Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

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Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby Standup » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:34 pm

Hello all!

I've been a long time reader, and with all of your knowledge (thank you!) I started accounts with Vanguard some time ago. In doing so, I've left some accounts behind at Ameriprise that I have been meaning to move over for a couple of years. Well, I made it a point for 2013 to be the year of trying to simplify and have finally mustered the courage to ask for some help. I simply don't know where to start, and I keep second-guessing myself and end up not making any changes. Thank you in advance for any help!

Emergency funds: 6 months+
Debt: mortgage 335,000 at 4.125% until 2042 (roughly 70K in equity)
Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly
Tax Rate: 33% Federal, 7.85% State
State of Residence: Minnesota
Age: both 41, no kids
Desired Asset allocation: 70% stocks / 30% bonds (I think?)
Desired International allocation: xx% of stocks (not sure)

Current retirement assets - total roughly $1,200,000

Taxable
15.63% cash

Sharebuilder
1.31% COCA COLA CO KO
0.58% BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC BRK.B
0.57% 3M CO MMM
0.53% CISCO SYSTEMS INC CSCO
0.44% HERSHEY CO HSY
0.38% CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL CMG
0.36% WHOLE FOODS MKT INC WFM
0.36% BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB CO COM BMY
0.35% CBS CORP CL B CBS
0.35% INTEL CORP INTC
0.32% LSI LOGIC CORP LSI
0.29% PFIZER INC PFE
0.28% TWO HBRS INVT CORP COM TWO
0.26% PENTAIR LTD PNR
0.24% MCDERMOTT INTL INC COM MDR
0.23% MICROSOFT CORP MSFT
0.23% DELL INC DELL
0.23% NOK IA CORP - ADR NOK
0.22% GENERAL MLS INC COM GIS
0.22% VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC COM VZ
0.22% GENERAL ELECTRIC CO GE
0.21% ANALOG DEVICES INC ADI
0.20% INTERNATIONAL PAPER CO IP
0.18% JOHNSON & JOHNSON JNJ
0.15% AMGEN INC AMGN
0.13% RUSSELL 1000 VALUE (ISHARES) IWD
0.11% ABB LTD - SPON ADR ABB
0.11% MEAD JOHNSON NUTRITION CO COM MJN
0.11% PHILIP MORRIS INTL INC COM PM
0.11% ANNALY MORTGAGE MANAGEMENT NLY
0.10% XILINX INC XLNX
0.10% RUSSELL 1000 GROWTH (ISHARES) IWF
0.09% FLUOR CORP FLR
0.08% MARRIOTT INTL INC MAR
0.08% BABCOCK & WILCOX CO NEW COM BWC
0.08% MARATHON PETE CORP COM MPC
0.08% NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE -ADR NBG
0.07% AT&T INC T
0.06% MARATHON OIL CORP MRO
0.06% ALPHA PRO TECH LTD APT
0.05% ISHARES BARCLAYS TIPS BOND FND TIP
0.05% NATIONAL-OILWELL INC NOV
0.05% BROOKS AUTOMATION INC BRKS
0.04% ALTRIA GROUP INC MO
0.04% ISHARES TR INDEX MSCI EAFE IDX EFA
0.03% BARCLAYS BOND FUND ISHARES AGG
0.02% MONDELEZ INTL INC COM MDLZ
0.02% RUSSELL 2000 INDEX (ISHARES) IWM
0.01% KRAFT FOODS GROUP INC COM KRFT
0.01% MARRIOTT VACATIONS WRLDWDE CP VAC
0.00% FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP C FTR

Vanguard
6.70% Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares VFIAX 0.05%
5.38% Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares VTSAX 0.06%
4.53% Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund VTTVX 0.17%
3.29% Vanguard Mid-Cap Value Index Fund Admiral VMVAX 0.10%
0.93% Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral Shares VBTLX 0.10%

