6 years in: How has Karl’s Permanent Portfolio performed compared to the DOW or S&P500?

It was August 21, 2015, when I published a buy and hold portfolio which is designed to weather both good times and bad while being static (no trading). The purpose of publishing the portfolio is for educational purposes only, and readers should review the disclosures at the top of the portfolio’s page. I do not make any money on publishing this and even this blog brings me zero income. This is simply information for the public to do with as they wish or to throw in the digital trash. The portfolio has been called “eclectic” because of its diversification and inclusion. With standard-bearers such as Berkshire Hathaway and gold, it also includes Bitcoin and various foreign currencies. I designed it to be static — true buy and hold. The only change was regarding the ending of CurrencyShares Singapore Dollar Trust earlier this year, and I converted that to actual Singapore Dollars. I designed the portfolio to have little tax and fee consequences during its growth.

One can start with $1,000 and add to the portfolio periodically as they wish or not. This is not an ETF, though in retrospect, perhaps I should have created a fund; but this is something anyone can do or follow. The portfolio began with NVR, BRK.b, and PayPal as its top three holdings and a few of its smallest holdings started with Bitcoin and the Singapore Dollar. Since there is no periodic rebalancing of the portfolio, there have been many changes to the top three and bottom three holdings.

It has now been six years, let’s see how it’s done! Over the last six years, the DOW has gone up 113% and the S&P 500 has risen 125% while my permanent portfolio has risen 790% (an average of 131% per year). This return does not consider dividends, etc. Had you invested $10,000 in what the portfolio put forth, it would have increased in value to $79,000 (exclusive of dividends, etc.) Bitcoin has been the highest performing in the portfolio, along with PayPal, NVR, and the iShares Gold Trust, respectively. The worst performing was the Swiss Franc going down almost 3% over the last six years. I do not expect future returns to be anywhere near as rosy as 131% per year (that is unsustainable), although it has always outperformed the DOW and S&P 500. Prior years have shown the following CUMULATIVE returns: YR1 12%, YR2 79.4%, YR3 125%, YR4 159%, YR5 252.3%, YR6 790%.

You can thank the financial mismanagement by our federal government for these above-average returns as “quantitative easing,” raging federal deficits, federal debts, etc have helped to propel this portfolio to new highs. So long as our government acts irresponsibly, my version of a Permanent Portfolio will continue to excel.

Celebrate success, don’t denigrate it

When one is deemed to be successful, often is the case where the public will only see the outward notes of success and not realize what went into making that person successful. Success comes in many forms; health, finances, relationships, etc.

Often is the time when people unknowingly believe that a person became financially successful because of their connections, or walking over people, or perhaps they were just lucky or have great genes. This mindset completely discounts the many years of hard work and sacrifice one has made to become successful, while it also roots itself from jealousy or envy over unbiased rationale. Whether you believe in Gladwell’s 10,000 Hours theory or not, someone achieve mostly the path to success through time, dedication, blood, sweat, tears, and yes, some luck will often come in to play.

The fact is that most successful people have given up many things in their lives to reach a certain level in life. For example, we recently had the 2021 NPC Florida Grand Prix (bodybuilding) in Boynton Beach, Florida, where the best of the best showed off their achievements. While genes help many in such a competition, it is only through hard work, discipline, and genuine sacrifice that the winners made it through to receive their accolades.

Aren’t we, as a nation, tired of being so negative toward one’s success? Instead, it should be celebrated and serve as motivation for us all to do better and achieve more. Allowing envy or jealousy to enter your mind to discount what someone has accomplished not only diminishes the success, it also is a negative emotion that lives in your mind.

