What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

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ZeroXing
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What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by ZeroXing »

Hi there! I've read the wiki on rebalancing and followed the relevant links, but I still feel like my rebalancing process is very inefficient and clunky.

Currently, here's what I do:
  • I log into my various brokerages/accounts - between my IRA, 401k, and Taxable I have 3 different portals to log into.
  • I copy the various holdings/balances to a spreadsheet to calculate how much to buy/sell.
  • I then make the appropriate transactions in each account.
Overall, the process probably takes me about 20 - 30 min. Not super long, but I just don't really enjoy doing it :P

Questions:
  • What is your rebalancing workflow?
  • How long does it take you and how often do you do it?
  • Any cool tools to make it easier that I should know about?
Thanks!
Freefun
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Freefun »

That's pretty much what I do. I have accounts at several brokerages in addition to my former employer.
I use a spreadsheet to track totals and allocation, which calculates the changes needed to maintain my AA.
I usually have sufficient funds in all the accounts, so I only need to transact at 1 brokerage to rebalance (rather than doing transactions everywhere).
It takes me < 1 hour and I'll do this at least once a year but I check periodically to see if there's large shifts (>5%).

In summary, no fancy tools here.
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retired@50
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by retired@50 »

Welcome to the forum. :happy

To make re-balancing easier, you could consolidate accounts, if possible, to a single custodian.

You could also make some of the smaller accounts hold only a single fund, like a total stock market fund or a total bond market fund.

If you can keep all the asset classes, US stocks / International Stocks / Bonds, in your 401k (for example) then that would be the only account where a transaction would be needed.

Regards,
This is one person's opinion. Nothing more.
sailaway
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by sailaway »

The logging on and filling in the spreadsheet is the hard part. We rebalance in one account, maybe two if there isn't room in the one. But so far, always in one.

We only do this whole process twice a year. In between, we put all new monies to equities and sell equities if we need money. Obviously, that will need to change once we are withdrawing, especially since we will be doing Roth conversions.

We do not rebalance international. DH doesn't even hold much international and his accounts are much bigger than mine.
Marseille07
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Marseille07 »

I'm a nudger, I nudge whenever I add / withdraw monies but I don't rebalance otherwise.
Last edited by Marseille07 on Sun May 16, 2021 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
mervinj7
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by mervinj7 »

ZeroXing wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 12:27 pm Hi there! I've read the wiki on rebalancing and followed the relevant links, but I still feel like my rebalancing process is very inefficient and clunky.

Currently, here's what I do:
  • I log into my various brokerages/accounts - between my IRA, 401k, and Taxable I have 3 different portals to log into.
  • I copy the various holdings/balances to a spreadsheet to calculate how much to buy/sell.
  • I then make the appropriate transactions in each account.
Overall, the process probably takes me about 20 - 30 min. Not super long, but I just don't really enjoy doing it :P

Questions:
  • What is your rebalancing workflow?
  • How long does it take you and how often do you do it?
  • Any cool tools to make it easier that I should know about?
Thanks!
1. Download Fidelity Data: 3 minutes/month
All of investment accounts are in Fidelity, I only have one CSV file to download. I used to download once a quarter but now that it takes less than 5 minutes, I download the data every month.

2. Import Data in Google Spreadsheet: 5 minutes/month
Data is imported into my google spreadsheet. Spreadsheet classifies each fund into it's relevant category and calculates my current asset allocation, net worth, and annual expenses. At this point, there's nothing further to do for most of the year.

3. Contribute to Roth IRAs in Feb: 5 minutes/year.
Every Feb, we contribute $6k x 2 to each of our Roth IRAs. The Roth IRAs only contain 2 funds: 75% Total Stock Market, 25% International. Rebalancing (if needed) is only done at contribution time and the account level AA is kept fixed (independent of total AA). Otherwise, these two accounts are ignored all year long.

4. Contribute monthly to taxable brokerage. 1 minute/month
This account is 100% Total Stock Market. No rebalancing needed.

