buying.
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by dualstow » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:11 am

jhogue wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:29 am
I think that the most damaging charge of Bill Bernstein’s “Wild about Harry” review of the Permanent Portfolio was that its investors were way too fickle: rushing into the portfolio when gold was moving higher, and heading for the exit in droves when stocks are shooting through the roof. Bernstein is too smart a critic not to recognize the fundamental error of blaming the portfolio for the mistakes made by investors who don’t really understand what they are buying.
I think he was dead-on with that point, though. Of course, as it applies to human nature, not to the portfolio. As you said, a distinction should be made. The oft-criticized manager of PRPFX said something similar: people exited in droves during lean years. Their loss. They’re not real pp investors.
NYC apartment vacancies hit record high — CNBC
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by technovelist » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:23 am

dualstow wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:11 am
jhogue wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:29 am
I think that the most damaging charge of Bill Bernstein’s “Wild about Harry” review of the Permanent Portfolio was that its investors were way too fickle: rushing into the portfolio when gold was moving higher, and heading for the exit in droves when stocks are shooting through the roof. Bernstein is too smart a critic not to recognize the fundamental error of blaming the portfolio for the mistakes made by investors who don’t really understand what they are buying.
I think he was dead-on with that point, though. Of course, as it applies to human nature, not to the portfolio. As you said, a distinction should be made. The oft-criticized manager of PRPFX said something similar: people exited in droves during lean years. Their loss. They’re not real pp investors.
Yes, but I think Bill was correct that it's even harder to maintain your position when everyone around you is doing better than you are, so that is a valid psychologically based issue for a "weird" portfolio.

Of course by this point I can say that I personally am not terribly affected by such matters. :D
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by dualstow » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:43 am

I can't stand my friend who only holds Apple and Google. O0
NYC apartment vacancies hit record high — CNBC
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Re: Knuckleheads PP thread resurrected

Post by vnatale » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:14 am

technovelist wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:23 am
dualstow wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:11 am
jhogue wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:29 am
I think that the most damaging charge of Bill Bernstein’s “Wild about Harry” review of the Permanent Portfolio was that its investors were way too fickle: rushing into the portfolio when gold was moving higher, and heading for the exit in droves when stocks are shooting through the roof. Bernstein is too smart a critic not to recognize the fundamental error of blaming the portfolio for the mistakes made by investors who don’t really understand what they are buying.
I think he was dead-on with that point, though. Of course, as it applies to human nature, not to the portfolio. As you said, a distinction should be made. The oft-criticized manager of PRPFX said something similar: people exited in droves during lean years. Their loss. They’re not real pp investors.
Yes, but I think Bill was correct that it's even harder to maintain your position when everyone around you is doing better than you are, so that is a valid psychologically based issue for a "weird" portfolio.

Of course by this point I can say that I personally am not terribly affected by such matters. :D
And, also of course, if you WERE affected by such matters then you would no longer be the man known as Technovelist!

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