Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

General Discussion on the Permanent Portfolio Strategy

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dualstow
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by dualstow » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:26 pm

Jack Bogle believes the stock market will return only 4% annually over the next decade
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/22/jack-bog ... ecade.html
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by eufo » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:12 pm

dualstow wrote:I do think it's kind of funny that the OP's friend thinks we're doomers but he's all in CD's.
Not exactly a bet on prosperity.
Ha! Good point.

There's a point I haven't seen mentioned here, but when those doom days happen, it's way more than discipline you need to avoid selling your equities. Most working folks end up feeling the pinch in some kind of meaningful way, up to losing multiple income streams at once. When this happens and you need money... guess what you eventually end up digging into. Not a big deal at first, but it can exacerbate equity selling if the recession is a longer one. Would you rather be selling your bonds and gold at their highs or your stocks at half their pre-recession value? PP saves you in this scenario while also allowing you to ride your equities back up afterwards.

The obvious tradeoff is that your non-recession returns are weak as hell... but I think PP is more a place to HOLD wealth than to create it.
Don't agree with me too strongly or I'm going to change my mind
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Desert » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:34 pm

eufo wrote:
dualstow wrote:I do think it's kind of funny that the OP's friend thinks we're doomers but he's all in CD's.
Not exactly a bet on prosperity.
Ha! Good point.

There's a point I haven't seen mentioned here, but when those doom days happen, it's way more than discipline you need to avoid selling your equities. Most working folks end up feeling the pinch in some kind of meaningful way, up to losing multiple income streams at once. When this happens and you need money... guess what you eventually end up digging into. Not a big deal at first, but it can exacerbate equity selling if the recession is a longer one. Would you rather be selling your bonds and gold at their highs or your stocks at half their pre-recession value? PP saves you in this scenario while also allowing you to ride your equities back up afterwards.

The obvious tradeoff is that your non-recession returns are weak as hell... but I think PP is more a place to HOLD wealth than to create it.
I think the point in your first paragraph is critical. When the market plunges, there are often other bad events going on, including job loss. So it's not always the case that investors "panic" and sell in downturns (though they often do); some sell because they simply need the money. The HBPP with 25% in cash provides a nice cushion in such events.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by eufo » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:53 pm

Desert wrote:I think the point in your first paragraph is critical. When the market plunges, there are often other bad events going on, including job loss. So it's not always the case that investors "panic" and sell in downturns (though they often do); some sell because they simply need the money. The HBPP with 25% in cash provides a nice cushion in such events.
Way more succinct than my rambling thoughts! Yes!

This is a fact that is easier to understand for those of us that have been impacted by a downturn. During the Great Recession I took a roughly 35% pay cut, but was happy to keep my job as I saw many lose theirs. When money gets tight, options decrease and it becomes necessity instead of irrationality. After going through that, I will always have substantial cash reserves in my portfolio... returns be damned! Lol!
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by mathjak107 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:33 am

you guys are getting to wrapped up in this cash thing . the fact is even a retiree who spent down from 100% stock would have had a high success rate of it not being a problem . the higher gains in the up markets allow a bigger cushion for spending in the down markets .

you would really have to have some pretty bad luck of needing that money awfully quick before your first up blast . in which case you should have had an emergency fund regardless .

in the end likely much ado about not much in practice from a cash stand point . before i ran the gb i could have sold some bonds once i ran out of cash from my conventional model with no ill effects . .it is not important that the model hold cash for emergency spending . like i said the higher gains without holding the cash will make up for it .

the cash is an integral part of the pp or gb and not for spending reasons but because it balances out the barbell with the long term bonds creating a duration in the middle . the cash acts as stock options to buy stocks at lower prices but with no expiration date .

the cash is there for a reason and should be no part of your "spending " anymore than any other piece of it . if you need it , it is there in a pinch but so is every other asset that can be sold in a pinch and odds are one of them had a higher run up than cash and could be easily drawn from instead .

