Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

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Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby structure7 » Wed May 01, 2013 12:00 pm

First a big thanks to everyone here. I've been readying here for awhile and am so glad I found it! Then I saw the Frontline episode... everything is aligning. So...

Just cancelled "managed fund" option through employer. Current 401k is with Nationwide.

Emergency funds: 6 months.
Debt: Mortgage only: $240K.
Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly
Tax Rate: 25% Federal, 7% State
State of Residence: AZ
Age: 35
Below based on Vanguard tool:
Desired Asset allocation: 60% stocks / 20% bonds
Desired International allocation: 20% of stocks


My CURRENT assets as left my the manager:
CLERX AdvOne Clermont N‡ 40.01% 1.45%
CLEIX AdvOne Enhcd Inc N‡ 4.00% 1.65%
CLFLX AdvOne Flex Inc N‡ 6.99% 1.17%
CLHAX AdvOne Liahona N‡ 22.02% 1.54%
CLBLX AdvOne Sel Alloc N‡ 2.00% 1.51%
RITGX AmFds Am Hi Inc Tr R6‡ 2.00% 0.36% + .46%
KHYRX DWS Hi Inc Inst‡ 2.00% 0.66% + .46%
GMIXX NW Mny Mkt Inst 8.98% n/a
PTLAX PIMCO Low Dur A‡ 3.00% 0.80%
PTUZX PIMCO Ttl Rtn A 3.00% 0.85%
PSRAX Pionr Strat Inc A‡ 6.00% 1.06%


