Asset Allocation for 2nd Quarter 2015

There are no changes to our Insightful Asset Allocation targets for the 2nd Quarter of 2015. That being said, we do recommend that it is time to rebalance the ‘Bond’ side of your portfolio. What we mean by that is to take your International Bond Fund(s) up to their target allocation by sell some of your US Bond Fund(s). If you need more information about which funds to include in these allocations, check our Favorite Mutual Funds list, Favorite ETFs , Model Mutual Fund Portfolios, or Model ETF Portfolios.

Asset Allocation April 2015

ETF Investment Portfolios April 2015

Here are our favorite Exchange Traded Fund – ETF Investment Portfolios for April 2015.

ETF / Fund Name  Allocation% ReturnAllocation
ETF Investing PortfolioTickerClass1/1/20153 Mo1 Yr4/1/2015
Money Market FundMM2%0.00.12%
iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Credit BondCSJSTB8%0.51.08%
PIMCO Total Return ETFBONDITB6%3.07.76%
iShares Barclays 0-5 Year TIPS BondSTIPIPB8%0.4(1.0)8%
iShares Core Total US Bond Market ETFAGGITB6%1.55.76%
SPDR Barclays High Yield BondJNKHYB3%2.60.53%
SPDR Barclays International Corporate BondIBNDGB4%(9.5)(15.5)4%
PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign DebtPCYEB3%2.26.33%
PowerShares Nasdaq 100QQQLCG3%2.521.83%
SPDR S&P DividendSDYLCV3%(0.3)11.43%
SPDR S&P MidCap 400MDYMCC3%5.311.93%
WisdomTree MidCap EarningsEZMMCC3%4.29.73%
iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETFIJRSCC3%3.98.63%
WisdomTree SmallCap EarningsEESSCC3%2.24.53%
iShares Russell Microcap IndexIWCMIC2%3.13.62%
iShares MSCI ACWI ex US IndexACWXIntl4%3.9(1.1)4%
SPDR S&P International Small CapGWXIntl4%6.0(3.1)4%
iShares MSCI Emerging Mkt Min Vol IndexEEMVEE4%4.25.94%
WisdomTree Emerging Mkts Small Cap DivDGSEE2%2.5(2.5)2%
iShares Dow Jones US Real EstateIYRRE6%4.121.56%
ProShares RAFI Long/ShortRALSL/S8%(3.5)(4.2)8%
Morgan Creek Global Tactical AAGTAAHdg4%2.02.74%
VelocityShares Volatility Hdgd Lg Cp ETFSPXHHdg4%(1.0)6.54%
Proshares Managed Futures StrategyFUTSCom4%1.00.04%
Portfolio Return / Value100%1.43.8100%
ETF and Mutual Fund PortfolioTickerClass1/1/20153 Mo1 Yr4/1/2015
Money Market FundMM0.00.1
Baird Short-Term BondBSBSXSTB4%0.71.44%
iShares Barclays 3-7 Year Treasury BondIEIIGB4%1.74.24%
iShares Barclays 0-5 Year TIPS BondSTIPIPB4%0.4(1.0)4%
Metropolitan West Total Return BondMWTRXITB6%1.35.46%
Wells Fargo Short Term High Yield BondSTHBXHYB4%1.91.74%
Dreyfus International BondDIBAXGB6%(0.1)0.76%
Payden Emerging Markets Bond AdviserPYEWXEB4%1.93.94%
SEIX Floating Rate High Income **SAMBXFRB4%2.42.24%
Metropolitan West Unconstrained BondMWCRXAB4%0.62.54%
Parnassus Core Equity InvestorPRBLXLCC2%(0.8)12.72%
PowerShares Nasdaq 100QQQLCG2%2.521.82%
SPDR S&P DividendSDYLCV2%(0.3)11.42%
WisdomTree MidCap EarningsEZMMCC2%4.29.72%
Congress Mid Cap Growth RetailCMIDXMCG2%4.314.42%
WisdomTree MidCap DividendDONMCV2%3.114.42%
WisdomTree SmallCap EarningsEESSCC2%2.24.52%
iShares S&P SmallCap 600 GrowthIJTSCG2%6.610.42%
Aston/Silvercrest Small CapASCTXSCV2%4.38.22%
Westcore Micro Cap OpportunityWTMIXMIC2%1.53.92%
FMI InternationalFMIJXIntl4%7.910.94%
Wasatch International OpportunitiesWAIOXIntl4%5.25.54%
Harding Loevner Emerging MarketsHLEMXEE2%1.4(1.0)2%
Driehaus Emerging Markets Small CapDRESXEE2%4.23.32%
Harding Loevner Frontier Emerg MktsHLMOXEE2%(3.0)(4.6)2%
AMG Managers Real Estate SecuritiesMRESXRE4%6.710.84%
Third Avenue Real Estate Value InvestorTVRVXRE2%3.010.02%
Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation**ABRZXHdg5%3.37.55%
Diamond Hill Long-Short **DIAMXL/S5%(0.2)5.25%
Hancock Horizon Quant Long/Short **HHQAXL/S5%2.49.75%
AQR Managed Futures StrategyAQMNXMF5%8.526.45%
Portfolio Return / Value100%2.66.9100%
Easy ETF PortfolioTickerClass1/1/20153 Mo1 Yr4/1/2015
Money Market FundMM2%0.00.12%
iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Credit BondCSJSTB10%0.51.010%
iShares Barclays 0-5 Year TIPS BondSTIPIPB8%0.4(1.0)8%
iShares Barclays Intermediate Credit BondCIUITB10%1.64.010%
PowerShares International Corporate BondPICBITB10%(6.5)(9.6)10%
SPDR S&P DividendSDYLC6%(0.3)11.46%
PowerShares Nasdaq 100QQQLC6%2.521.86%
WisdomTree MidCap EarningsEZMMC10%4.29.710%
WisdomTree SmallCap EarningsEESSC8%2.24.58%
PowerShares Intl Dividend AchieversPIDIntl12%0.1(1.9)12%
iShares MSCI Emerging Mkt Min Vol IndexEEMVEE6%4.25.96%
iShares Dow Jones US Real EstateIYRRE6%4.121.56%
Proshares Managed Futures StrategyFUTSMF6%1.00.06%
Portfolio Return / Value100%0.94.2100%