you don't need to invent reasons for holding the cash , a diversified portfolio with no cash can always sell some bonds , so spending is not really one of the reasons nor would i say a benefit in the pp or gb , it is just another asset that is a needed piece of the pie and should not be a first line source of funds anymore than any other part . if it is needed , well it is not going to be any better of a choice than someone who draws an income from a conventional portfolio and maintains a constant allocation by selling off equal parts of the total portfolio pie when needed , whether up or down .

cash buckets provide no advantage over systematically withdrawing from the pie in up or down markets which is what you are trying to reinvent here by rationalizing uses for the cash portion of the pp . ...
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by barrett » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:29 am

modeljc wrote:My friend Charles (Retired) asked me why we only have about 600 registered members. For a world wide forum and a recent book he suggested we were very much on the fringe of the investment world. Charles just can't buy the idea of Cash not earning anything. Long bonds scare him to death. Also he can't own gold as there is no return, and no one knows how to value it.

ARE WE WRONG? And are we on the Fringe? And why don't we have more Believers?
Almost all investors (except our good friend Libertarian666) want to hold stocks because they allow one to benefit from economic growth. For those of us who believe it's wise to mitigate the risks of being 100% in equities, there is then a decision to be made about how to go about doing that. Bogleheads do it with bonds (I believe it's generally TBM). That is a fine solution most of the time, but that mix can do poorly for rather extended periods as Tyler's work has shown. I get what mathjak is saying when he talks about one's pucker factor, but I think most on here want a smoother, more boring path.

If an investor is going to hold an asset at all, it never made sense to me that it would be less than 10% or so. For example, the standard advice on gold, if it's even considered at all, is just to hold a tiny bit... maybe 5% at the most. The problem is that if gold actually does have a role to play in a portfolio, then 5% is probably too small an allocation. If one accepts that everything up to this point isn't just BS, then there are choices regarding how to go about truly diversifying away from stocks and TBM.

The PP, GB, Desert, etc. are just variations on a theme. Probably none of them are right for Charles. As for no one knowing how to value gold, does anyone know how to value the USD? The value of it is likely going to be quite a bit lower 20 years from now than it is today. But now I am biting off more than intended for one post.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Thomas Hoog » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:04 am

Back to topic ?
stuper1 wrote:No, we are not wrong, because we believe in passive, low-expense-ratio, well-diversified investing. In fact, our investing is actually better diversified than the typical stock/bond portfolio, because we also hold a valuable commodity (gold) which is uncorrelated with stocks/bonds. You only have to look back to the period of say 2000 to 2010 to see the positive impact of gold on the portfolio.

Yes, we are on the fringe, because most people think we are crazy. Let them think whatever they want, but when the stock market hits the skids for several years in a row, they may think a little differently. And if TEOTWAWKI happens, they may think a lot differently, but those of us with physical gold will have something to preserve wealth through to the other side.

We don't have more believers, because most people just trust what the "experts" tell them, rather than digging into things themselves. But of course the experts often have hidden agendas.
Because it is a intriguing question. Agree with the last opion. However that does not answer the question why we are different ? There was once a topic about Brigss Meyer archtypes. And I remember that there was a huge majority on INTP profile ( not sure ?). So maybe it just a Pyschogic answer. So all to human.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Libertarian666 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:09 am

Thomas Hoog wrote:Back to topic ?
stuper1 wrote:No, we are not wrong, because we believe in passive, low-expense-ratio, well-diversified investing. In fact, our investing is actually better diversified than the typical stock/bond portfolio, because we also hold a valuable commodity (gold) which is uncorrelated with stocks/bonds. You only have to look back to the period of say 2000 to 2010 to see the positive impact of gold on the portfolio.

Yes, we are on the fringe, because most people think we are crazy. Let them think whatever they want, but when the stock market hits the skids for several years in a row, they may think a little differently. And if TEOTWAWKI happens, they may think a lot differently, but those of us with physical gold will have something to preserve wealth through to the other side.