Ameriprise
1.01% CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC CL A CMG
0.95% GOOGLE INC CL A GOOG
0.72% NORTHEAST UTILITIES NU
0.29% ELECTRONIC ARTS INC EA
0.26% COLUMBIA ACORN SELECT CL A LTFAX 1.35%
0.24% WASHINGTON MUTUAL INVESTORS CL A AWSHX 0.62%
0.08% LSI CORP LSI
0.07% ORACLE CORP ORCL


His Individual 401K at Vanguard
4.61% Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Investor Shares VIMSX 0.24%
2.19% Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund Investor Shares VDMIX 0.20%
1.85% Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade Fund Investor Shares VFICX 0.20%
1.31% Vanguard REIT Index Fund Investor Shares VGSIX 0.24%
1.18% Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Shares VFINX 0.17%

His Traditional IRA at Vanguard
1.31% Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund Investor Shares VWEHX 0.23%
6.25% Vanguard U.S. Value Fund VUVLX 0.29%

His Traditional IRA at Ameriprise
0.24% AIM INVESCO MID CAP CORE EQUITY CL A GTAGX 1.19%
0.26% ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN INTL VALUE CL A ABIAX 1.50%
0.88% COLUMBIA ACORN CL A LACAX 1.11%
0.42% COLUMBIA ACORN SELECT CL A LTFAX 1.35%
0.66% DAVIS NY VENTURE CL A NYVTX 0.90%
0.65% DREYFUS RESEARCH GROWTH CL A DWOAX 1.13%
0.38% FIDELITY ADVISOR DIVERSIFIED INTL CL A FDVAX 1.32%
0.40% FIDELITY ADVISOR MID CAP II CL A FIIAX 1.15%
0.51% GROWTH FUND OF AMERICA CL A AGTHX 0.71%
1.29% OPPENHEIMER GLOBAL STRATEGIC INCOME CL A OPSIX 0.94%
0.11% OPPENHEIMER CAP APPRECATION CL A OPTFX 1.13%
0.59% OPPENHEIMER REAL ESTATE CL A OREAX 1.47%
0.11% OPPENHEIMER GLOBAL CL A OPPAX 1.22%
0.27% OPPENHEIMER MAIN STREET SMALL MID CAP CL A OPMSX 1.21%
0.41% PIONEER HIGH YIELD CL A TAHYX 1.16%
0.41% TEMPLETON FOREIGN CL A TEMFX 1.21%
0.57% WASHINGTON MUTUAL INVESTORS CL A AWSHX 0.62%
0.30% WELLS FARGO ADVANTAGE PRECIOUS METALS CL A EKWAX 1.10%

His Roth at Ameriprise
0.14% AIM INVESCO MID CAP CORE EQUITY CL A GTAGX 1.19%
0.17% COLUMBIA ACORN CL A LACAX 1.11%
0.13% GROWTH FUND OF AMERICA CL A AGTHX 0.71%
0.20% OPPENHEIMER GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES CL A OPGIX 1.22%

Her IRA at Ameriprise
0.35% FIDELITY ADVISOR DIVERSIFIED INTL CL A FDVAX 1.32%
0.37% FIDELITY ADVISOR MID CAP II CL A FIIAX 1.15%
0.72% FIDELITY ADVISOR NEW INSIGHTS CL A FNIAX 1.01%
0.37% OPPENHEIMER GLOBAL STRATEGIC INCOME CL A OPSIX 0.94%
0.24% OPPENHEIMER REAL ESTATE CL A OREAX 1.47%
0.23% OPPENHEIMER MAIN STREET SMALL MID CAP CL A OPMSX 1.21%

Her Roth at Ameriprise
0.22% FIDELITY ADVISOR NEW INSIGHTS CL A FNIAX 1.01%
0.21% OPPENHEIMER GLOBAL CL A OPPAX 1.22%