On Saturday evening, Elon Musk is scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live and some cast members are protesting; some have reportedly said they are not going on stage with him because he’s a billionaire. As with many Americans, it will be the first SNL episode I have watched in years; they expect ratings to be the highest in a very long time, and yet some will still throw stones. Why? These same people being critical of Musk appearing on SNL do not seem to have a problem with multi-millionaires living in multiple $20 million homes hosting. Like, SNL cast member Pete Davidson, it makes little sense why some do not want to share the stage with the third wealthiest person on the planet. While I have some issues with Musk and would have advised him not to do the show in the first place, if I was a cast member, I would be ecstatic to share the stage with him.

We are living in an odd time, and it is sad people are so down on those who have made the world a better place and gone over and above the norm. We shouldn’t be envious of other’s success, we should see them as inspiration to motivate us to become more productive for ourselves and society.

COVID vaccine qualification for those 60+ starts on Monday in Florida

The Palm Beach Examiner

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Amending his previous Emergency Order, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered Floridians 60 years old and over will be qualified to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines available beginning on Monday, March 15, 2021. This will expand those who qualify to:

• Long-term care facility residents and staff;
• Persons 60 years of age and older;
• Health care personnel with direct patient contact;
• K-I 2 school employees 50 years of age and older;
• Sworn law enforcement officers 50 years of age and older; and
• Firefighters 50 years of age and older.

Vaccinations are available throughout Palm Beach County and the State of Florida via Publix, CVS, Walgreens, and other locations. To find a site near you, you can visit the vaccine locater on the Florida Department of Health’s website. To be tested if you have COVID-19, one can go to this…

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Berkshire Hathaway continues to be one of the best vehicles for retirement

The Palm Beach Examiner

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) has been a godsend for investors over many decades. The company does not throw off a dividend, and the only tax implications in owning the stock are when you sell. The annual per share market value of BRK has been 20 percent since 1965, while the S&P 500 has only returned just over 10 percent per year. It is like a mutual fund, as it is a conglomerate and operates without the fees or tax implications of a mutual fund.

Berkshire Hathaway Class A Stock Chart via Google Finance

By owning the one stock, an investor is getting Apple, Coca-Cola, American Express, NetJets, and many other companies under one roof so-to-speak. For the past 55 years, BRK has been a long-term efficient way to invest in the stock market and is meant to be a long-term hold instead of trading the stock regularly.


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My top 5 stock picks for 2021

If you wanted to add another, go with Alphabet (GOOGL) Class A

I will post the 2021 Portfolio’s prices on January 1, 2021, and then update six months later, then again on 12/31/2021. Let’s see how it performs, positive or negative.

For information on my Permanent Portfolio which has well outperformed the market averages over the last five years go here: https://karldickey.wordpress.com/karl-dickey-investment-portfolio/

Disclaimer: The material provided on this website should be used for informational purposes only and in no way should be relied upon for financial advice. Also, note that such material is not updated regularly and some information may not, therefore, be current. Please be sure to consult your own financial advisor when making decisions regarding your financial management.

Palm Beach Examiner Voter Guide and Endorsements

The Palm Beach Examiner

Here, we will put forth our endorsements for most candidates and issues on Palm Beach County voter ballots in the November 3, 2020 general election. We would strongly advise voters to completely research all the candidates and issues rather than rely on endorsements from us, mainstream media, or special interest groups. You can use our search box above to research the amendments or candidates for more in-depth articles.

PRESIDENT: There are 7 candidates on the ballot plus 6 more qualified write-in candidates. Out of those, only three will be on the ballot in all 50 states; Joe Biden, Jo Jorgensen, and Donald Trump. We seek the most freedom-based candidates (those who will vote for maximum freedom of the individual). In that regard, we recommend voting for Jo Jorgensen.

U.S. House District 21: There are 3 candidates seeking to represent Florida’s Congressional District 21; Lois Frankel, Laura Loomer, and…

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Lyft offering discounted rides to the polls so more Americans can vote

The Palm Beach Examiner

As a way for encourage more voting in tomorrow’s general election, ride share tech company Lyft is offering 50% off for riders going to their polling location. Called “Ride to Vote” the discount does not apply to your trip back home or work. On Election Day, Lyft is offering 50% off one ride up to $10 to any polling location or drop box using the code 2020VOTE*. You can get an extra $5 to download their app for the first time using this link.

