“Dear Stephen, Thank you very much for the hour-long chat with me the other night. It has really moved me forward to the point where I am going to start buying some ETFs in the next few days, after which I shall be back to you for Autocue service sign-up. I like the feel of your website, I have to say, as I’m sure do many others. Good luck; we all need it. Chris”

For people who want to manage their own portfolio with easy simplicity, I offer a monitoring service of pre-selected ETF. I call it Autocue.

In 2011 some clients asked me to reduce the pool of ETF; make it easier to sift. They wanted the simplest competent portfolio-construction I could devise. In response:

  • I selected 35 sectors and themes from which I – in the role of beginner – would feel happy to create my own coherent, diversified portfolio.
  • Then I chose an index to reflect each of the 35 sectors / themes,
  • and a specific ETF to track each one of those 35 indices.
  • Finally, I segmented the 35 into seven groups of attributes I see them sharing:
  1. Dreadnought – core-holdings for almost any long-term portfolio, and in ETF already bigger than £1,000,000,000.
  2. Endurance – sectors not yet as robust as Dreadnought, but likely resilient.
  3. Preserver – to protect the value of capital; from the effects of either inflation, deflation, or both.
  4. Acrobat – to hold a balance between income and growth, with risk widely spread.
  5. Scout – themes of immense importance to mid-century and beyond.
  6. Undaunted – important sectors, but either been or going out of fashion.
  7. Intrepid – sectors, ideas and themes that might do well; or not!

Every morning I plot the 35 indices against their 50- and 200-day averages. I post the 35 charts together in a Dropbox folder to which all subscribers have access 24/7.
Every evening I plot the 35 ETF in their Dreadnought-Intrepid group, and post those charts too in the Dropbox folder.
If any of the 35 indices or ETF show a sign of jeopardy, I send an Autocue email to all subscribers. My motive is to prompt attention, to consider, “Timely action… if not now, then when … and what?” The emails are happily infrequent. I aim not to ‘cry wolf’. The two main triggers are when an index falls to the 50-day MDA; and again when it tumbles to the 200-day MDA.
Most weekends I send a summary email. In quiet times, its purpose is to reassure subscribers I’m still on the case.

The Autocue subscription service includes continual access to all the data in the Dropbox folder; including my full list of ETF. Please contact me for details (including subscription price).