The latest

  • The market last year and 2017 to come

    A real-money account that followed the Mama Bear Portfolio was tracked during calendar year 2016 by the brokerage firm The Mama Bear outperformed the S&P 500 (including dividends) for 10 out of 12 months of the year.

    Significantly, when the S&P 500 fell a gut-wrenching 11% in January–February 2016, the Mama Bear Portfolio lost only a very mild 3% (image, left above). This head start — a smooth ride that’s typical of Muscular Portfolios — helped the Mama Bear perform well, even though diversified portfolios don’t usually win in bull markets.

    For more information, see our Jan. 3, 2017, newsletter.

  • See trading costs of major ETFs for free

    One little-known fee, known as a “bid-ask spread,” can seriously eat into your investing returns. Now our website makes it possible for you to see these costs before you buy or sell. This can save you money and help protect you from “flash crashes.”

    For more information, see our Oct. 13, 2016, newsletter.

  • Brexit shows how Muscular Portfolios work

    The June 23, 2016, vote in Great Britain to leave the European Union shook the world. The following Friday and Monday saw the value of global equities driven down by $3 trillion — the worst two-day rout ever, exceeding even the losses after the 2008 Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

    The S&P 500 dived 5.3% on those two volatile days. But both the Mama Bear and Papa Bear actually rose, thanks to their fully disclosed strategy rules. The portfolios had rotated into bonds, precious metals, and commodities weeks or months before the shock wave struck. As a result, both portfolios were up 2.6% in two days as their assets rose, sparing investors from the agony that gripped most stock-market players.

    For the first six months of 2016, the Mama and Papa were up 10.5% and 6.3%, respectively, while the S&P 500 including dividends was up only 4.1%. The two Muscular Portfolios also suffered only minor drawdowns in early 2016 — the Mama declined only 2.3%, for example — despite the S&P 500 subjecting investors to a gut-wrenching 10.3% dive in its January-February collapse.

    For more details, see the July 6, 2016, newsletter.

  • Get the Papa Bear Portfolio’s stats

    A new, fully disclosed investing strategy is joining the Mama Bear Portfolio, which was first revealed over one year ago. The new formula is called the Papa Bear Portfolio. Both strategies will be part of the forthcoming book Muscular Portfolios: Reduce Your Risk to Increase Your Investing Gains (2018) by Brian Livingston.

    The Papa Bear Portfolio is an easy-to-use plan in which the investor holds three low-cost exchange-traded funds each month out of a menu of 13 ETFs. The selected three funds are those with the strongest performance, as determined by a Momentum Rule. Like the Mama Bear, the Papa Bear remains 100% invested at all times, with no market timing, no active investing, and no requirement for the investor to form any opinion about the market.

    The new Papa Bear Portfolio page displays ETF rankings that are updated every 10 minutes during market hours. For more information, read the May 2, 2016, newsletter.

  • Statistics page is now available

    A Web page that reveals one of the model portfolios in the forthcoming book Muscular Portfolios (2018) is now available on this site. The service is free of charge.

    The page shows percentage allocations for the nine exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the Mama Bear Portfolio, one of three investing models in the book. The statistics are updated every 10 minutes during New York market hours, with a delay of 20 minutes or more during active trading.

    The complete strategy rules for the portfolio are shown on the page. Statistics pages for the other model portfolios in the book will be added later in 2016.

    This project is an integral part of, a disruptive technology that aims to drive the price of investing advice to zero. Individual investors, of course, may still need to hire experts on financial planning, wills, trusts, college savings, and other specialized topics — but basic portfolio design is now available for free.

    To use the information, see the Mama Bear statistics page.

  • Book to be published in 2018

    Brian Livingston’s new book, Muscular Portfolios, will be released in 2018.

    Muscular Portfolios are new and better ways to manage an individual investor’s life savings. The method concentrates on keeping an individual’s losses low during bear markets as a key to achieving double-digit returns over a person’s entire lifetime.

    The technique — and three easy-to-follow portfolios — will be fully disclosed in the forthcoming book. There are no black boxes and nothing else to buy.

    To receive occasional updates, enter your email address in the box at the upper right.

  • Workshop in Boston, Nov. 20, 2014

    Brian Livingson will lead a seminar titled “Goldilocks Investing” on Thursday, Nov. 20 at the Boston chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). A subsequent speaker at the same event will be Christine Benz, director of personal finance for Morningstar Inc.

    Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, 5:45–7:00 p.m.
    Embassy Suites Hotel, Riverbank Ballroom
    550 Winter St., Waltham, MA 02453

    • Near exit 27B from I-95 north or south
    • Sliding-scale admission fee payable to AAII
    • Free parking in hotel parking lot

    An admission fee of $15 in advance or $20 at the door is charged by AAII, with an extra fee for dinner (available only with advance registration). For more information, visit:

    Registering at the AAII site does not register you with To receive occasional updates on Brian’s Livingston’s forthcoming book Muscular Portfolios (2018), enter your email address and ZIP code in the “Get updates” box at the upper-right of this page.

    The seminar will give you a sneak preview of chapters from the book before anyone in the general public. Bring your questions to gain the most from the one-on-one interaction with other individual investors.

  • Seminar in Seattle on Sept. 28, 2014

    A free Goldilocks Investing seminar will be held on Sunday, Sept. 28 at the Burien Library (photo, left) near Sea-Tac Airport. This is your opportunity to learn from Brian Livingston, author of the forthcoming book Muscular Portfolios, about managing your own high-performance portfolio with no fear of crashes.

    Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, 1:00–3:00 p.m.
    Burien Library
    400 SW 152nd St., Burien, WA 98166

    • One mile west of Sea-Tac Airport
    • Free admission (community education event)
    • Free off-street parking

    Muscular Portfolios are a completely do-it-yourself approach. This empowers you to avoid paying expensive investment advisers who may charge hidden fees and have financial conflicts of interest. Once you understand the basic concepts, you can watch your assets grow while you spend less than 15 minutes per month giving your portfolio a quick tune-up.

    This free seminar will reveal three model investing strategies that are fully disclosed, with nothing else you must buy. No products or services will be sold at this discussion. The event is purely educational and open to the public.

    You must register for the seminar at least 24 hours in advance. To register, enter your email address and ZIP code in the “Get updates” box at right by 1:00 p.m. on Sept. 27. You will receive seminar materials via email the day before the seminar begins.

    The seminar will give you a sneak preview of chapters from Muscular Portfolios before anyone in the general public has seen the book. Bring your questions to gain the most from the one-on-one interaction with other individual investors.