We don't have more believers, because most people just trust what the "experts" tell them, rather than digging into things themselves. But of course the experts often have hidden agendas.
Because it is a intriguing question. Agree with the last opion. However that does not answer the question why we are different ? There was once a topic about Brigss Meyer archtypes. And I remember that there was a huge majority on INTP profile ( not sure ?). So maybe it just a Pyschogic answer. So all to human.
Certainly most PPers will be NT types, although not necessarily INTP specifically. I'm an ENTP, for example, but of course I'm not a "real" PPer, although I was in the past and still think it is fine for people who don't have my specific concerns.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by sophie » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:31 am

dualstow wrote:Jack Bogle believes the stock market will return only 4% annually over the next decade
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/22/jack-bog ... ecade.html
Interesting statement worth resurrecting for further discussion!

What struck me about this is that it's not really fair to judge the stock market by a 10 year (decade) time horizon. If the stock market returns 4% annually over the next decade, it will have beat many past 10 year periods. Historically, stocks have had losing periods lasting up to 15 years.

The article suggests that Jack Bogle thinks we are due for a big correction in stocks sometime in the next 10 years, and he may well be right. I guess the message is "don't get too carried away with stocks", as many are currently doing because of the recent outperformance. They'll be in for a shock eventually. Why is it that despite 2008-9, 2000-2001, 1987 etc, people are STILL surprised when this happens?
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Libertarian666 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:09 am

sophie wrote:
dualstow wrote:Jack Bogle believes the stock market will return only 4% annually over the next decade
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/22/jack-bog ... ecade.html
Interesting statement worth resurrecting for further discussion!

What struck me about this is that it's not really fair to judge the stock market by a 10 year (decade) time horizon. If the stock market returns 4% annually over the next decade, it will have beat many past 10 year periods. Historically, stocks have had losing periods lasting up to 15 years.

The article suggests that Jack Bogle thinks we are due for a big correction in stocks sometime in the next 10 years, and he may well be right. I guess the message is "don't get too carried away with stocks", as many are currently doing because of the recent outperformance. They'll be in for a shock eventually. Why is it that despite 2008-9, 2000-2001, 1987 etc, people are STILL surprised when this happens?
Recency bias.

One clue that the stock market is due for a good thumping is threads on bogleheads about how people are wussies for not being 100% in stocks. Or in some cases "just" 100%!
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Xan » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:25 am

It may be that those are the people attracted to investment forums. It may be that the PP is not unique in this regard.

Also, the respondents to that survey are not necessarily representative of everybody on this forum. Those are the subset of people here who happen to know their Myers-Briggs type. Seems to me (but maybe it's not true) that the "I"s are more likely to fit that description.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Tyler » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:14 pm

Xan wrote: Also, the respondents to that survey are not necessarily representative of everybody on this forum. Those are the subset of people here who happen to know their Myers-Briggs type. Seems to me (but maybe it's not true) that the "I"s are more likely to fit that description.
In my own unscientific experience, whenever I see a reference to Myers-Briggs there's a 99% chance the author identifies as INT*. Rationally categorizing everything is part of the personality trait, after all. ;)
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by l82start » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:30 pm

i have seen the topic of myers brigs come up on other forums over the years and the results are similar to here, it may be that "forum posting" itself as a form of communication is the draw to intj as much or more than the forums topics are.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Libertarian666 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:21 pm

l82start wrote:i have seen the topic of myers brigs come up on other forums over the years and the results are similar to here, it may be that "forum posting" itself as a form of communication is the draw to intj as much or more than the forums topics are.
INTx are about 10x as common in online fora than in real life.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by tim47 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:52 pm

Well, here is one ENFP... now I know why I do not contribute to the ongoing dialogue....
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by dualstow » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:43 pm

tim47 wrote:Well, here is one ENFP... now I know why I do not contribute to the ongoing dialogue....
hah! Well you're not alone. I tested as an ENFP (borderline I), not that I believe in the test.
Took the test a very, verylong time ago. I remember my dad, an ISTJ, rubbing it in that most of the book's examples of enfp's were fictional characters. O0
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by modeljc » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:02 pm

Even if you add 17 Billion invested in Permanent Portfolio (PRPFX) and 60 Billion in Ray Dalio Bridgewater Assoc. All Weather portfolio you still can't find many who Believe in the Permanent Portfolio. Also the Dalio All Weather is not a pure Permanent Portfolio and PRPFX is not very close either.