Her 401K
2.48% Core Group Intermediate-term Bond Fund 0.29%
2.14% LifePath 2035 Index 0.26%
1.76% S&P 500 Index 0.16%
1.71% U.S. Value Stock Index 0.225%
3.79% Small Company Stock Index 0.21%
2.26% International Stock Index 0.22%
0.79% International Emerging Markets Index 0.33%
1.91% Real Estate Stock Index 0.23%
2.11% Company Stock Fund 0.138%
---------
100.00%

Available funds in her 401k
LifePath® Retirement Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2015 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2020 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2025 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2030 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2035 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2040 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2045 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2050 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2055 Fund 0.27%
Core Group Money Market Option 0.23%
Core Group Intermediate-term Bond Fund 0.29%
Core Group Inflation Protected Bond Index Fund 0.20%
Core Group S&P 500 Index Fund 0.16%
Specialty Group U.S. Value Stock Index Fund 0.225%
Specialty Group U.S. Growth Stock Index Fund 0.225%
Core Group Small Company Stock Index Fund 0.21%
Core Group International Stock Index Fund 0.22%
Specialty Group International Emerging Markets Index Fund 0.33%
Specialty Group Real Estate Stock Index Fund 0.23%
Company Stock Fund 0.138%

Contributions
$17,500 his 401K (company matching will be roughly $12,000)
$17,500 her 401K (company matching around $5,000)
currently adding $400/week to Vanguard accounts

Questions:
1. I don't know where to begin. I want to simplify, but when I look at this as a whole I freeze. Where to start? The move of Ameriprise funds to Vanguard? If so, to which funds?
2. We are hoping to retire in 10 to 15 years if possible, so I'm guessing that we should change our asset allocation? If so to what?
3. Is it safe to put all of our holdings in Vanguard?
4. The Sharebuilder account started out as a 'play' account, should that be moved to Vanguard too?
Last edited by Standup on Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby dickenjb » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:37 pm

Take a deep breath and don't do anything immediately.

First step is to figure out your desired AA. You say that is 70/30. Fine. Int'l - most suggest between 20% and 40%.

Have you read about the 3 fund portfolio? TSM, TISM, TBM.

Next you need to know your basis in any investments in taxable accounts and plan not to sell appreciated shares all at once and create a huge tax bill. If you give to charity you might want to earmark highly appreciated shares for that purpose, or sell winners and losers at the same time to offset gains with losses.

Read about Tax Efficient Fund location in the wiki.

Your 401(k) plans have limited options - pick the best options there and fill in around those.

Yours is an extremely complex portfolio and you will not get to simple overnight.

The end game should look something like:

Put all bonds in tax deferred.

Put all TISM in taxable.

Put TSM in all leftover space.

Except you might want to buy S&P500 in your 401(k) if that is the lowest cost option - and own a bit of Extended Index elsewhere to balance it. (Or not - S&P500 and TSM are highly correlated).

I think your portfolio is large enough and has enough taxable and tax deferred space that I would not go Target Retirement but would go with the three components.
Last edited by dickenjb on Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby dickenjb » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:56 pm

Here is kind of a big picture of what the end result should look like (ignoring Roths because they are so small):

Taxable at Vanguard
TISM 20%
TSM 30%

His 401(K)
TBM 10%

His IRA
TBM 20%

Her 401(k)
S&P 500 20%

Make a plan and execute it in baby steps. The biggest challenge will be dealing with the tax consequences of appreciated shares in taxable accounts.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby NYBoglehead » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:14 pm

^You are in serious need of simplification and the outline the poster above gave for the desired end result looks good to me. With so many individual stocks you need to establish a timeline for moving out of these individual stocks.

For starters, you can deduct up to $3,000 annually in capital losses(in excess of any losses that will cancel out gains elsewhere). This will lower your taxable income (assuming you have any losses in the group).

If you have the dividends set to re-invest for the taxable account, stop that immediately so that you can make sure all gains going forward will be long-term and taxed at the lower rate.

The good news is that while you definitely need to simplify, you've got a nice portfolio at 41. I think retiring in 10-15 years is definitely within reach.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby Duckie » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:37 pm

Standup, this is what you have:

Taxable -- 15.63%
15.63% cash <-- Is this for retirement purposes or something else?