5. HSA only uses Treasury bills. No rebalancing.

6. Rebalance 401k/403b. 10 minutes/biannually.
Since bonds are only located in my 401k and SO's 403b, this is the only account that needs "active" rebalancing and the only account that takes total AA into consideration. We rebalance once in March (after the Roth IRAs are fully funded) and once in Oct as calculated by the spreadsheet. At these times, the contribution percentage is adjusted (e.g. adjust for pay raises, bonuses) in order to max out the 401k/403b by the end of the year. W-4 withholdings are also adjusted at these times. Note, these accounts also have the advantage of using Fidelity rebalancing tool that makes it easy to balance all funds to a specific AA all at once.
Last edited by mervinj7 on Fri May 14, 2021 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
livesoft
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by livesoft »

Workflow:

1. Receive e-mail alert from my broker that something is may be having an RBD (an ETF of equities or an ETF of bonds).

2. Check if something is truly having an RBD.

3. If an RBD, sell something else and buy the thing having the RBD. All trades done in my largest value tax-deferred account. No need to touch any other account.

4. Done.

My point is that one never needs to have an exactly perfectly in balance portfolio. After all, if you waste your time doing that, then the next day the portfolio will be out of perfect balance anyways. Don't strive for perfection on this balance thing.

I also know ahead of time the maximum dollar amount that will not change any of my asset allocation percentages enough to put things out of whack. In other words, step #3 above is always going in the correct direction, so I don't have to do any math at all.
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Strifey
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Strifey »

Roughly 1-2 times a year I'll rebalance, takes me like 15 minutes because all my accounts are in the same place.

1. 401K, Roth IRA, and Taxable are all in my Fidelity account, I also link my credit cards/bank info/HYSA/HSA to Fidelity just so I can see my overall financial picture in one place.

2. Fidelity lets me extract an .xls of all my accounts and their holdings which I can quickly import into my excel tracker. For rebalancing purposes, I only include my Taxable, Roth IRA, and 401K accounts and exclude my other accounts that have cash equivalents i.e. emergency fund, normal checking account. I also exclude my HSA and just have auto balance turned on with it's own US/Int'l/Bond ratios so I don't have to deal with it, it's only about 2% of my overall investments so I just leave it self-contained.

3. I treat my Taxable, Roth IRA, and 401K as one pool, so the only account I actually rebalance is my 401K which makes it quick. I hold 100% US Total Market in my Roth IRA, I hold like 90 US/10 Int'l Total Market in my taxable (would make it 100 US but I bought some total internal index early on and don't see a reason to pay capital gains just to move it), and then I rebalance my 401K to get to my overall 65/25/15 ratio.
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ruralavalon
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by ruralavalon »

Welcome to the forum :) .
ZeroXing wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 12:27 pm Hi there! I've read the wiki on rebalancing and followed the relevant links, but I still feel like my rebalancing process is very inefficient and clunky.

Currently, here's what I do:
  • I log into my various brokerages/accounts - between my IRA, 401k, and Taxable I have 3 different portals to log into.
  • I copy the various holdings/balances to a spreadsheet to calculate how much to buy/sell.
  • I then make the appropriate transactions in each account.
Overall, the process probably takes me about 20 - 30 min. Not super long, but I just don't really enjoy doing it :P

Questions:
  • What is your rebalancing workflow?
  • How long does it take you and how often do you do it?
  • Any cool tools to make it easier that I should know about?
Thanks!
All of our accounts (joint taxable account, two Roth IRAs, and my rollover IRA) are at Vanguard. On the Vanguard app their "Portfolio analysis" tab shows our target asset allocation and the actual current allocation. If it's off 5% or more, then I rebalance. This takes under five minutes to do the rebalancing.

If you have accounts at different fund firms or brokerages, then Morningstar has a free "Portfolio" tool where you can manually enter your fund holdings total for all accounts, and will show the percentage allocation in each fund. You need to manually enter new totals for shares held every month or every quarter, whenever you have distributions reinvested, or make new contributions or withdraw from the portfolio. Maintaining this portfolio tool takes perhaps 10 minutes per month.

We normally wind up rebalancing every few years. This last 12 months with, all the volatility, we rebalanced twice.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Fri May 14, 2021 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mhc
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by mhc »

OP,

you could us an account aggragator. I use Vanguard's.

1. I log into Vanguard to see all my holdings, which include Vanguard, Fidelity, and local bank.
2. Manually enter data into my rebalancing spreadsheet. See what I need to adjust.
3. Rebalance in my 401k at Fidelity if necessary. Buy funds in my Vanguard taxable account if I have too much cash in the bank.