5/8 UPDATE: Vanguard and DFA funds available to me. Without opening each prospectus, there is no way to get the tickers from Nationwide's site: :oops:
Code: Select all
Fund Name   Gross ER   MorningStar Category
DFA Emrg Mkt   0.61   Diversified Emerging Mkts
DFA Emrg Mkt Cor Inst   0.68   Diversified Emerging Mkts
DFA Emrg Mkt SocCorEq Inst   0.75   Diversified Emerging Mkts
DFA Five Yr Glbl Fxd Inc   0.28   World Bond
DFA Glbl Alloc 25 75 Inst   0.45   Conservative Allocation
DFA Glbl Alloc 60 40 Inst   0.53   Moderate Allocation
DFA Glbl Eq Inst   0.63   World Stock
DFA Glbl RealEst Sec   0.58   Global Real Estate
DFA Infl Prtct Sec Inst   0.13   Inflation-Protected Bond
DFA Intl Cor Eq Inst   0.4   Foreign Large Value
DFA Intl Sm Co   0.56   Foreign Small/Mid Blend
DFA Intl Sustnbl Cor 1   0.56   Foreign Large Blend
DFA Intl Val   0.45   Foreign Large Value
DFA Intmd Govt FxdInc Inst   0.13   Intermediate Government
DFA LgCap Intl   0.3   Foreign Large Blend
DFA One Yr Fxd Inc   0.17   Ultrashort Bond
DFA RealEst Sec   0.19   Real Estate
DFA ST Extnd Qulty Inst   0.23   Short-Term Bond
DFA ST Govt   0.2   Short Government
DFA Sustnbl Cor 1   0.35   Large Blend
DFA US Cor Eq I   0.19   Large Blend
DFA US Core Eq 2 Inst   0.22   Mid-Cap Blend
DFA US Lg Co   0.1   Large Blend
DFA US LgCap Val   0.27   Large Value
DFA US SmCap   0.37   Small Blend
DFA US Soc Cor Eq 2   0.33   Mid-Cap Blend
DFA US Trgt Val   0.38   Small Value
DFA US Vectr Eq Inst   0.32   Mid-Cap Value
Vngrd 500 Indx Sgnl   0.05   Large Blend
Vngrd Bal Indx Sgnl   0.1   Moderate Allocation
Vngrd Divd App Indx Inv   0.25   Large Blend
Vngrd Divd Gr Inv   0.31   Large Blend
Vngrd Divrs Eq Inv   0.4   Large Growth
Vngrd Enrgy Inv   0.34   Equity Energy
Vngrd Eq Inc Inv   0.3   Large Value
Vngrd Euro Stk Indx Sgnl   0.12   Europe Stock
Vngrd Explr Inv   0.49   Small Growth
Vngrd Extnd Mkt Indx Sgnl   0.14   Mid-Cap Blend
Vngrd FTSE Soc Indx Inv   0.29   Large Growth
Vngrd GNMA Inv   0.21   Intermediate Government
Vngrd Glbl Eq Inv   0.59   World Stock
Vngrd Gr Inc Inv   0.36   Large Blend
Vngrd Gr Indx Inv   0.24   Large Growth
Vngrd Gr Indx Sgnl   0.1   Large Growth
Vngrd Hlth Care Inv   0.35   Health
Vngrd Infl Prtct Sec Inv   0.2   Inflation-Protected Bond
Vngrd Intl Explr Inv   0.43   Foreign Small/Mid Blend
Vngrd Intl Gr Inv   0.49   Foreign Large Growth
Vngrd Intl Val Inv   0.41   Foreign Large Value
Vngrd Intmd Trm Trsry Inv   0.2   Intermediate Government
Vngrd IntmdTrmInvmtGrd Inv   0.2   Intermediate-Term Bond
Vngrd LT Invmt Grd Inv   0.22   Long-Term Bond
Vngrd MdCap Gr Indx Inv   0.24   Mid-Cap Growth
Vngrd MdCap Val Indx Inv   0.24   Mid-Cap Value
Vngrd Mrgn Gr Inv   0.4   Large Growth
Vngrd Pacfc Stk Indx Sgnl   0.12   Diversified Pacific/Asia
Vngrd REIT Indx Sgnl   0.1   Real Estate
Vngrd ST Bd Indx Inv   0.2   Short-Term Bond
Vngrd ST Bd Indx Sgnl   0.1   Short-Term Bond
Vngrd ST Trsry Inv   0.2   Short Government
Vngrd STAR Inv   0.34   Moderate Allocation
Vngrd Sel Val Inv   0.38   Mid-Cap Value
Vngrd SmCap Gr Indx Inv   0.24   Small Growth
Vngrd SmCap Indx Sgnl   0.1   Small Blend
Vngrd SmCap Val Indx Inv   0.24   Small Value
Vngrd Strat Eq Inv   0.29   Mid-Cap Blend
Vngrd Strat SmCap Eq Inv   0.4   Small Blend
Vngrd Ttl Bd Mkt Indx Sgnl   0.1   Intermediate-Term Bond
Vngrd Ttl StkMkt Indx Sgnl   0.05   Large Blend
Vngrd US Gr Inv   0.45   Large Growth
Vngrd US Val Inv   0.29   Large Value
Vngrd Val Indx Inv   0.24   Large Value
Vngrd Val Indx Sgnl   0.1   Large Value
Vngrd Wlsly Inc Inv   0.25   Conservative Allocation
Vngrd Wndsr II Inv   0.35   Large Value
Vngrd Wndsr Inv   0.41   Large Value



From sorting through the above, I was thinking:
60% VTSSX Total Stock Mkt Idx Signal
20% VBTSX Total Bond Mkt Idx Signal
10% VESSX European Stock Idx Signal
10% VPASX Pacific Stock Idx Signal


Thank again for the advice!
Last edited by structure7 on Wed May 08, 2013 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby core5 » Wed May 01, 2013 1:28 pm

10% VESSX European Stock Idx Signal
10% VPASX Pacific Stock Idx Signal

Instead of these two, I would go with Vanguard international Growth or Vanguard International Value (whichever you prefer), since they spread the investment around to countries outside "Europe" and "Pacific". Both of those are weighted toward Europe though at >60%, so if you don't like that, you might feel more comfortable with VESSX and VPASX at 50/50.

Other than that, I like it.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby Peter Foley » Wed May 01, 2013 5:26 pm

Your original post states 60% stocks and 20% bonds and then 20% of stock in international. So are you really saying 80% stock and 20% bonds? If not, you are short 20%.