Taxable at Sharebuilder -- 10.40% <-- Find out the cost basis for every single investment. You need to know the potential gains/losses so you can sell with the least amount of taxes.

Taxable at Ameriprise -- 3.62% <-- Find out the cost basis for every single investment. You need to know the potential gains/losses so you can sell with the least amount of taxes.

Taxable at Vanguard -- 20.83% <-- Find out the cost basis for every single investment. You need to know the potential gains/losses so you can sell some things with the least amount of taxes.

His Individual 401k at Vanguard -- 11.14%

Her 401k -- 18.95% <-- Where is this held? List all her 401k options with expense ratios under 0.50% (names, ticker symbols, expense ratios) although it looks like she has some good choices.

His Traditional IRA at Vanguard -- 7.56%

His Traditional IRA at Ameriprise -- 8.46 <-- Sell everything and roll over to Vanguard.

Her Traditional IRA at Ameriprise -- 2.28% <-- Sell everything and roll over to Vanguard.

His Roth IRA at Ameriprise -- 0.64% <-- Sell everything and roll over to Vanguard.

Her Roth IRA at Ameriprise -- 0.43% <-- Sell everything and roll over to Vanguard.

Total taxable -- 50.48%, total tax-sheltered -- 49.46%, total both -- 99.94%. Close enough.

Your questions:
1. I don't know where to begin. I want to simplify, but when I look at this as a whole I freeze. Where to start? The move of Ameriprise funds to Vanguard? If so, to which funds?
-- Start with the IRAs. Move one to Vanguard. When that's done, move another to Vanguard. You call Vanguard up and have them pull the money from Amerprise. Ameriprise will hit you with account closing fees. It's worth it to get away from them. After you've moved the four IRAs, start figuring out the cost basis for your taxable accounts.

-- The best funds in taxable are (
VTSAX) Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (0.06%) and (VTIAX) Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares (0.16%). Putting TISM in taxable allows you to take advantage of the Foreign tax credit. If you want bonds in taxable use (VWIUX) Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Admiral Shares (0.12%). But right now you have enough room in tax-sheltered for all your bonds. I recommend (VBTLX) Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (0.10%) or something similar for bonds in tax-sheltered accounts.

2. We are hoping to retire in 10 to 15 years if possible, so I'm guessing that we should change our asset allocation? If so to what?
-- At your ages and assets I'd go with 60% stocks, 40% bonds, with 30% of stocks in international (42/18/40) for now.

3. Is it safe to put all of our holdings in Vanguard?
-- Yes. But if that makes you uncomfortable, Fidelity has good Spartan funds that would work also.

4. The Sharebuilder account started out as a 'play' account, should that be moved to Vanguard too?
-- Yes. Your 'play' account is 10% of your portfolio. That's a lot. And the amount of stocks/funds is ridiculous. But since it's in taxable you need to take your time selling/moving.

Definitely turn off dividend/gains reinvestments in your taxable accounts. Why buy more of something you're going to sell?

Something to think about.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby Standup » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:13 am

Thank you all for the info. Here are some answers and I will most more as I gather the info.

Duckie wrote:Standup, this is what you have:

Taxable -- 15.63%
15.63% cash <-- Is this for retirement purposes or something else?

This amount can be invested and has grown as I have not been sure where to focus our investments or what percentage cash should be overall.

Duckie wrote:Taxable at Sharebuilder -- 10.40% <-- Find out the cost basis for every single investment. You need to know the potential gains/losses so you can sell with the least amount of taxes.

If I wanted to keep some of these stocks would it be ok? I tax-loss harvested last year, so the rest have gains. Once I know the cost basis, then what? When do I sell?

Duckie wrote:Her 401k -- 18.95% <-- Where is this held? List all her 401k options with expense ratios under 0.50% (names, ticker symbols, expense ratios) although it looks like she has some good choices.