This probably takes 20 minutes.
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GerryL
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by GerryL »

My accounts are consolidated at Vanguard. I rebalance in my tIRA around the beginning of the year when I move my RMD into the IRA cash account. My Roth is all international stock fund. My taxable is in a 60/40 balanced fund, so no need rebalance since that is my basic AA.

I use the Vanguard scenario modeling tool to see which of the basic 4 funds in my tIRA I should take the $$ from, and if I need to move anything between funds. I'm not super strict about getting the international on target, as long as it is not over.
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by placeholder »

I put my holdings into a spreadsheet as well but I use the 5/25 rebalancing method which is built into the sheet so most of the time I don't hit a rebalance so I do nothing.
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Leif
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Leif »

I have my ticker symbols in Google sheets. It only has two columns. The symbols that I enter manually. That is rare since it means I purchased a new mutual fund/ETF. The other column is the current share price. That is provided with a function built into Sheets.

I open this daily. I copy the 2 columns into my Excel spreadsheet. Then the magic happens. I know how to do VBA programming. I wrote a program to scan these new values and update my spreadsheet. I click on a button in my spreadsheet and these new values are processed.

All this takes about 1 minute and I do it each day the market is open.

Other tabs within the spreadsheet tell me how I'm doing vs. my target AA. I also added a "database like" table in Excel the breaks out my holdings by attributes like type, size, style, domestic vs. international, tax vs roth vs tIRA account, owner, brokerage.

The most time consuming part is a monthly update of my share counts since some of my assets involve dividend/cap gains reinvestment, and my cash positions will have changed with additions/withdrawals/interest.

One stat I calculate is % from target. Based on this value I will rebalance if necessary.
Tattarrattat
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Tattarrattat »

Unless there are huge moves in the market, like 2008 or 2020, I will let several years go between rebalancing.
sycamore
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by sycamore »

Step 1: buy a Target Retirement or LifeStrategy fund that rebalances for me.

Done :happy
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dratkinson
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by dratkinson »

I'm a nudger, too. I buy whatever is low, with any money left over, after reconciling all first-of-the-month statements (brokerage, banking). A spreadsheet helps. Takes ~30-minutes.

Why? Since we can never know what AA (asset allocation) works best at any time, then "close" must be good enough.


I suppose, if you have a tax-deferred account, you could put both equites and bonds in it to make rebalancing easier. Save any tax-free account for equities to maximize tax-free growth.

Or use all-in-one funds in your tax-advantaged accounts and let the fund manager worry about it. Then you only need to worry about keeping your taxable account balanced; which means you only need to log into one account to rebalance monthly with new money.


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Ed 2
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Ed 2 »

ZeroXing wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 12:27 pm Hi there! I've read the wiki on rebalancing and followed the relevant links, but I still feel like my rebalancing process is very inefficient and clunky.

Currently, here's what I do:
  • I log into my various brokerages/accounts - between my IRA, 401k, and Taxable I have 3 different portals to log into.
  • I copy the various holdings/balances to a spreadsheet to calculate how much to buy/sell.
  • I then make the appropriate transactions in each account.
Overall, the process probably takes me about 20 - 30 min. Not super long, but I just don't really enjoy doing it :P

Questions:
  • What is your rebalancing workflow?
  • How long does it take you and how often do you do it?
  • Any cool tools to make it easier that I should know about?
Thanks!
23 years of investment experience never done “ rebalancing “ , just dollar cost averaging . Looking on on my latest 10 year performance -11.5% average . Do I need to know “ special rebalancing tool” ?
Less action - less behavioral errors. Never understood the needs for it.
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pkcrafter
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by pkcrafter »

ZeroXing wrote: Fri May 14, 2021 12:27 pm Hi there! I've read the wiki on rebalancing and followed the relevant links, but I still feel like my rebalancing process is very inefficient and clunky.