I'd suggest a 70/30 mix with 20% of the 70% in international. While I invested at 80% stock for a number of years, I have come to believe that it is a bit too aggresive based on my own lack of sleep at night during the 2000-2001 recession. Your risk tolerance may be different, of course.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby ruralavalon » Wed May 01, 2013 6:43 pm

Welcome to the forum :) .

You are very fortunate to have such great options to choose from in your 401k.

You have made good choices. I would tweak the allocation to add more bonds to 25 or 30%, so something like this:
50% VTSSX Total Stock Mkt Idx Signal
30% VBTSX Total Bond Mkt Idx Signal
10% VESSX European Stock Idx Signal
10% VPASX Pacific Stock Idx Signal

Also if you have other money to invest in addition to the 401k, say in an IRA, look to add Vanguard Emerging Markets there.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby structure7 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:32 pm

Peter Foley wrote:Your original post states 60% stocks and 20% bonds and then 20% of stock in international. So are you really saying 80% stock and 20% bonds? If not, you are short 20%.

I'd suggest a 70/30 mix with 20% of the 70% in international. While I invested at 80% stock for a number of years, I have come to believe that it is a bit too aggresive based on my own lack of sleep at night during the 2000-2001 recession. Your risk tolerance may be different, of course.


Good point... I overlooked that. Based on what I'm reading it sounds like I need to bump up the bonds a bit. Thanks for the other fund advice, too. I'll look into it!
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby pingo » Thu May 02, 2013 12:06 am

I would probably do the following...

-Choose the amount of bonds you want and put it all in Total Bond Mkt Idx Signal (VBTSX).
-Choose the percent of equity you want for International, multiply it by the total amount of equity and split the result 50:50 between Vanguard International Growth and Vanguard International Value.
-Put the remaining equities in Total Stock Mkt Idx Signal (VTSSX).

...but you may be one of the lucky few who can actually do Trev H's ingeniously simplified adaptation of the Ultimate Buy and Hold strategy. (Read here.) You might want to consider that as well.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby scientifics » Thu May 02, 2013 8:56 am

It would also be useful to know what the expense ratios + separate account charges are for those Vanguard funds through your Nationwide 401k.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby YDNAL » Thu May 02, 2013 9:06 am

structure7 wrote:Just cancelled "managed fund" option through employer. Current 401k is with Nationwide.

Emergency funds: 6 months.
Debt: Mortgage only: $140K.
Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly
Tax Rate: 25% Federal, 7% State
State of Residence: AZ
Age: 35
Below based on Vanguard tool:
Desired Asset allocation: 60% stocks / 20% bonds | this adds to 80%
Desired International allocation: 20% of stocks | this means 60% Stocks would be split 48/12 US/International

Welcome, structure!

Observations:
  • It seems odd that there isn't a single Target Date Fund in the many Vanguard options listed for your 401K.
  • Also missing from the options, the Total International Index.
  • You didn't mention what other accounts you own besides this 401K. You also didn't mention your annual contributions to retirement savings.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby structure7 » Thu May 02, 2013 9:58 am

pingo wrote:...Choose the percent of equity you want for International, multiply it by the total amount of equity and split the result 50:50 between Vanguard International Growth and Vanguard International Value....
...but you may be one of the lucky few who can actually do Trev H's ingeniously simplified adaptation of the Ultimate Buy and Hold strategy. (Read here.) You might want to consider that as well.


Good info... looks like I have some reading to do, too!

scientifics wrote:It would also be useful to know what the expense ratios + separate account charges are for those Vanguard funds through your Nationwide 401k.


Shown below. All the Vanguard funds are categorized by my plan as "Optional" and all receive a 0.46 "asset fee." :annoyed (sry I can do everything except automatically get the ticker from Nationwide):