The Palm Beach Examiner created a voter guide which you can use found here: https://palmbeachexaminer.com/2020/10/05/palm-beach-examiner-voter-guide-and-endorsements/

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Lyft is working withWhen We All Vote,Vote.org, and other partners to provide communities with the tools they need to register to vote.These organizations join Lyft’s growing list of Voting Access partners, which includes theNational Federation of the Blind,

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Harry Browne: When Will We Learn? — Independent Political Report

19 years ago today, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Harry Browne, the Libertarian Party’s 1996 and 2000 presidential nominee, posted the following to WorldNetDaily as his reaction to the events.  Prior to 9/11, Browne warned interventionist American foreign policy would have catastrophic consequences for the nation. In his essay, he explains why the attacks should not surprise,…

Harry Browne: When Will We Learn? — Independent Political Report

Five year performance review of Karl’s Permanent Portfolio

So, it was August 21, 2015 when I made public my permanent portfolio so we will do a full five-year review along with why I chose each investment. The portfolio page can be found here along with all its lengthy financial disclosures, more details, etc. The portfolio was put out publicly for educational purposes.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The foundation for the portfolio was Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio; however, I made some adjustments based on my experience. I designed the portfolio to protect against inflation with an eye on capital appreciation and very low annual income tax exposure. The portfolio is static, so there is no trading involved unless you do what I recommend and dollar cost average into the portfolio with consistent contributions. This is a buy and hold portfolio with some esoteric investments. The figures below do not include dividends, which are minimal anyway, but would boost the total return slightly higher.

So, let’s get right into it.

From August 21, 2015-2021:

DOW was up 69.69% (16,459 to 27.959)

S&P was up 72.4% (1,970 to 3,397)

Karl’s Permanent Portfolio was up 252.3% ($1,000,000 to $3,522,744)

Now for the individual stocks and investment assets:

PayPal Holdings (PYPL) is a solid company, and I am surprised someone like BRK hasn’t swallowed them up. It was originally around 10% of the portfolio and is now just shy of 17% of the portfolio after growing 462% over the last five years. I like this company because of its solid track record, no dividend, and felt it had great growth potential.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.b) does not produce a dividend but does produce capital appreciation. While everyone has been naysaying Buffett about how he’d lost his touch and was too old to run such a large company, he has recently showed them. Since the 1960s BRK has been an excellent investment vehicle that does not offer a dividend but reinvests its profits. I went with the “B” shares rather than the “A” shares as I felt the “B” shares are priced for the everyday person whereas the “A” shares are now priced at over $300,000 per share. BRK started in the portfolio at almost 14% of the portfolio and is now 5.8% of the portfolio after rising 51.4% over the last five years. This is mostly because of some heavy negative hits; however, it seems to be getting its mojo back.

Dow Jones New Zealand Index (NZDOWD) is a way to diversify away from the U.S. Dollar. As noted in previous posts, it would be better to physically have New Zealand Dollars; however, for the portfolio, I went with the next best thing. I never expected this to be a growth play, but a protection against a falling U.S. dollar. With recent trillions being added to the U.S. balance sheet, owning foreign currency has proven to be a smart move. NZDOWD started off as around 3% of the portfolio and is now 1.6% growing 83% over the last five years.

Singapore Dollar is another small protection against a fall of the U.S. Dollar. The portfolio started with 2.84% of its value invested in FXSG; however, it is no longer publicly traded, so we converted to the actual Singapore Dollar. It has only gained 2.8% over the last five years.