Mutual Fund Portfolios April 2015

Here are our favorite Mutual Funds Investment Portfolios for April 2015.

Fund Name  Allocation% ReturnAllocation
No Load Mutual Fund PortfolioTickerClass1/1/20153 Mo1 Yr4/1/2015
Money Market FundMM2%0.00.12%
Baird Short-Term BondBSBSXSTB4%0.71.44%
American Century Short Dur Infl Prot BondAPOIXIPB4%0.7(1.1)4%
Metropolitan West Total Return BondMWTRXITB4%1.35.44%
Wells Fargo Short Term High Yield BondSTHBXHYB4%1.91.74%
SEIX Floating Rate High Income **SAMBXFRB4%2.42.24%
Dreyfus International BondDIBAXGB6%(0.1)0.76%
Payden Emerging Markets Bond AdviserPYEWXEB4%1.93.94%
Metropolitan West Unconstrained BondMWCRXUB4%0.62.54%
BlackRock Global Long/Short CreditBGCAXL/S B4%1.61.24%
Parnassus Core Equity InvestorPRBLXLCC3%(0.8)12.73%
RidgeWorth Large Cap Value EquitySTVTXLCV3%(1.9)7.33%
Scout Mid CapUMBMXMCC3%6.06.93%
Congress Mid Cap Growth RetailCMIDXMCG3%4.314.43%
Hodges Small CapHDPSXSCG3%4.68.83%
Aston/Silvercrest Small CapASCTXSCV3%4.38.23%
Westcore Micro Cap OpportunityWTMIXMIC2%1.53.92%
FMI InternationalFMIJXIntl4%7.910.94%
Wasatch International OpportunitiesWAIOXISC4%5.25.54%
Harding Loevner Emerging MarketsHLEMXEE2%1.4(1.0)2%
Driehaus Emerging Markets Small CapDRESXEE2%4.23.32%
Harding Loevner Frontier Emerg MktsHLMOXEE2%(3.0)(4.6)2%
AMG Managers Real Estate SecuritiesMRESXRE4%6.710.84%
Third Avenue Real Estate Value InvestorTVRVXRE2%3.010.02%
Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation**ABRZXHdg4%3.37.54%
Merger FundMERFXHdg4%1.42.34%
Diamond Hill Long-Short **DIAMXL/S E4%(0.2)5.24%
Hancock Horizon Quant Long/Short **HHQAXL/S E4%2.49.74%
AQR Managed Futures StrategyAQMNXMF4%8.526.44%
Portfolio Return / Value100%2.55.8100%
Fidelity Investments PortfolioTickerClass1/1/20153 Mo1 Yr4/1/2015
Cash ReservesFDRXXMM2%0.00.12%
Limited Term BondFJRLXSTB6%1.12.36%
Intermediate GovernmentFSTGXIGB6%1.23.16%
Strategic Real ReturnFSRRXIPB6%0.1(2.9)6%
Total BondFTBFXITB6%1.95.36%
High IncomeSPHIXHYB6%2.31.46%
Floating Rate High IncomeFFRHXFRB6%2.01.56%
New Markets IncomeFNMIXEMB6%0.81.46%
Mega Cap StockFTQGXLCG12%4.87.812%
Low Priced StockFLPSXMCC10%1.87.410%
Small Cap Discovery*FSCRXSCC8%1.98.58%
International GrowthFIGFXIntl8%6.54.48%
International Small CapFISMXISC6%5.5(0.2)6%
Real Estate IncomeFRIFXRE8%2.69.68%
Real Estate InvestmentFRESXRE4%4.524.24%
Portfolio Return / Value100%2.75.1100%
Easy Mutual Fund PortfolioTickerClass1/1/20153 Mo1 Yr4/1/2015