ER/Asset Fee/Fund Name
0.05 0.46 Vngrd 500 Indx Sgnl
0.1 0.46 Vngrd Bal Indx Sgnl
0.25 0.46 Vngrd Divd App Indx Inv
0.31 0.46 Vngrd Divd Gr Inv
0.4 0.46 Vngrd Divrs Eq Inv
0.34 0.46 Vngrd Enrgy Inv
0.3 0.46 Vngrd Eq Inc Inv
0.12 0.46 Vngrd Euro Stk Indx Sgnl
0.49 0.46 Vngrd Explr Inv
0.14 0.46 Vngrd Extnd Mkt Indx Sgnl
0.29 0.46 Vngrd FTSE Soc Indx Inv
0.59 0.46 Vngrd Glbl Eq Inv
0.21 0.46 Vngrd GNMA Inv
0.36 0.46 Vngrd Gr Inc Inv
0.24 0.46 Vngrd Gr Indx Inv
0.1 0.46 Vngrd Gr Indx Sgnl
0.35 0.46 Vngrd Hlth Care Inv
0.2 0.46 Vngrd Infl Prtct Sec Inv
0.43 0.46 Vngrd Intl Explr Inv
0.49 0.46 Vngrd Intl Gr Inv
0.41 0.46 Vngrd Intl Val Inv
0.2 0.46 Vngrd Intmd Trm Trsry Inv
0.2 0.46 Vngrd IntmdTrmInvmtGrd Inv
0.22 0.46 Vngrd LT Invmt Grd Inv
0.24 0.46 Vngrd MdCap Gr Indx Inv
0.24 0.46 Vngrd MdCap Val Indx Inv
0.4 0.46 Vngrd Mrgn Gr Inv
0.12 0.46 Vngrd Pacfc Stk Indx Sgnl
0.1 0.46 Vngrd REIT Indx Sgnl
0.38 0.46 Vngrd Sel Val Inv
0.24 0.46 Vngrd SmCap Gr Indx Inv
0.1 0.46 Vngrd SmCap Indx Sgnl
0.35 0.46 Vngrd SmCap Val Indx Inv
0.22 0.46 Vngrd ST Bd Indx Inv
0.11 0.46 Vngrd ST Bd Indx Sgnl
0.2 0.46 Vngrd ST Trsry Inv
0.34 0.46 Vngrd STAR Inv
0.29 0.46 Vngrd Strat Eq Inv
0.4 0.46 Vngrd Strat SmCap Eq Inv
0.1 0.46 Vngrd Ttl Bd Mkt Indx Sgnl
0.06 0.46 Vngrd Ttl StkMkt Indx Sgnl
0.45 0.46 Vngrd US Gr Inv
0.29 0.46 Vngrd US Val Inv
0.24 0.46 Vngrd Val Indx Inv
0.1 0.46 Vngrd Val Indx Sgnl
0.25 0.46 Vngrd Wlsly Inc Inv
0.35 0.46 Vngrd Wndsr II Inv
0.41 0.46 Vngrd Wndsr Inv

I also get these sweet babies every quarter: Nationwide Administrative Expenses $1.20, Third Party Administrative Expenses $9.00

YDNAL wrote:Observations:
  • It seems odd that there isn't a single Target Date Fund in the many Vanguard options listed for your 401K.
  • Also missing from the options, the Total International Index.
  • You didn't mention what other accounts you own besides this 401K. You also didn't mention your annual contributions to retirement savings.


I didn't pay attention originally to the intent of the international being a percentage of stock... I was thinking percentage of the whole 401k. I set out looking for that Total Intl Index but Nationwide doesn't carry it for some reason.

The only other account is a Roth IRA through USAA, just opened, with less than 10K rolled over from Fidelity. I have all of that in VTSMX for now.

Right now my 401k contributions are only 6% (employers match). From what I'm reading since I have some decent fund options I might increase that first and then fund other account (unless this .46 Nationwide asset fee is ridiculous).

Thanks all!
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby pingo » Fri May 03, 2013 12:11 am

So if you were to add the amount of money you have in the Roth with the amount you have in the 403b, what percent of the portfolio is the Roth? What percent of the portfolio is the 403b?
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby structure7 » Fri May 03, 2013 9:28 am

pingo wrote:So if you were to add the amount of money you have in the Roth with the amount you have in the 403b, what percent of the portfolio is the Roth? What percent of the portfolio is the 403b?


Roth 13%, 401k 87%
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby pingo » Fri May 03, 2013 5:09 pm

structure7 wrote:The only other account is a Roth IRA through USAA, just opened, with less than 10K rolled over from Fidelity. I have all of that in VTSMX for now.