Hewitt, I think? I'll gather more info on this and report back.

Thank you all again for the help.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby Standup » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:55 am

Another couple of questions I have:

1) should we be doing anything with ibonds?
2) should we be doing the back door Roth too?
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby Duckie » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:30 pm

Standup wrote:
Duckie wrote:15.63% cash <-- Is this for retirement purposes or something else?

This amount can be invested and has grown as I have not been sure where to focus our investments or what percentage cash should be overall.

At your ages you don't really need cash for retirement purposes, just stocks and bonds.

Taxable at Sharebuilder -- 10.40% <-- Find out the cost basis for every single investment. You need to know the potential gains/losses so you can sell with the least amount of taxes.

If I wanted to keep some of these stocks would it be ok? I tax-loss harvested last year, so the rest have gains. Once I know the cost basis, then what? When do I sell?

I think you should sell them all, but I'm not you. If you want to keep some, keep some. But decrease the assets in this 'play' account and maybe even remove it from your retirement portfolio since it has a different purpose. Once you know the cost basis you can better decide what to sell when to minimize taxes.

1) should we be doing anything with ibonds?

I Savings Bonds through Treasury Direct are suitable for taxable retirement investing. If you want them, buy them.

2) should we be doing the back door Roth too?

Because of your Traditional IRAs and the pro-rata rule, 
Backdoor Roth IRAs
 would not be a good idea for you. You'd end up paying taxes on 99% of the conversion. You can do it, it'll just cost you.
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Use tax-loss carryforwards now.

Postby Taylor Larimore » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:57 pm

Standup:

You said that you have been doing tax-loss harvesting. I'll, therefore, assume that you have tax-loss carryforwards that can be used immediately to offset capital gains when you sell your individual stocks (which I strongly feel that you should). Do this now before capital-gains may become larger in your individual stocks.

You have a basic decision to make: Whether to use mutual funds or individual stocks?

To help you make your decision, consider the logic in this statement:
"The notion that most average people and non-investment professionals can, with minimal effort, beat the best full-time, experienced money managers is, how should I say, ludicrous and absurd." -- Eric Tyson, author of Mutual Funds for Dummies

Best wishes
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby ivesjl » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:02 pm

To piggyback on Taylor's point, choosing between actively managed or index mutual funds is an important decision.

Consider this advice:

Most investors, both institutional and individual, will find that the best way to own common stocks is through in index fund that charges minimal fees.
~ Warren Buffet
"Successful investing is all about common sense." | ~ John Bogle.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby Standup » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:05 pm

Duckie wrote:Her 401k -- 18.95% <-- Where is this held? List all her 401k options with expense ratios under 0.50% (names, ticker symbols, expense ratios) although it looks like she has some good choices.


It is held at Hewitt. The funds are all managed by Blackrock, but in looking at the information, there are no ticker symbols, and the expense ratios are different through her company portal than just looking at the funds of the same name on Blackrock. Here is the best info I can get:

LifePath® Retirement Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2015 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2020 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2025 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2030 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2035 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2040 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2045 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2050 Fund 0.26%
LifePath® 2055 Fund 0.27%
Core Group Money Market Option 0.23%
Core Group Intermediate-term Bond Fund 0.29%
Core Group Inflation Protected Bond Index Fund 0.20%
Core Group S&P 500 Index Fund 0.16%
Specialty Group U.S. Value Stock Index Fund 0.225%
Specialty Group U.S. Growth Stock Index Fund 0.225%
Core Group Small Company Stock Index Fund 0.21%
Core Group International Stock Index Fund 0.22%
Specialty Group International Emerging Markets Index Fund 0.33%
Specialty Group Real Estate Stock Index Fund 0.23%
Company Stock Fund 0.138%
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Re: Use tax-loss carryforwards now.

Postby Standup » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:11 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:You said that you have been doing tax-loss harvesting. I'll, therefore, assume that you have tax-loss carryforwards that can be used immediately to offset capital gains when you sell your individual stocks (which I strongly feel that you should). Do this now before capital-gains may become larger in your individual stocks.