Currently, here's what I do:
  • I log into my various brokerages/accounts - between my IRA, 401k, and Taxable I have 3 different portals to log into.
  • I copy the various holdings/balances to a spreadsheet to calculate how much to buy/sell.
  • I then make the appropriate transactions in each account.
How many funds are you holding? How often to you check allocations? Are you using 5% as the trigger? How often do you have to rebalance? In your IRA and 401k, you may be able to use a target date fund that will automatically do the rebalancing. Also, you can direct new contributions where needed.

Paul





When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.
Stargazer65
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Stargazer65 »

I ignore it for awhile, then read something and freak out about my AA, then fidget with it until I realize it's not a big deal, and then go back to ignoring it.
I am contemplating a move from 3 funds to 1 target date index fund.
PaunchyPirate
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by PaunchyPirate »

I'm a bit of a data geek and enjoy spreadsheets and also I enjoy monitoring my financial situation. Usually on a daily basis.

I have a Google Sheets spreadsheet that has all of my investments listed and I use the Google Finance functionality to update the prices each morning prior to markets opening. It will update all the calculations based on yesterday's end-of-day prices.

The spreadsheet has my desired asset allocation defined and then shows me what my current allocation is as of yesterday in dollars and in percentages across all of my financial accounts. I also have it set up to show me individual account balances and percentages of total. Lots of flashy charts and graphs to entertain me.

So every morning, I open up the spreadsheet and glance at the allocation and see where it lines up with my desired value. I rarely have actually done a standard "time to rebalance" exercise since I permit a 5% variation either way and I'm usually within that. But based on what my actual allocation numbers are tell me how to deal with re-investing any dividends I choose to re-invest -- I re-invest them in whatever allocation group needs added to at that particular time. With the stock run up of the last few years, I'm mostly buying more bonds with all of my dividends. So in a sense, I'm reallocating with almost every purchase of something.
Bear906
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Bear906 »

Schwab client here. My non-Schwab 401(k) is linked to to my Schwab Account Summary page; all my balances are there at a glance.

MONTHLY: Taxable account
I use a spreadsheet: enter the Taxable account balance, shares held in each position, and the current share prices. Spreadsheet calculates what trades I need to make. Since joining this forum I've pared the number of positions down from 9 to 2. It's literally a three-minute job: Log in to Schwab, enter five numbers in the spreadsheet, and make one or two trades. Done!

YEARLY: Roth IRA/401(k)
Both accounts are on automatic contributions. I use a spreadsheet to make sure my AA is on target, and rebalance if total equities position is off by 5%. Since I only hold an S&P500 fund in the Roth and also hold an S&P500 fund in the 401(k), only the 401(k) ever needs rebalancing. It's a ten-minute job: Log in to Schwab, enter five numbers in the spreadsheet, log in to the 401(K) portal, and enter the rebalance parameters from the spreadsheet. Done!
Retirement: 48% WFSPX+SWPPX 12% BDOKX 40% PRRIX | Other Needs: 25% SCHG 75% SCHR
Broken Man 1999
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Not really much "work" in my rebalancing workflow.

I rebalance in two accounts. One account is our Transamerica VA. Our VA is the only place where we still have Total Bond Market Index, which I am exiting in favor of treasury bond funds. In the rare occasion when I need to reduce bond fund holdings, and increase equity fund holdings. I just do an exchange in the VA. A couple of mouse clicks, done.

Because of the continued bull market in equities, I have rebalanced far more often by reducing equity holdings (VTI) and increasing Short-term Treasury Index mutual fund bond holdings. The only place I rebalance outside our VA account is in my TIRA account. Though we have international equities via VEA (Developed Markets), I won't rebalance into VEA until it hits 25% of our equity holdings, only 20% now. With a couple of mouse clicks, rebalancing is done.

To determine when to rebalance, and how much to rebalance, I check Portfolio Watch for portfolio AA. By using Vanguard's Yodlee program, all our investments (Vanguard holdings, I-bond holdings, and Transamerica VA holdings) are captured in Portfolio Watch. I can double-check how much to rebalance using the modeling in Portfolio Watch, assuming it still functions as it did previously. If not, I have my trusty calculator.

All in all, rebalancing for our portfolio is so easy, even a caveman could do it! Sorry, Geico! :D

Total Bond Market Index to Total Stock Market Index in VA.
OR
Total Stock Market Index to Short-term Treasury Index in TIRA.