Too bad. You had good options at Fidelity. And I'll admit I'm questioning the choice of holding a Vanguard fund at USAA. It has to be more expensive doing it that way. Is there some reason you moved the account to USAA, or that you don't move it to back to Fidelity or over to Vanguard?

structure7 wrote:Roth 13%, 401k 87%


Alright. Looking at all accounts as a single portfolio, here's one idea to consider:

Roth IRA (13%)
13% Vanguard Total Stock (VTSMX) ER ??

401k (87%)
43% Vanguard Total Stock - Signal ER 0.6 + 0.46
12% Vanguard International Growth - Investor ER 0.49 + 0.46
12% Vanguard International Value - Investor ER 0.41 _ 0.46
20% Vanguard Total Bond - Signal 0.1 + 0.46

That gives you 20% bonds (on the low side, but not terribly unreasonable) and 30% of your equities are international, which is middle of the road. Others have suggested more bonds, in which case you merely up the bond allocation and adjust remaining equities to maintain the same relationship where 30% of those equities are split 50:50 between the international funds and the rest goes to VG Total Stock.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby structure7 » Fri May 03, 2013 6:06 pm

pingo wrote:Too bad. You had good options at Fidelity. And I'll admit I'm questioning the choice of holding a Vanguard fund at USAA. It has to be more expensive doing it that way. Is there some reason you moved the account to USAA, or that you don't move it to back to Fidelity or over to Vanguard?


I have some learning to do in this arena. I converted an old 401k from Fidelity (awhile back) to USAA IRA just to keep my accounts together. May not have been the best move.

The differences between the Nationwide 401k and USAA IRA are perplexing... in terms of the buying/trading mechanics on their website. Nationwide is super easy to reallocate current and future funds, and their fees are very easy to find. Mutual funds purchases on USAA's website drops a $45 commission on each purchase and I haven't found any additional/USAA fee info. Not sure if this is a Nationwide/USAA difference or an inherent difference between 401k and IRA accounts.

pingo wrote:Alright. Looking at all accounts as a single portfolio, here's one idea to consider:

Roth IRA (13%)
13% Vanguard Total Stock (VTSMX) ER .17

401k (87%)
43% Vanguard Total Stock - Signal ER 0.6 + 0.46
12% Vanguard International Growth - Investor ER 0.49 + 0.46
12% Vanguard International Value - Investor ER 0.41 _ 0.46
20% Vanguard Total Bond - Signal 0.1 + 0.46

That gives you 20% bonds (on the low side, but not terribly unreasonable) and 30% of your equities are international, which is middle of the road. Others have suggested more bonds, in which case you merely up the bond allocation and adjust remaining equities to maintain the same relationship where 30% of those equities are split 50:50 between the international funds and the rest goes to VG Total Stock.


After reading and using a few tools, definitely need to bump up bonds for my risk level. The Trev H link reading lead me to the updated Ultimate Buy and Hold readings by Merriman... man I could get lost in the weeds on that one! Based on funds available to me:

Asset Class/Percentage/Ticker/Fund Name/Gross ER
Emerging Market / 6% / Can't find fund
Int'l Small Value / 6% / Can't find fund
Int'l Small Cap / 7% / DFISX / DFA Intl Sm Co / 0.56
Int'l Large Cap Value / 7% / VTRIX / Vngrd Intl Val Inv / 0.41
Int'l Large Cap / 7% / DFALX / DFA LgCap Intl / 0.30
US Small Value / 8% / VISVX / Vngrd SmCap Val Indx Inv / 0.30
US Large Value / 8% / VVISX / Vngrd Val Indx Sgnl / 0.10
US Micro Cap (Value) / 8% / Can't find fund
REITs / 0%
S&P 500 / 8% / VIFSX / Vngrd 500 Indx Sgnl / 0.05
Bonds: 35% (of 100%)
- TIPS / 20% / DIPSX / DFA Infl Prtct Sec Inst / 0.13
- Short-term / 30% / VFISX / Vngrd ST Trsry Inv / 0.20
- Intermediate-term / 50% / DFIGX / DFA Intmd Govt FxdInc Inst / 0.13