You have a basic decision to make: Whether to use mutual funds or individual stocks?

To help you make your decision, consider the logic in this statement:
"The notion that most average people and non-investment professionals can, with minimal effort, beat the best full-time, experienced money managers is, how should I say, ludicrous and absurd." -- Eric Tyson, author of Mutual Funds for Dummies

Best wishes
Taylor


I sold some of the individual stocks that were losers late last year to offset a particularly large gain on one stock that I sold last year as well. So, I believe I don't have tax-loss carrforwards. Forgive me all if that's not correct, I'm a total amateur at this.

The 'play' account grew to this because I'm a buy-and-hold kinda guy, and I jumped in on numerous stocks (as well as adding more in our Vanguard taxable account) during the big dips in '08/'09.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby Standup » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:38 pm

Ok, I have turned off all dividend reinvestment in taxable accounts.

For getting simplified, and with nearly all of our current funds/stocks having gains, what sort of timeline are we looking at to complete this transition? Does it all depend on what size tax hit we want to take? Are there areas we should focus on first?
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby livesoft » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:00 pm

You should know whether your gains are long-term or short-term. I'd sell all the sharebuilder things with losses and long-term gains this coming week. Positions with short-term unrealized gains, I would sell when they became losses or long-term gains. If 10% of $1.2M had no cost basis (unlikely) and was 100% LT gains, then the tax hit would be 20% or so of $120,000 or just $24,000 which in your tax bracket would be manageable. It seems more likely that your realized gains would be no more than $60,000 and the taxes around $12K to $15K at most. Very manageable.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby nedsaid » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:44 pm

Keep your I-Bonds.

You need to X-Ray your portfolio at Morningstar. What you really have? How much stocks vs. bonds? How much US stocks vs International stocks? How much large cap, mid-cap, and small cap stocks? What do your bond funds really hold?
Find out where you are.

Next, write out an investment policy statement. There is a good worksheet at Morningstar. Get a plan and write it out. Your Ameriprise Advisor probably did a written plan for you. Look at that again as a starting point. The Morningstar worksheet does a better job in my opinion. Get a plan, Stan. Now you know where you want to go.

Writing stuff down also helps to know yourself as an investor.

Next, congratulate yourselves on what you and your wife have done. I don't have a $1.2 million investment portfolio myself. You both have done well. Just eyeballing your investments, you have a bunch of good stuff in there. I think you can do all this cheaper and simpler. But you both have done well. Congrats. You will take something good and make it even better.

The posters have given you a lot of good suggestions to think about. Work the best ideas into your plan and then execute it.
A fool and his money are good for business.
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby BerkeleyChris » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:00 pm

i definitely like the advice you are getting about selling the sharebuilder things with losses and long-term gains. If I were in your shoes, I would use all of those proceeds and some of your cash to pay down or pay off the mortgage. Others might disagree with getting rid of the mortgage, but you should at least consider that possibility and decide before you reinvest the proceeds in simple index funds at vanguard (also a great option) and rebalance everything. I paid off my mortgage a few years ago and being without debt I am feeling much better able to ride the market's ups and downs and take career risks for the next 3 decades while i save as much as possible for retirement. Your savings habits and achievements are very impressive, congratulations!
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Re: Portfolio Simplification - not sure where to start

Postby Standup » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:16 pm

My apologies for raising this thread from the dead, but I figured the portfolio info would be relevant to my question.

I've completed the move of everything out of Ameriprise and into Vanguard. Now, I'm wrestling with my next move.

One of the suggestions was to move my entire 401K into bonds, and a suggested fund was VBTLX. I went to make the move last night on this, and when comparing the performance between the funds currently in there vs. VBTLX, I froze. It would appear from things I've been hearing/reading that I have an irrational fear of bonds, and I'm stuck once again. Am I crazy?
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