After 4.5 years and sitting at a 10% net loss, I am starting to decide that MFI is not for me... certainly not at the large scale I have been in it. This is real money. I know I have not followed the "rules" exactly, but that is not the reason I am down. If you had randomly invested over the period of time I got in over the MFI stock listing (100m and greater) and followed the rules exactly, you would be very close to me. I know this as I can super-impose my timing of initial investments against my monthly tracking portfolios.
Anyway, I think MFI crashes worse in bear markets and I don't have the stomach for another go as I had to battle back significantly from my hole during the 7/2007-3/2009 crash.
I will keep the blog going for a while and I will continue my tracking efforts and my stock contest. I will still invest in a basket of stocks from the MFI lists, but I am going to be at least 50% in cash and will generally be getting defensive (think PM, RAI and CEL). Then I intend to put more $ with experts (I like the Hussmann funds). If we get to more "normal" times, I will certainly revisit the approach. I think conceptually MFI works and it has "outperformed", albeit a net decrease. At my age and at my personal financial position, I need to start thinking more about income producing investments and keeping what I have as I have fewer years to rebuild.
I think the final blow was the overall realization of how much more fragile the stock markets and global economies are today than they have been in past recessions. It is almost scary, when you look at the European meltdowns, Japan's political and financial problems and the printing presses in the states. There is just way to much debt and the tools (outside of massive devaluation) are not there to deal with it globally. Toss in higher taxes in the pipe, high unemployment and total political hatred between parties in DC and you gotta start thinking safe havens in my shoes.