My simplified Trev H:
Asset Class/Percentage/Ticker/Fund/Gross ER
LB / 30% / VIFSX / Vngrd 500 Indx Sgnl / 0.05
ISB / 10% / VINEX / Vngrd Intl Explr Inv / 0.43
ILV / 10% / VTRIX / Vngrd Intl Val Inv / 0.41
SV / 20% / VISVX / Vngrd SmCap Val Indx Inv / 0.35
Bonds 30% (same 20/30/50 distribution as above)
Last edited by structure7 on Sun May 05, 2013 2:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby structure7 » Sat May 04, 2013 8:30 pm

pingo wrote:...but you may be one of the lucky few who can actually do Trev H's ingeniously simplified adaptation of the Ultimate Buy and Hold strategy. (Read here.) You might want to consider that as well.


One thing I meant to ask... you mentioned I was "one of the lucky few" that could do the Trev H strategy. Did you say that because of the funds available to me through Nationwide or something else?

Needless to say I'm taking it to heart! Thanks for that link.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby pingo » Tue May 07, 2013 12:14 am

structure7 wrote:I converted an old 401k from Fidelity (awhile back) to USAA IRA just to keep my accounts together.


Do you have other investment accounts that you have not included? I am not familiar with USAA, other than the general rep they have for being good for insurance, but they leave something to be desired in the investment arena.

structure7 wrote:The Trev H link reading lead me to the updated Ultimate Buy and Hold readings by Merriman... man I could get lost in the weeds on that one!


If I understand it correctly, that's the nice thing about Trev H's discovery: if one has the same total amount in value and small caps, it doesn't make a difference whether one does is the Merriman way, or with Trev's 4-fund version. All else being equal, simpler is better.

structure7 wrote:... you mentioned I was "one of the lucky few" that could do the Trev H strategy. Did you say that because of the funds available to me through Nationwide or something else?


The more you read Trev H's thread, the more you'll see how many posters indicate that they have to make compromises on fund choices and even allocations because, say, most of their assets are in a 401k that doesn't offer viable, equivalent options that would be necessary to make the suggested 4-fund ultimate buy portfolio. Your 401k appears to have everything you need, regardless. (Even DFA? Sheeeesh.)

If I'm not mistaken, the allocations were meant to be as follows (unless there is some unstated reason for what you indicated earlier).

structure7 wrote:My simplified Trev H:
Asset Class/Percentage/Ticker/Fund/Gross ER
LB / 17.5% / VIFSX / Vngrd 500 Indx Sgnl / 0.05
ISB / 17.5% / VINEX / Vngrd Intl Explr Inv / 0.43
ILV / 17.5% / VTRIX / Vngrd Intl Val Inv / 0.41
SV / 17.5% / VISVX / Vngrd SmCap Val Indx Inv / 0.35
Bonds 30% (same 20/30/50 distribution as above)


In other words, the 4 equity funds are split evenly.

Also, I don't know much about DFA funds, but what are the DFA funds you have access to?
Last edited by pingo on Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby structure7 » Tue May 07, 2013 10:10 am

I personally do not have any other investment accounts. My wife has a very low six figure schoolteacher retirement account (doesn't teach any more but she's fully vested) that we're going to look into our options with.

Regarding allocation, it seemed most of what I was reading seemed to give the US markets more weight than the international. Although I just looked up an interesting article (https://pressroom.vanguard.com/nonindexed/6.26.2012_The_Role_of_Home_Bias.pdf) on "Home Bias" I need to I need to read through. However after all the back and forth research I was doing I missed the Trev H 25% each example! Thanks for the reminder!

As for DFA, here is what I have available. Again sorry for no tickers. I need to call Nationwide and find out why there is no easy way to access that info. All these get Nationwide's +0.46 fee:

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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request

Postby pingo » Wed May 08, 2013 5:43 am

"He couldn't have nearly as many DFA options," I thought to myself as I typed that last question. Well you don't, but you do have A LOT.