Guggenheim Currency Shares Swiss (FXF) is based on the Swiss Franc. Again, better to hold the physical Swiss Franc and I chose FXF to be an easy vehicle for most to invest as a protection against a falling U.S. Dollar. FXF used to be called Guggenheim; however, is now Invesco. Held over the last five years, the investment has been flat after recovering recently from losses. It had a loss of .01% over the last five years, though over the last three months it has risen over 6% because of worries of the U.S. adding trillions to its debt.

The NYSE Bitcoin Index (NYXBT) is perhaps the most controversial investment in the portfolio. Again, better to own the actual digital Bitcoin, and it has taken over the portfolio. Like the foreign currencies, it started out as only 3% of the portfolio, and it is now 43% of the portfolio with extraordinary gains of 4,912% over the last five years. Although I felt Bitcoin would appreciate in value, I never expected this level of rise. As people demand a decentralized currency, Bitcoin and a few of its popular alternatives will continue to rise in value as it has a set number that will be issued unlike the U.S. Dollar which our government continues to abuse.

iShares IBoxx $ Invest Grade Corp Bond Fund (LQD) is an investment I almost kept out of the portfolio as I am not a lover of bonds, either government or corporate. I feel you can get better growth through equities and other vehicles. But in the interest of diversity, I put 1.74% of the original portfolio in LQD and it has risen 17.6% over the last five years (not inclusive of dividends).

Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VIMAX) is a convenient way to own mid-cap stocks, and I put a little over 10% of the portfolio in it. It has given back over 44% over the last five years. Vanguard is one of the lower fee mutual fund companies with a long, solid history. So in adding mutual funds to the portfolio, I chose Vanguard for the three positions.

Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VSMAX) is a convenient way to invest in small capitalization stocks. Initially putting 8.25% of the portfolio in VSMAX has produced over a 36% return.

Vanguard Global ex-U.S. Real Estate Index Fund Admiral Shares (VGRLX) is another diversity play which invests in foreign real estate stocks. Originally just under 10% of the portfolio, it has done horribly as it is down 5.4% in its return over the last five years. You’d have done better throwing the money away at a local bank certificate of deposit. This, and the Swiss Franc are the only positions that lost money, and the Franc was only down .01%.

iShares Gold Trust ETF (IAU) is another investment, though I would recommend people own the physical gold. For the portfolio, I used IAU as a logical alternative. Originally 7.4% of the original portfolio, it has returned just under 66% for the last five years. This investment didn’t do much until this year when the U.S. starting “printing” trillions of Dollars and is now up 26.49% year-to-date.

iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) is the same situation as with the above IAU. Starting at 7.47% of the portfolio it has risen more than IAU and over the last five years has returned 71%.

NVR, Inc. (NVR) is one of two real estate investments in the portfolio. NVR has a unique real estate business model that I appreciate and it does not through off a dividend which I also appreciate. It is also a solid company. Starting as 15% of the original portfolio, it is now representing about 12% of the portfolio and has returned over the last five years over 174%.

So that is it. The portfolio over the last five years. Some of these investments have been consistent during that time, others would require some Pepto-Bismol if you watched it every day. And that is the purpose of this portfolio, to buy it and forget it. Buy and hold. Brokers don’t like it because there is no trading profits for them.

I will keep the portfolio page up and perhaps do yearly updates. A true long-term investor would look at 10 year returns, though 5 years is a good gauge as to a portfolio’s strength — especially in the turbulent times we have endured over the last five years.

My friend Bill

My friend Bill Sadler passed on August 5, 2020. He leaves behind the legacy of a magnificent wife of 52 years, amazing children, and grandchildren. He was a fortunate man.

Bill and Maureen Sadler

I first met Bill 24 years ago. We did not become friends until eight years later and we have become close over the years. Bill was a living example of the Dale Carnegie book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ When he and I were in private, he would never speak ill of someone. Even with certain people who he had a legitimate grievance, he would not attack them.

Bill was always busy. You could find him walking every day, working, volunteering, or spending time with his family. Bill always wanted to be a productive member of society, and he was.