Broken Man 1999
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joe8d
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by joe8d »

Mr. Bogle didn't recommend rebalancing, nor do I.
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Raspberry-503
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Raspberry-503 »

I use a chrome plugin that can scrub a web page: log in to my Fidelity account, get the plugin to extract the table for that account. Cut and paste into a spreadsheet which uses the 5/25 rule to highlight where I'm too far off target.

Eventually I'll move to only 3 funds and will manually copy all 3 numbers but for now I have 5-10 tickers per account (4 accounts: rollover IRA, Roth IRA, wife rollover IRA and taxable account). I currently balance per account but I am also considering moving to asset location across accounts.

I check 4 times a year and rebalance when something is flagged by the spreadsheet.

I rarely need to rebalance the taxable account because I put money in it every month and allocate it to whatever is falling below target allocation, and usually the monthly contribution gets it close enough to balanced. I used to use a web site called "the lazy portfolio" to help me figure out where to invest for best rebalancing but now i have a feel for it.

I also have a 401(k) which is automatically rebalanced every month, which is probably too often but I can't change the period and it doesn't seem to hurt anything since the churn doesn't generate taxes.
nolesrule
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by nolesrule »

I use a spreadsheet with GOOGLEFINANCE function also. The only other manual updates are from the 401k accounts (whenever I feel like) and Treasury Direct accounts (monthly) by pasting in tables which then get pulled into the main sheet via VLOOKUP, or when I buy new shares in the taxable account (monthly) or Roth IRAs (annually).

I have a fund list that associates asset type with each of the funds, and another tab that consolidates totals by class. Then a rebalance sheet which does the calculations based on class totals.

The rebalance tab let's me see stock vs. bonds, US vs. international, US large vs. small/medium, and company stock (my wife's match is in company stock classified as large cap since it is part of the S&P500), and we aim to keep it below a certain small percentage of the overall invested portfolio. The match is paid once a year in January and is also around the same time as we make our Roth IRA contributions, so we tend to rebalance at least partially out of the company stock and possibly whatever happens to be way out of whack.

She also has a smallish mega backdoor opportunity due to contribution limits and that money goes in at the regular contribution allocation for the 401k but gets invested in VTWAX in the Roth IRA, so it might require some rebalancing.

Taxable purchases got to whatever is more behind, Total US Stock or Total International stock.

So to sum up, rebalancing most often happens as we add new money or move money between accounts that has to be liquidated first in order to move. We don't rebalance to get the allocation right on the nose.
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ZeroXing
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by ZeroXing »

Raspberry-503 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 12:49 am I use a chrome plugin that can scrub a web page: log in to my Fidelity account, get the plugin to extract the table for that account. Cut and paste into a spreadsheet which uses the 5/25 rule to highlight where I'm too far off target.

Eventually I'll move to only 3 funds and will manually copy all 3 numbers but for now I have 5-10 tickers per account (4 accounts: rollover IRA, Roth IRA, wife rollover IRA and taxable account). I currently balance per account but I am also considering moving to asset location across accounts.

I check 4 times a year and rebalance when something is flagged by the spreadsheet.

I rarely need to rebalance the taxable account because I put money in it every month and allocate it to whatever is falling below target allocation, and usually the monthly contribution gets it close enough to balanced. I used to use a web site called "the lazy portfolio" to help me figure out where to invest for best rebalancing but now i have a feel for it.

I also have a 401(k) which is automatically rebalanced every month, which is probably too often but I can't change the period and it doesn't seem to hurt anything since the churn doesn't generate taxes.
Hey there, Raspberry! Thanks for the info. Can you link me to these tools?

The chrome extension sounds very cool.
Raspberry-503
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Raspberry-503 »

The tool to figure out where to invest new money to keep your portfolio balanced (or closer to desired allocations) is http://optimalrebalancing.tk/?i=1

There many "data scrapers" chrome extensions, some are not free, and https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... ta-scraper is free and works for me so I didn't try any others.
Gaston
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by Gaston »

I don’t have an issue with rebalancing, but just a word of caution: For those who are maxed out in their traditional and Roth IRA accounts, rebalancing can mean selling assets in taxable accounts, which in turn can bring a higher IRS tax bill.

