Sunday, January 4, 2009

Subscriber Newsletter Features and Portfolio Performance Through December 2008

As I mentioned previously, I continue to make enhancements to the subscriber newsletter. The most important change is that instead of publishing two very different editions on Wednesday and Sunday, I am now combining all the content into one weekly issue, with new content.

Starting with today’s the newsletter, the Market Recap and Commentary section is being expanded into a more comprehensive The Week in Review and separate Market Commentary section. There will be an increased emphasis on a global perspective, macroeconomic issues and fundamental analysis.

Another new section, Volatility Update, tracks and analyze changes in the VIX, the VIX and More Global Volatility Index, the VXV, and a number of related indicators, such as moving averages in the VIX, historical volatility in the SPX, the VIX:VXV ratio, etc.

The new VIX and More Subscriber Newsletter will be published on Sunday evenings going forward, with the following ‘permanent’ sections:

  1. The Week in Review
  2. Market Commentary
  3. The Week Ahead: What to Look For
  4. Market Sentiment (using a proprietary Aggregate Market Sentiment Indicator)
  5. Volatility Update
  6. Asset Class Outlook (short, intermediate, and long-term outlook for ten asset classes)
  7. Weekly Feature(s)
  8. Current Investment Thesis
  9. VIX and More Focus Model Portfolios
  10. Stock of the Week

As the newsletter and the economy are undergoing some dramatic changes, I am now making the newsletter available on a free trial basis. In order to receive a free trial, just click on the “Monthly Subscription: Subscribe” button in the upper right hand corner of the blog and follow the instructions. The free trial lasts for 14 days. Readers who elect not to cancel after the 14 day trial period will be billed at a rate of $30 per month.

Also, as a gesture of appreciation to former subscribers, I will add one free month to any subscriber who chooses to re-subscribe.

In response to reader requests, I will also be creating a detailed glossary to provide background on terms, abbreviations, acronyms and tickers I frequently refer to in the newsletter. The beginnings of this glossary can be found in the post below.

For the record, some of the December features included:

  • 2008 Volatility Highlights and Observations
  • What the VIX Indicates Right Now
  • Equity and Credit Risk Both Dropping Rapidly
  • Housing Prices, Inventory, and Net Worth
  • Strong Divergence Between Investment Grade and High Yield Corporate Bonds
  • VIX Term Structure Shows Changing Evolution of Volatility and Risk Expectations
  • Further Research into the Spread Between the VIX and the Historical Volatility of the SPX
  • A Closer Look at VIX and SPX Divergences
  • Week By Week Asset Class Year in Review
  • Financials Lagging, Consumer Discretionary Stocks Leading
  • Options Expiration Income Strategy
  • A Buy-Write Strategy Approach
  • New Feature: Volatility Update
  • Sector Strength in the Recent Rally

Since their launch (3/30/08 for the Focus Foreign Growth and Stock of the Week, 8/31/08 for the Focus Growth 2), the portfolios (equities only, long only) have performed as follows:

If anyone has any additional questions about the subscriber newsletter, please feel free to email me at

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