Bill at Flashback Diner…at midnight.

Bill was part of my men’s breakfast “club”, which he attended more often than me. He was understated, though would always offer sage persuasions and great humor. He also took part in some of my other events, like my Midnight Dining Club. Friends would get together at midnight for dinner at either Howley’s in West Palm Beach or the Flashback Diner in Boca Raton.

A few of the misfits at the Men’s Breakfast Club, Bill among them.
Bill speaking at the Rotary Club in Boca.

At my urging, Bill gave a speech to one of the local Rotary Clubs about Libertarianism. Although he was nervous, he did swimmingly as I knew he would, even when faced with tough questions about legalizing drugs. Bill held various positions with our local Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County. Most recently, he was our Vice Chairman. He now joins other Florida freedom fighters who recently passed: former LP of Florida Chairman Char-Lez Braden and former LP of Florida Vice Chairman Thomas Regnier.

It was Bill’s understated and strong character that drew people to him. He always had a kind word to offer and was a pleasure to be around. It didn’t hurt that he had a lifetime of experiences to offer reasoned advice to others, never telling them what to do; always leaving them up to their own devices.

Bill with Shaklee Chairman, Roger Barnett

Bill offered me a tremendous friendship, great wisdom, and countless laughs. He made a difference in many people’s lives.

For an early Father’s Day gift, I gave him a bottle of Basil Hayden’s. I do not know if he enjoyed it or not, but like all things, he accepted the gift gracefully.

To you, Bill, we will miss you.

Penn Jillette: “Fuck You in the Neck” if You Say My Third-Party Vote is Wasted

Penn Jillette, Libertarian for Gary Johnson and the voice of world-famous magic duo Penn and Teller, has a message for people who want to tell you your third-party vote is wasted: “Fuck You in the Neck.” This week on Penn’s fantastic podcast, “Penn’s Sunday School,” he made this excellent point: When people say, “you’re wasting […]

Penn Jillette: “Fuck You in the Neck” if You Say My Third-Party Vote is Wasted

Libertarian Party nominates Jo Jorgensen for president during online nomination

Today, Saturday, May 23, 2020, the Libertarian Party held a bifurcated national convention online — the first-ever for any political party to . The Libertarian Party will hold an in-person convention in Orlando, Florida from July 9-12, 2020. The party’s national convention was originally scheduled for this weekend in Austin, Texas; however, due to the COVID-19 crisis, it necessitated these changes.

Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee 2020

Libertarian Party delegates elected Jo Jorgensen as their presidential nominee after a session lasting over twelve hours and four rounds of voting. Jorgensen is a lifetime Libertarian Party member and is well known in Libertarian circles; though time will tell if the general voting public in the United States will learn who Jorgensen is before the general election on November 3, 2020. Jorgensen is a candidate for those seeking a principled, freedom-based candidate who also happens to be a woman.

Today’s nomination process was challenging; however, Chair Nick Sarwark expertly threaded through the many interruptions (Robert’s Rules of Order) to get the hundreds of Libertarian delegates to vote for their nominee. Sarwark and all members of the Libertarian National Committee deserve a tremendous amount of gratitude from the delegates and the general membership of the Libertarian Party for handling the difficulties of putting on an online nominating convention. This weekend’s convention will continue tomorrow at 11 a.m. Eastern to nominate the party’s Vice-Presidential nominee. Although delegates will be participating on ZOOM, the public will be able to view tomorrow’s nomination via YouTube and other channels.

Jo Jorgensen will face the Republican Party and Democratic Party presidential nominees who are Donald Trump (incumbent) and Joe Biden, respectively. Jorgensen’s success in the 2020 general election will largely depend upon her ability to garner media exposure. Whether the mainstream media chooses to give Jorgensen equal or significant air time and print alongside Trump and Biden remains to be seen. Jorgensen also gives Republicans and Democrats a better option than the two other candidates who will likely be on the ballot in all 50 states.