I think you should change the title of your thread to "Portfolio Help - DFA & Vanguard" or something like it. Also, edit your first post to include the Vanguard expense ratios and your DFA options. That way contributers can view it all in one spot. Then bump the thread and see who else chimes in. I have limited familiarity with DFA (probably not enough), so I'd have to do a lot of searching and reading myself. I've had a sudden rush of work drop in my lap (thus my post at 2:40 AM) so I don't have many brain cells left to think through it all.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby structure7 » Wed May 08, 2013 12:59 pm

Bump after adding full DFA and Vanguard list at the very top. Thanks again!
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby ruralavalon » Wed May 08, 2013 3:09 pm

Wow :!:

More than enough good choices to make a nice portfolio. There are going to be several good ways to do this.

You original post proposed using some very good Vanguard funds:
VTSSX Total Stock Mkt Idx Signal
VBTSX Total Bond Mkt Idx Signal
VESSX European Stock Idx Signal
VPASX Pacific Stock Idx Signal

But that array lacked emerging markets and international small caps.


I'm going to suggest adding DFA Emerging Markets Core Equity I (DFCEX) er = 0.68%, http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/ ... ture=en-us , to what you originally had in mind.

Also you could consider adding what you/they list as "DFA Intl Sm Co 0.56 Foreign Small/Mid Blend", to add some developed market small caps. I could not find a M* page for a fund by that name or description, only this http://quotes.morningstar.com/fund/f?region=USA&t=DISVX .
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby structure7 » Wed May 08, 2013 4:58 pm

ruralavalon wrote:...
But that array lacked emerging markets and international small caps.

I'm going to suggest adding DFA Emerging Markets Core Equity I (DFCEX) er = 0.68%, http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/ ... ture=en-us , to what you originally had in mind.

Also you could consider adding what you/they list as "DFA Intl Sm Co 0.56 Foreign Small/Mid Blend", to add some developed market small caps. I could not find a M* page for a fund by that name or description, only this http://quotes.morningstar.com/fund/f?region=USA&t=DISVX .


Thank you I'll look into those as well.

Looks like the DFA Intl Sm Co is "DFA International Small Company I" DFISX. On a side note, I feel that with all the different abbreviations, etc., used, ticker symbols are the only clear identifier. Nationwide doesn't show ticker symbols ANYWHERE. Isn't this a bad practice? I'm going to contact them regarding this. Just doesn't make sense that they could be confusing people by this!
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby ruralavalon » Wed May 08, 2013 6:02 pm

structure7 wrote: Looks like the DFA Intl Sm Co is "DFA International Small Company I" DFISX. On a side note, I feel that with all the different abbreviations, etc., used, ticker symbols are the only clear identifier. Nationwide doesn't show ticker symbols ANYWHERE. Isn't this a bad practice? I'm going to contact them regarding this. Just doesn't make sense that they could be confusing people by this!

I agree, not clearly listing the tickers makes everything harder unnecessarily. I can't think of a good reason for not listing the tickers.

It looks to me like DFA International Small Company I (DFISX) would be a good way to add coverage for developed market small caps, http://portfolios.morningstar.com/fund/ ... ture=en-us , if you want to do that.

I do think that adding the emerging markets is more important, if you don't want to get too complex.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby glensos » Wed May 08, 2013 6:51 pm

Why not just start with the DFA 60/40 fund and then build around it with whatever tilts toward international, growth, value, small reit whatever you wish.
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby pingo » Thu May 09, 2013 9:22 pm

^ It would appear that DFA Global Equity is simply the equity part of Global Allocation 60/40 fund, with the same US/International split (64 US / 36 Int'l) and the same value and size tilts (see links). OP could actually taylor the amount of bonds by using DFA Global Equity for stocks and add however many bonds in a separate bond fund.

Roth IRA (13%)
13% Vanguard Total Bond (VBMFX)

401k (87%)
07% Vanguard bond fund <--Or however much more you want to get the total bonds you want.
80% DFA Global Equity Institutional 0.63+0.46 <--The rest goes here. Ouch! The total ER comes 1.09%.