Money Market FundMM2%0.90.12%
Baird Short-Term BondBSBSXSTB10%0.71.410%
American Century Short Dur Infl Prot BondAPOIXIPB6%0.7(1.1)6%
Metropolitan West Total Return BondMWTRXITB12%1.35.412%
Dreyfus International BondDIBAXGB10%(0.1)0.710%
Parnassus Core Equity InvestorPRBLXLC12%(0.8)12.712%
Congress Mid Cap Growth RetailCMIDXMC12%4.314.412%
Aston/Silvercrest Small CapASCTXSC10%4.38.210%
FMI InternationalFMIJXIntl12%7.910.912%
Harding Loevner Emerging MarketsHLEMXEE6%1.4(1.0)6%
AMG Managers Real Estate SecuritiesMRESXRE8%6.710.88%
Portfolio Return / Value100%2.77.0100%
Fidelity NTF Mutual Fund PortfolioTickerClass1/1/20153 Mo1 Yr4/1/2015
Money Market Fund (Cash Reserves)FDRXXMM2%0.04,7962%
Baird Short-Term BondBSBSXSTB4%0.79,6624%
Fidelity Intermediate Government IncFSTGXIGB4%1.29,7114%
Fidelity Strategic Real ReturnFSRRXIPB4%0.19,6034%
Metropolitan West Total Return BondMWTRXITB4%1.314,5816%
Fidelity High IncomeSPHIXHYB4%2.39,8094%
Eaton Vance Floating RateEVBLXFRB4%1.89,7644%
Dreyfus International BondDIBAXGB6%(0.1)9,5864%
Fidelity New Markets IncomeFNMIXEB4%0.89,6644%
BlackRock Global Long/Short CreditBGCAXL/S B4%1.69,7494%
Parnassus Core Equity InvestorPRBLXLCC2%(0.8)4,7592%
Fidelity Focused StockFTQGXLCG2%4.85,0262%
RidgeWorth Large Cap Value EquitySTVTXLCV2%(1.9)4,7052%
Scout Mid CapUMBMXMCC2%6.05,0822%
Baird MidCap InvBMDSXMCG2%4.35,0042%
Fidelity Low-Priced StockFLPSXMCV2%1.84,8812%
Fidelity Small Cap Discovery *FSCRXSCC2%1.94,8892%
Rice Hall James Small CapRHJMXSCG2%6.55,1062%
Aston/Silvercrest Small CapASCTXSCV2%4.35,0032%
Westcore Micro Cap OpportunityWTMIXMIC2%1.54,8682%
Fidelity International GrowthFIGFXIntl6%6.515,3206%
Wasatch International OpportunitiesWAIOXIntl4%5.210,0934%
Harding Loevner Emerging MarketsHLEMXEE2%1.44,8642%
Driehaus Emerging Markets Small CapDRESXEE4.24,9992%
Harding Loevner Frontier Emerg MktsHLMOXEE2%(3.0)4,6502%
Fidelity Real Estate IncomeFRIFXRE3%2.69,8404%
Third Avenue Real Estate Value InvestorTVRVXRE3%3.09,8774%
Merger FundMERFXHdg4%1.49,7274%
Wasatch Long/ShortFMLSXL/S E12%(1.7)14,1466%
AQR Managed Futures StrategyAQMNXMF4%8.515,6176%
Portfolio Return / Value100%1.9245,382100%
* Funds Closed to New Investors. If you do not already own this fund, you may choose another fund in the same category for your portfolio.
** Loaded funds that are available from some brokers, usually Schwab and sometimes Fidelity, without a load fee.

