I have long advocated my ?Buy and Forget? portfolio for those who are terrible at trading.
This is where you buy just six self hedging, counterbalancing exchange traded funds and then rebalance once a year (click here for the article).
But what if you want to be a little more aggressive, say twice as aggressive? What if markets don?t deliver any year on year change, as they have done this year?
Then you need a little more juice in your portfolio, and some extra leverage to earn your crust of bread and secure your retirement.
It turns out that I have just the solution for you. This would be my ?Passive/Aggressive Portfolio?.
I call it passive in that you just purchase these positions and leave them alone and not trade them. I call it aggressive as it involves a basket of 2x leveraged ETFs issued by ProShares, based in Bethesda, MD (click here for their site).
The volatility of this portfolio will be higher. But the returns will be double what you would get with an index fund, and possibly much more. It is a ?Do not open until 2035? kind of investment strategy.
Here is the makeup of the portfolio:
(ROM) ?- ProShares Ultra Technology Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Facebook (FB). It is up 13.7% so far this year. For more details on the fund, please click here: http://www.proshares.com/funds/rom_daily_holdings.html.
(UYG) ? ProShares Ultra Financials Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Wells Fargo (WFC), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), and JP Morgan Chase (JPM). It is up 6.2% so far this year. For more details on the fund, please click here: http://www.proshares.com/funds/uyg_index.html.
(UCC) ? ProShares Ultra Consumer Services Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are Amazon (AMZN), (Walt Disney), (DIS), and Home Depot (HD). It is up 18.3% so far this year. For more details on the fund, please click here: http://www.proshares.com/funds/ucc.html.
(DIG) — ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas Fund – The three largest single stock holdings are ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), and Schlumberger (SLB). It is DOWN 38.2% so far this year. For more details on the fund, please click here: http://www.proshares.com/funds/dig.html.
(BIB) ? ProShares Ultra NASDAQ Biotechnology Fund ? The three largest single stock holdings are Amgen (AMGN), Regeneron (REGN), and Gilead Sciences (GILD). It is up 15% so far this year, but at one point (before the ?Sell in May and Go away? I widely advertised) it was up a positively stratospheric 64%. For more details on the fund, please click here; http://www.proshares.com/funds/bib.html.
You can play around with the sector mix at your own discretion. Just focus on the fastest growing sectors of the US economy, which the Mad Hedge Fund Trader does on a daily basis.
It is tempting to add more leveraged ETFs for sectors that are completely bombed out, like gold (UGL), which has pared 27% of its value in 2015, and commodities (UCD) which is off 15%.
But it is likely that these despised ETFs will move down before they move up, especially going into year end.
There is also the 2X short Treasury bond fund (TBT), which I have been trading in and out of for years, a bet that long-term bonds will go down, interest rates rise.
There are a couple of provisos to mention here.
This is absolutely NOT a portfolio you want to own going into a recession. So you will need to exercise some kind of market timing, however occasional.
The good news is that I make more money in bear markets than I do in bull markets because the volatility is higher. However, to benefit from this skill set, you have to keep reading the Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader.
There is also a problem with leveraged ETFs in that management and other fees can be high, dealing spreads wide, and tracking errors huge.
This is why I am limiting the portfolio to 2X ETFs, and avoiding their much more costly and inefficient 3X cousins, which are really only good for intraday trading. The 3X ETFs are really just a broker enrichment vehicle.
There are also going to be certain days when you might want to just go out and watch a long movie, like Gone With the Wind, with an all ETF portfolio, rather than monitor their performance, no matter how temporary it may be.
A good example was the August 24 flash crash, when the complete absence of liquidity drove all of these funds to huge discounts to their asset values.
Check out the charts below, and you can see the damage that was wrought by high frequency traders on that cataclysmic day, down -53% in the case of the (ROM). Notice that all of these discounts disappeared within hours. It was really just a function of the pricing mechanism being broken.
I have found the portfolio above quite useful when close friends and family members ask me for stock tips for their retirement funds.
It was perfect for my daughter who won?t be tapping her teacher?s pension accounts for another 45 years, when I will be long gone. She mentions her blockbuster returns every time I see her, and she has only been in them for five years.
Imagine what technology, financial services, consumer discretionaries, biotechnology, and oil and gas will be worth then? It boggles the mind. My guess is up 100 fold from today?s levels.
You won?t want to put all of your money into a single portfolio like this. But it might be worth carving out 10% of your capital and just leaving it there.
That will certainly be a recommendation for financial advisors besieged with clients complaining about paying high fees for negative returns in a year that is unchanged, or up only 1%-2%. Virtually everyone has them right now.
Adding some spice, and a little leverage to their portfolios might be just the ticket for them.