It's not a recommendation. I'm throwing the idea out there as an alternative. It's simpler for OP than Trev H's Ultimate B&H...
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby pingo » Fri May 10, 2013 9:19 am

^ ^ I watched Frontline's "The Retirement Myth" before going to bed last night and the question of costs haunted me last night as I slept. I scanned this thread again and realized that I don't understand what you're saying (and not saying) about future retirement savings, from which one might be able to improve on costs overall, even if you can't change your 401k:

structure7 wrote:Right now my 401k contributions are only 6% (employers match).


Please answer the following questions:

1. Are we to understand that your employer is contributing 6% of salary to the 401k, that you are not contributing anything to your 401k and plan no further contributions to an IRA for the time being?

2. Or, are you contributing 6% which is the minimum necessary to receive the entire match from your employer? Please clarify.

3. Also, please include the dollar amounts of the contributions, personal and/or match.

4. For future reference, does your 401k accept rollovers from regular Traditional IRA's? (Some only accept rollovers from other 401ks or from Rollover IRA's that came from other qualified plans.)
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby structure7 » Fri May 10, 2013 10:53 am

pingo wrote:1. Are we to understand that your employer is contributing 6% of salary to the 401k, that you are not contributing anything to your 401k and plan no further contributions to an IRA for the time being?

2. Or, are you contributing 6% which is the minimum necessary to receive the entire match from your employer? Please clarify.


The latter... I'm contributing 6% which maximizes my employer contribution (40% of my 6% according to my math - need to ask my employer for more info on that). From the transaction history it seems they lump sum deposit this in at the end of Q1 :annoyed (led me to read this WSJ article).

pingo wrote:3. Also, please include the dollar amounts of the contributions, personal and/or match.


$179 is my contribution (only) on the 1st/15th of the month. Add $71.60 to that for employer contribution, but of course I'm only seeing that lump sum in March. I know I'm terribly low on contributions, but will be bumping up in June/July when I can change it.

pingo wrote:4. For future reference, does your 401k accept rollovers from regular Traditional IRA's? (Some only accept rollovers from other 401ks or from Rollover IRA's that came from other qualified plans.)


They do accept rollovers but my only other account is Roth. Thanks!
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Re: Simple Portfolio Review Request (DFA & Vngrd update)

Postby pingo » Fri May 10, 2013 7:00 pm

structure7 wrote:I'm contributing 6% which maximizes my employer contribution


Got it.

structure7 wrote:I know I'm terribly low on contributions, but will be bumping up in June/July when I can change it.


Thank you for giving the dollar amounts, too. I wanted to know the dollar amounts in case you were also contributing outside of the 401k, so that relative size of contributions could be taken in consideration, if applicable. (A moot point for now, but it was easier to ask for all the information at once.)

pingo wrote:They do accept rollovers but my only other account is Roth.


I noticed that you do not have a Trad IRA, but I asked for future reference. I'm sorry, but I was trying to be specific (perhaps absurdly so), and you didn't quite answer the specifics of the question. The 401k may receive rollovers, but does it receive rollovers only from other 401ks and/or Rollover IRAs, or does it also accept rollovers from Traditional IRAs? (See below.)

Some things that came to mind:

So far your 401k has provided a greater benefit than other options because of the tax benefit and match. Once the match is obtained, the 401k is not superior to Traditional IRA contributions. Rather than increasing 401k contributions in the future, you should consider contributing to a Trad IRA for you to obtain the same tax benefit and funds at a lower cost. Doing so is a way to bring down portfolio costs now and for however long those assets can continue to be located inside the TIRA. (I'm assuming you'd qualify for Traditional IRA contributions.)

I left out your spouse for now because if the day ever comes that you are maxing out your 401k and you no longer qualify for Traditional IRA or direct Roth IRA contributions (a big if, I know), you'd have the option of rolling the Trad IRA into the 401k to begin doing Backdoor Roth contributions without any hitches.

If your 401k and/or Traditional IRA contributions ever land you in the 15% tax bracket, you might consider putting the next order of contributions in a Roth for her, although it's possible that a Traditional IRA would still be the better option tax-wise.
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