Mutual Fund, ETF, and Financial Markets Update April 2015

In many ways, the first quarter of 2015 looked a lot like the last quarter of 2014. Oil prices continued to fall and the US dollar continued to rise. While the direction of both trends continued, the strength of the moves showed signs of slowing down. While the overall market gained 1.8%, size and style mattered this quarter. Small Cap Growth stocks picked up 6.6% while Large Cap value actually lost (0.7%). Quantitative easing by European central banks helped International Stocks pick up 3.5% in spite of the fact that the rising dollar provided a strong headwind. Bonds continue to perform well, even as investors speculate on when the US Fed is going to start raising interest rates.

Investment Returns as of March 2015

Investment Returns as of March 2015

Our best performing bond funds were the two International Bond funds that hedge against the US dollar as both Payden Global Fixed Income (PYGFX) and PIMCO Foreign Bond (USD-Hedged) (PFODX) gained 2.5%. SEIX Floating Rate High Income (SAMBX) was not far behind with a 2.4% return, while Fidelity Total Bond (FTBFX) picked up 1.9%.

It was a good quarter for most stock funds, in spite of a difficult March for many. Some of our best performers were Fidelity Focused Stock (FTQGX) with a 4.8% return, Scout Mid Cap (UMBMX) with a 6.0% gain, and Rice Hall James Micro Cap (RHJSX) which added 6.6%. FMI International (FMIJX) was our best Non-US fund with a 7.9% return, while AMG Managers Real Estate Securities (MRESX) was our top sector fund with a 6.7% gain. Our best performer was Credit Suisse Managed Futures Strategy (CSAAX) which added 10.9% in the first three months of 2015.

Falling interest rates helped push iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) up 4.2% while a rebound for Emerging Market Bonds pushed iShares JPMorgan Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB) up 2.9%. On the other hand, the dollar’s continued strength contributed to a difficult quarter for developed country bonds as PowerShares International Corporate Bond (PICB) fell (6.5%).

Some of our better performing stock ETFs were PowerShares Buyback Achievers (PKW) which gained 2.7%, iShares S&P MidCap 400 Growth Index (IJK) which added 7.7%, and iShares Russell 2000 Growth Index (IWO) which rose 6.7%. There was quite a contrast between country ETFs this quarter as iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ) returned 11.5% which iShares MSCI Brazil Index (EWZ) lost (14.2%).

Our top sector ETF in the first quarter was SPDR S&P Biotech (XBI) which picked up 21.1%, while PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA) (11.1%) as commodities continued to lose ground. PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (UUP) was up 8.1% this quarter. That does not sound like a lot compared to some of the real big movers, but for the US Dollar that’s quite a significant move. That’s quite a headwind for investors looking for returns outside of the United States.

Our Favorite Mutual Funds April 2015, Favorite ETFs April 2015, Mutual Fund Portfolios, ETF Investment Portfolios,, and Favorite Fidelity Funds have been updated through March 2015.