I’d never rebalance just to hit a somewhat arbitrary 85/15 stocks/bonds mix (or 60/40 or whatever) if it meant paying more in taxes. In this circumstance, the way to rebalance is to direct new money to the underweighted asset class. We Bogleheads know that keeping costs low, including taxes, is all-important.
suewolf
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by suewolf »

Love the question regarding workflow! You're thinking along the right lines! I basically do what you do. I update my spreadsheet once per month since I use it for multiple purposes: rebalancing, checking on expiring CD's or bonds, looking at tax consequences of moves, and reminding me to consider time sensitive moves (ex: I recently moved money into a Stable Value fund in my 401k from bonds). This process takes no more than 15 minutes; I have my money spread across several sources (Fidelity, Vanguard, TD Ameritrade, Credit Union, Ally Bank and a few others. Consolidation would cause unnecessary capital gains and/or loss of IRA FDIC CD limits). I'll consolidate when I reach 70+ and have to withdraw RMDs. Spreadsheet shows taxable, qualified and Roth totals across each asset class. I've also simulated my taxes via spreadsheet so if I do need to make a move (say roll money from 401k to Roth) I can determine tax consequences.

I personally like the idea of manually entering the values each month. I get a better feel of each month's change in value I use a 5% rule - when my asset allocation is off by 5 basis points, I make a move (ex: 45% to 50%). When things are too automated, sometimes you loose the feel of where the money is and become too mechanistic. I also look to make sure I have sufficient stocks and bonds in each account to cover a sudden drop in value of one or the other.

For me, 15 min / month is a reasonable duration and not worth further optimization. When I was working, I did this once per quarter or so.
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ruralavalon
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by ruralavalon »

Gaston wrote: Wed May 19, 2021 5:55 pm I don’t have an issue with rebalancing, but just a word of caution: For those who are maxed out in their traditional and Roth IRA accounts, rebalancing can mean selling assets in taxable accounts, which in turn can bring a higher IRS tax bill.

I’d never rebalance just to hit a somewhat arbitrary 85/15 stocks/bonds mix (or 60/40 or whatever) if it meant paying more in taxes. In this circumstance, the way to rebalance is to direct new money to the underweighted asset class. We Bogleheads know that keeping costs low, including taxes, is all-important.
Ordinarily rebalance by exchanging between funds inside tax-advantaged accounts. This works nicely if you you have at least one large tax-advantaged account which contains all of your core asset types.

I agree that its not wise to rebalance in a taxable account if that generates income tax liability. I never rebalance in our joint taxable account.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by jpdion »

Rebalancing is fairly easy for me. All investing is in Vanguard TIRAs, tracked with Quicken. Asset allocation across all of our accounts can be monitored directly at Vanguard every time I log in. Occasionally use Morning Star X-Ray analysis inside Quicken, but not often. If allocations are out of whack over 5%, then I'll decide to reallocate to Total Bond or Total Stock, or perhaps to the money market where I draw monthly withdrawals. Math is usually quick, since we only have three funds and a money market in each of our accounts. Probably only takes an hour two or three times a year.
DetroitRick
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:28 am
Location: SE Michigan

Re: What's Your Rebalancing Workflow?

Post by DetroitRick »

OP, your workflow is just fine.

Here's mine, reflecting multiple accounts and portfolios of moderate complexity:
My portfolio allocation is visible and automatically updated via Quicken software. So, my only effort/time is really just reflecting on whether what I see suggests any action.
I also have a (more) detailed Excel sheet that I use for occasional in-depth portfolio analysis. It grabs the security prices using Excel's Data Type tool and then I just (manually) update shares if needed. It computes any changes needed in order to synch with my asset allocation plan. I then will execute the most material of those changes according my judgement. I sometimes also employ this tool right before making material withdrawals. Time required - 1 to 5 minutes to update shares (again, the rest is just thinking through and prioritizing any potential actions it suggests).

The only problem I have with that Quicken tool, automatic as it is, is the fact that they only allow one target asset allocation across all accounts. Too simplistic. This feature used to be a problem when my IRA's had a different allocation than those of my wife. But our need for that difference went away, and I then started using this Quicken tool again. I don't generally rebalance my taxable account, so I just ignore Quicken for that one.

As far as how often I rebalance, it's something I tend to do yearly or every other year. But only if material.
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