The Libertarian Party is accustomed to making history, so today is not unusual. The party’s first presidential candidate was openly gay and had the first female to receive an electoral vote in the 1972 general election. The Libertarian Party was supportive of marijuana legalization decades before the rest of the nation came around to their way of thinking. The same can be said on a multitude of issues like asset forfeiture, same-sex marriage, foreign policy, etc. The Libertarian Party has been the most-advanced political party when it comes to maximizing the freedom of the individual.

Put your BUY orders in for Berkshire Hathaway

The material provided on this website should be used for informational purposes only and in no way should be relied upon for financial advice. Please be sure to consult your own financial advisor when making decisions regarding your financial management. I am not in any way a licensed anything and some people think I am a bit of a dolt.


While there are numerous news headlines telling you that Warren Buffett has lost his touch and you should abandon Berkshire Hathaway (BRK), I feel investors should do the opposite.

This is the time to be buying BRK while it has been beaten down to the tune of around 17% over the last year and over 25% these past few months. It is a conglomerate worth owning that does not pay a dividend and has a proven positive track record lasting decades. Whether one has $1,000, $100,000 or $10,000,000 to invest, it should be directed to BRK over the next five months so long as one does not need a dividend and is seeking capital appreciation over the long term (ten or more years).

BRK comes in two versions; the “A” shares and the baby “B” shares and they mostly trade in concert with one another. Most Americans will buy the $170 +/- BRK.b shares which trade an average of eight million shares daily. But if you are able, purchase the BRK.a shares which are at around $250,000/share, and trade a little over 400 shares daily. This is a long-term stock, one to own for your retirement and potentially hand down to your beneficiaries when you pass.

It is my opinion, one should dollar-cost-average this stock over the next five months. So, as an example, if you plan to put $10,000 into BRK.b, buy either $2,000 worth each month or even better: buy around $500 each and every week for the next five months. Your future self will thank you.

BTW, here is a link to my most recent permanent portfolio update.

My COVID beard has gone a bit too far; time to get out the razor!

Remy: Surfin’ USA (Beach Boys Lockdown Parody)


Remy hangs ten but could be out in five with good behavior.
Remy discovers the dangers of exercising alone.
Written and performed by Remy. Music tracks, mastering, and background vocals by Ben Karlstrom.
Video produced by Meredith and Austin Bragg.
LYRICS: If you go out on the ocean Across the USA
And you’re wearing a swim shirt ‘Cuz of your scrawny weight (it’s for the sun, I swear) Well, uh, you just might notice
The police in your wake
Cuz it’s illegal to be surfing In the USA
They’re catching them out paddleboarding
Letting their children play
While they’re releasing this guy
A logical checkmate
You’re out in nature alone now
No one in six-foot range?
Well, it’s illegal to be surfing In the USA
If only you had flashed some children
It’d be your release date!
But you’re going to jail for surfing
In the USA You’ve been distancing for months now
To keep the spread rate down
The only places you’ve been going
Are where there are no crowds
You’re making sacrifices
For your community
Now put your hands on your head because you are surfing In the USA
He’s helping the flattening the curve now
He’s exercising alone
Rocking a super baggy swim shirt
To hide his muscle tone (I said it’s for the sun)
If only you had flashed some children
It’d be your release date!
But you’re going to jail for surfing In the USA

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom

Today is Mother’s Day for 2020 and many are celebrating their mothers….from a distance. Unfortunately, I am doing the same, as my mother is in a physical rehabilitation center two hours to my north.

I have been more fortunate than many in having such a loving mother over the years. She has truly been an amazing mother, and she is an amazing person for anyone who has been fortunate to meet her.

My mother provided a safe and nurturing environment for me and my siblings to live. She kept us constantly busy; cleaning the house, volunteering our time, giving us entrepreneurial direction, etc.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out there!!!