How to find more articles by Geoff Considine

Geoff has published many articles in several online publications over the years. Many of them are available through our Library.

If you prefer a consolidated resource, Survival Guide for a Post-Pension World unifies much of the content from his articles.
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By Geoff Considine, Ph. D.

The Ultimate Income Portfolio: 7.1% Yield with Low Risk
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In July of 2010, I introduced a portfolio-construction strategy called the Ultimate Income Portfolio (UIP). I have updated that strategy annually, revising the holdings and reviewing the previous year’s results. My goal is to provide the maximum available yield while diversifying to reduce risk. I set a target risk, which is within the range that most individual investors seek. I also sell covered call options against portfolio holdings to increase income.

In this article, I analyze the performance of last year’s UIP and generate the UIP for 2014-15. The result is a portfolio that yields 7.1% with a risk level equivalent to a 70/30 stock/bond index fund. I also explore some of the lessons learned from four years of tracking and revising the portfolios.

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Are Dividend Stocks Too Expensive?
Dividend strategies tend to have a strong value tilt and lower price-to-book (P/B) and price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios than the market as a whole. But those strategies can become overvalued. When this occurs – we are currently in such a period – building a high-dividend, low-risk portfolio requires extra care.

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Do Commodities Belong in Your Allocation?
For much of the last several years, poor performance from commodities has hurt investors’ portfolios, a result of depressed interest rates, low inflation and slow economic growth. Any diversification value they provided was masked by strong equity-market performance. My analysis shows that only a small allocation to commodities is justified, and advisors can obtain most of the same benefits with real-estate investment trusts (REITs) or individual Treasury inflation-protected bonds (TIPS).

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Understanding the Controversy over Dividend-Based Investing
Should investors favor dividend-paying stocks over non-payers? A long-held investment tenet contends that they should. But in a controversy that has pitted two highly respected investment firms – New York-based Tweedy Browne and Texas-based Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) – against one another, advisors are being asked to reexamine this issue.
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The Risk Forecast for 2014
It’s the time of year when market pundits take to the notoriously difficult task of forecasting returns. Volatility is equally important, however, and it can be predicted much more reliably than asset-class performance. My forecast shows that the options market is underestimating risk in 2014, giving investors an opportunity to purchase portfolio protection at attractive prices.

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The Bomb Shelter Portfolio: Maximum Income with the Least Risk
Conservative investors are faced with unappealing choices. They can reduce risk and accept low yields and high exposure to rising rates, or they can push the bounds of their risk tolerance to increase yield. My analysis shows a way out of this predicament: a “bomb shelter” portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which offers attractive yield with minimal volatility and exposure to rising rates.

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The Ultimate Income Portfolio Revisited
Rising interest rates will be unkind to income-generating assets and the investors who depend on them in retirement. My ultimate-income portfolio (UIP) provides a solution to this problem. It has reliably produced high income and low volatility with respect to the stock market, and its performance is likely to continue, even if rates rise further.
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Do Income-Oriented Portfolios Reduce Safe Withdrawal Rates?
Among studies of safe withdrawal rates (SWRs) researchers have followed a common path: constructing portfolios with the goal of optimizing total return. This strategy achieves the highest SWR, but retirees often prefer a more income-oriented portfolio. I will illustrate the tradeoff investors make – in terms of a lower SWR – as they increase allocations to income-producing securities. But increasing income also brings a key benefit: lower estimation risk.
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The Power of Diversification and Safe Withdrawal Rates

When Bill Bengen published his seminal research in 1994, a 4% safe withdrawal rate (SWR) was clearly attainable with a variety of asset allocations. But bond yields are lower now than they were then, and equity returns for the next 20 years are unlikely to exceed those of the prior two decades. Indeed, a new paper by three highly respected researchers showed that SWRs for stock-bond portfolios are well below 4%. But as I will demonstrate, a 4% SWR is still possible with a more diversified portfolio – and without subjecting clients to additional risk.

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By Geoff Considine, Ph. D.
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