This is the best face I can put on being on the outside of the investment world and maybe being on the fringe.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Libertarian666 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:13 pm

modeljc wrote:Even if you add 17 Billion invested in Permanent Portfolio (PRPFX) and 60 Billion in Ray Dalio Bridgewater Assoc. All Weather portfolio you still can't find many who Believe in the Permanent Portfolio. Also the Dalio All Weather is not a pure Permanent Portfolio and PRPFX is not very close either.

This is the best face I can put on being on the outside of the investment world and maybe being on the fringe.
I don't let others' opinions affect my investing strategy, other than of course if they point out something I've overlooked, e. g., Harry Browne's analyses. What I care about is how well my investing strategy does for me.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by ochotona » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:12 am

The board is really quiet. That itself could be an indication of a market top. @Thebubblebubble Jesse Colombo of Forbes notes that people are following him less on Twitter, he preaches on bubbles. We also have the University of Michigan consumer sentiment poll where more than 10% of respondents think the stock market is 100% sure to go up in coming year.

After we get a bear market, and when it bottoms, everyone will be back... then it will time to go all in, not be in the PP
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by brajalle » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:12 am

Libertarian666 wrote:
l82start wrote:i have seen the topic of myers brigs come up on other forums over the years and the results are similar to here, it may be that "forum posting" itself as a form of communication is the draw to intj as much or more than the forums topics are.
INTx are about 10x as common in online fora than in real life.
Looking at the poll from this forum, I'd say the ratio is something like 20-30x. The numbers given for each INT is generally in the 2% range.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by Libertarian666 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:50 am

brajalle wrote:
Libertarian666 wrote:
l82start wrote:i have seen the topic of myers brigs come up on other forums over the years and the results are similar to here, it may be that "forum posting" itself as a form of communication is the draw to intj as much or more than the forums topics are.
INTx are about 10x as common in online fora than in real life.
Looking at the poll from this forum, I'd say the ratio is something like 20-30x. The numbers given for each INT is generally in the 2% range.
Well, if it's 2% for each of INTJ and INTP, that would be 4%. 30x that would be 120%. Is this the new math? :P
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by JFP_SF » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:43 pm

Given the big run-up in stocks over the last 8 years (and bonds too), most investors aren't really worrying about risk right now. Investing has fashions like everything else in human affairs.

Me, I worry all the time :)
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by mathjak107 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:04 am

JFP_SF wrote:Given the big run-up in stocks over the last 8 years (and bonds too), most investors aren't really worrying about risk right now. Investing has fashions like everything else in human affairs.

Me, I worry all the time :)


so when all the assets move in the same direction as they have been every time there is a sniff of rate increase you must still worry all the time .

with the historical interest rate average of 6.30% on the us bond index from 1963 to 2016 which stands at 2.48% today , if you believe in reversion to the means you may still got a whole lot of worrying to do . i know my golden butterfly has been moving as much as a 100% stock portfolio at times .

in fact my golden butterfly now holds the distinction of racking up the biggest one day loss and the biggest one day gain in dollars i have experienced since toning my portfolio down for retirement more than 10 years ago ,

these kind of risk paired portfolio's only do their job when conditions are such that assets don't move together .

the catch 22 situation is that long term these things smooth out and eventually the draw down shrinks . but we use these portfolio's because we are not really interested in the long term gains as much as we are the shorter term and mitigating those temporary drops and swings . .

long term over decades equity's almost always win out . but we want to avoid the wild swings in the shorter term so we are not 100% equity's .

but think about the logic .

we are trying to mitigate the temporary short term drops and swings with assets that can try do that but if you are a longer term investor that mitigation permanently hurts long term gains .

