My daily routine is non-existant, mainly due to my investment choices thus far. As you both know my focus in on asset allocation coupled with dollar cost averaging within me and my SO retirement accounts. One account gets 2 installments per month, the another gets one installment per month, and our IRAs get one installment per year which I try to market time as much as possible within a range of 1-2 months in the year. My investment options are self limited at this point to index funds, since that allows me the ability to minimize expenses and go along with the research that shows that index funds out perform 80% or more of the actively managed funds. Since I cannot invest in many of the excellent actively managed funds anyway within my employer sponsored retirement accounts, I don’t bother looking too hard at the actively managed funds–not a good use of my time.

Here’s my asset allocation:

  • 30.0% – US Large Cap
  • 11.5% – US Mid Cap
  • 21.0% – US Small Cap
  • 2.7% – US Bond
  • 1.7% – Corporate Bond
  • 15.0% – International – General
  • 8.0% – International – Emerging Market
  • 7.5% – REIT
  • 2.5% – Specialty Funds (Energy, Social, etc)
  • 0.1% – Misc cash

Feel free to comment and challenge my allocation. I wanted our long-term investments to roughly fall into the 60% US stocks, 25% Foreign stocks, 10% REIT, 5% Bonds. It’s hard to maintain exact allocation numbers across 6 separate accounts (I have 3 and my SO has 3 and there isn’t a good way to consolidate them). I’m the least exciting investor in this group. I go for stodgy index funds, dollar cost average, and stick with maxing out tax-advantaged accounts.

So what daily routine would be appropriate for this investment approach? Nothing comes to mind, since the whole idea behind this approach is just to create a strategy and stick with it through thick and thin. I think the key for me is that I need to get some money into a taxable account that I can play with. Right now, though, our focus is on the very near term (<3yrs) and very long term (>30yrs), so thanks to you guys and all the great commentary this group is generating, I’m starting to get moving creating a plan for investing while in between the next 3 and 30 years.

I plan on setting aside a small amount to play with just to learn and have a hand in things. My goal is to set this money aside this month or next so I can have something to wade into the deep-end of the market with. I’ve been considering paying TrendMarkets $50 for one month’s worth of their Power Ratings just to see if they really can be useful for short term (maximum of 5 days) momentum trades. The link above takes you to the free version, but the $50 service will show you the “best of” moves for the day using the same Power Ratings. The idea is that stocks with 1 or 2 ratings are almost certain to go down sharply in the next 5 days and stocks with an 8 or higher rating are almost certain to go up sharply in the next 5 days.

I’ll gladly share all of my results, methodology and ideas with you both. I’m curious about whether these “power ratings” services can help sift out some gold nuggets or whether they are just another get-rich-quick-while-someone-else-thinks-for-me scam. My hope is that Power Ratings or an equivalent would help me identify either (1) a handful of stocks to investigate each day and then I could use my experience/skill to select the best play or (2) the best entry point into the market for a stock I’ve been following for a while. I’d like to try Power Ratings out for a few months and see if it yields decent results. I’m totally willing to invest $100 – $200 to see if this tool can help present some potentially good buys and some potentially good shorts. Power Ratings reports being able to do both. Once I subscribe to that, I’ll have plenty to contribute to the blog I’m sure! Please let me know what you both think about this idea and whether it’s bunk, full of hopes and dreams, or something similar to what you’ve considered/tried.

Regarding my research routine, I read John Mauldin for sure and try to stay on top of his 2 weekly mailings since they are so insightful and interesting. I look at my personal finances every day, although more out of general interest than a plan to actually do anything other than pay the bills and move as much money into money market as possible and leaving it there as long as possible. Other than that, it’s hit or miss random reading online. I haven’t found a good website with info I’m interested in looking at day after day, although the websites you both sent out look much more promising than what I’ve stumbled across.