so if these risk paired portfolio's do swing as much in the short term when assets correlate then we are not getting what we signed on for and are merely just giving up long term gains in the end from other assets like equity's . .

these are really unconventional times and we don't really know what to expect from our investments anymore . nothing can be counted on to act like it used to as we have some awful strange bedfellows now .

to be honest , i signed on to the butterfly concept because of all the uncertainty and i wanted to mitigate the shorter term volatility while holding on to the lovely gains i had accumulated in my other portfolio over the last few years . but so far in the months i have been using it i have seen more volatility and less gains than my other model i typically follow . so , the jury is still out as far as the portfolio doing it's job over the time frames you would want it to do it's job best .

i find the dilemma is you want the portfolio because you are more interested in the short term volatility than maximizing gains in the long term yet right now you are getting the volatility of going for maximum gains but not getting them so you say to yourself "whats the point ?" i may as well do what i always did if i have to wait for the long term for the volatility to smooth out anyway . . .

these risk paired portfolio's seem to be more a fair weather friend that stays a friend as long as the expectations are not for continuing of rising rates going back towards the historical norm . otherwise they can't do some of their job's properly like mitigating that volatility in the short term . .
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by modeljc » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:34 am

mathjak107 wrote:
JFP_SF wrote:Given the big run-up in stocks over the last 8 years (and bonds too), most investors aren't really worrying about risk right now. Investing has fashions like everything else in human affairs.

Me, I worry all the time :)


so when all the assets move in the same direction as they have been every time there is a sniff of rate increase you must still worry all the time .

with the historical interest rate average of 6.30% on the us bond index from 1963 to 2016 which stands at 2.48% today , if you believe in reversion to the means you may still got a whole lot of worrying to do . i know my golden butterfly has been moving as much as a 100% stock portfolio at times .

in fact my golden butterfly now holds the distinction of racking up the biggest one day loss and the biggest one day gain in dollars i have experienced since toning my portfolio down for retirement more than 10 years ago ,

these kind of risk paired portfolio's only do their job when conditions are such that assets don't move together .

the catch 22 situation is that long term these things smooth out and eventually the draw down shrinks . but we use these portfolio's because we are not really interested in the long term gains as much as we are the shorter term and mitigating those temporary drops and swings . .

long term over decades equity's almost always win out . but we want to avoid the wild swings in the shorter term so we are not 100% equity's .

but think about the logic .

we are trying to mitigate the temporary short term drops and swings with assets that can try do that but if you are a longer term investor that mitigation permanently hurts long term gains .

so if these risk paired portfolio's do swing as much in the short term when assets correlate then we are not getting what we signed on for and are merely just giving up long term gains in the end from other assets like equity's . .

these are really unconventional times and we don't really know what to expect from our investments anymore . nothing can be counted on to act like it used to as we have some awful strange bedfellows now .

to be honest , i signed on to the butterfly concept because of all the uncertainty and i wanted to mitigate the shorter term volatility while holding on to the lovely gains i had accumulated in my other portfolio over the last few years . but so far in the months i have been using it i have seen more volatility and less gains than my other model i typically follow . so , the jury is still out as far as the portfolio doing it's job over the time frames you would want it to do it's job best .

i find the dilemma is you want the portfolio because you are more interested in the short term volatility than maximizing gains in the long term yet right now you are getting the volatility of going for maximum gains but not getting them so you say to yourself "whats the point ?" i may as well do what i always did if i have to wait for the long term for the volatility to smooth out anyway . . .

these risk paired portfolio's seem to be more a fair weather friend that stays a friend as long as the expectations are not for continuing of rising rates going back towards the historical norm . otherwise they can't do some of their job's properly like mitigating that volatility in the short term . .

I think you need to worry ALL THE TIME if rates ever go back to the 6% level. Cash will lose the least but that won't save us.
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Re: Nobody believes in the Permanent Portfolio

Post by dualstow » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:46 am

When it comes to investments, I don't worry at all.
I'll leave that to the wise folks.
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