Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

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rattlenap
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Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by rattlenap » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:30 pm

I am curios to get your opinions on the Rick Ferri portfolio below in a 60/40 AA. I think the portfolio he uses is fascinating and seems to cover most of the angles when it comes to investing. The question is will his portfolio work for average investors like you and I?

Note: I left out his DFA international funds and replaced them with a 40% tilt towards emerging markets instead, simply because I want to use all Vanguards in this model.

U.S. Stocks 42%
27% Vanguard Total Stock Market VTSMX
9% Vanguard Small Cap VISVX
6% Vanguard REIT VGSIX

International Stocks 18%
10.8% Vanguard Total International Stock VGTSX
7.2% Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock VEIEX

Bonds 40%
24% Vanguard Total Bond Market VBMFX
8% Vanguard High Yield Corporate VWEHX
8% Vanguard Inflation Protection Securities VIPSX
Last edited by rattlenap on Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

moneywise3
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by moneywise3 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:42 pm

Why doesn't it add up to 100?

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in_reality
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by in_reality » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:52 pm

moneywise3 wrote:Why doesn't it add up to 100?
US stocks are 42%

rattlenap
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by rattlenap » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:55 pm

in_reality wrote:
moneywise3 wrote:Why doesn't it add up to 100?
US stocks are 42%
My mistake. Corrected!

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TimeRunner
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by TimeRunner » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:56 pm

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moneywise3
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by moneywise3 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:11 pm

You don't need extra REIT. There's a very few people with special goals that need that.

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by Dulocracy » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:30 pm

moneywise3 wrote:You don't need extra REIT. There's a very few people with special goals that need that.
With all due respect, OP has not given us enough information to ascertain whether an additional allocation to REITs would be appropriate.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.

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njboater74
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by njboater74 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:18 pm

There's no reason why this portfolio would not work compared to any of the 3 fund portfolios that most folks here use.

It looks like a traditional balanced 60/40 portfolio, but with some added inflation protection with the REIT carved out of the stocks, and TIPS carved out of the bonds. If you're particularly concerned about inflation, then this is a good portfolio. But it depends on your personal circumstances and whether you feel you need the extra inflation protection.
When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth and tell the whole world - 'No, YOU move'--Captain America, Boglehead

TropikThunder
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by TropikThunder » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:28 pm

rattlenap wrote: Note: I left out his DFA international funds and replaced them with a 40% tilt towards emerging markets instead, simply because I want to use all Vanguards in this model.

International Stocks 18%
10.2% Vanguard Total International Stock VGTSX
7.8% Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock VEIEX
I assume your tilt refers to EM at 40% of international (60/40 DM/EM) but by my math the above allocation is closer to 52% EM (VEIEX is ~99% EM and VGTSX is ~19% EM, both per Vanguard).

On that note, what's the rationale for spiking VGTSX with more VEIEX rather then using both Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets VDVIX and Emerging Markets VEIEX? The BH wiki says you can approximate VGTSX with ~83/17 VDVIX/VEIEX but you could go 60/40 with those two to tilt EM.

rattlenap
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by rattlenap » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:37 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
rattlenap wrote: Note: I left out his DFA international funds and replaced them with a 40% tilt towards emerging markets instead, simply because I want to use all Vanguards in this model.

International Stocks 18%
10.2% Vanguard Total International Stock VGTSX
7.8% Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock VEIEX
I assume your tilt refers to EM at 40% of international (60/40 DM/EM) but by my math the above allocation is closer to 52% EM (VEIEX is ~99% EM and VGTSX is ~19% EM, both per Vanguard).

On that note, what's the rationale for spiking VGTSX with more VEIEX rather then using both Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets VDVIX and Emerging Markets VEIEX? The BH wiki says you can approximate VGTSX with ~83/17 VDVIX/VEIEX but you could go 60/40 with those two to tilt EM.
Corrected! Thanks for noticing that.

N52570
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by N52570 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:10 am

TropikThunder wrote:
rattlenap wrote: Note: I left out his DFA international funds and replaced them with a 40% tilt towards emerging markets instead, simply because I want to use all Vanguards in this model.

International Stocks 18%
10.2% Vanguard Total International Stock VGTSX
7.8% Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock VEIEX
I assume your tilt refers to EM at 40% of international (60/40 DM/EM) but by my math the above allocation is closer to 52% EM (VEIEX is ~99% EM and VGTSX is ~19% EM, both per Vanguard).

On that note, what's the rationale for spiking VGTSX with more VEIEX rather then using both Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets VDVIX and Emerging Markets VEIEX? The BH wiki says you can approximate VGTSX with ~83/17 VDVIX/VEIEX but you could go 60/40 with those two to tilt EM.

Actually Rick splits the foriegn even futher, Pacific and Europe. There is a supposed premium for splitting the two.

Its been discussed before....

viewtopic.php?t=133312
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tibbitts
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by tibbitts » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:51 am

I think the answer hinges on this:
The question is will his portfolio work for average investors like you and I?
In what respects is Rick not an average investor? What would make him more or less suitable for these investments than anyone else? Doesn't this divide the world into Rick and everyone else on the forum? "You" may include people who are at least as knowledgeable, wealthy, etc. as Rick (you have to remember where you're posting this, you know.)

Of course the obvious answer is that the portfolio might not "work" for Rick or anyone else, depending on the definition of "work", so the initial implication (that the portfolio will work for Rick) may be wrong.

retiredjg
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by retiredjg » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:00 am

I think the portfolio is OK, but it would not suit me because of the excessive tilt to emerging markets. The EMs are already included in the Total International. Adding on that much extra is adding on a lot. Just too much for me, maybe not for you.

Why do you call this the Rick Ferri Portfolio? I must have missed something.

N52570
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by N52570 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:24 am

retiredjg wrote:I think the portfolio is OK, but it would not suit me because of the excessive tilt to emerging markets. The EMs are already included in the Total International. Adding on that much extra is adding on a lot. Just too much for me, maybe not for you.

Why do you call this the Rick Ferri Portfolio? I must have missed something.
Rick doesnt use a "Total International", so thats why the large chunk of EM. And its not actually his, its his starting point 60/40 recommendation for his clients. Or, his clients, before he retired....

See my link above!
"Nobody knows nothing"! Raymond

Erwin
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by Erwin » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:43 am

Let me suggest to you that all the comments on whether you should or should not include REITs, or for that matter any other asset class, are irreverent. Do not get hanged up in the details, just go forward with it. Why?
Well, in an excellent book by Meb Faber, "Global Asset Allocation", he shows that in the long term all the so called expert portfolios rebalanced annually (I think) and I would add, all well diversified portfolios (and yours is) produce extremely similar results. The conclusion, of course, is to pick the one you feel the most comfortable. BUT, and this s the trick, STICK to it no matter what!
Most investors mess with their portfolios, and that is the problem.

Good luck.
Last edited by Erwin on Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

retiredjg
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by retiredjg » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:45 am

Ok. I see this is a discussion of a 60/40 portfolio that Rick designed for a discussion/article back in 2014.

http://awealthofcommonsense.com/wp-cont ... rri-ii.png

In that portfolio Rick does not tilt toward emerging markets at all that I can see. The EM segment is 20% of the international allocation - that is something near market weight.

The portfolio presented in the original post is heavily tilted toward emerging markets - nothing like what Rick designed for the international allocation. So, rattlenap, if you are looking for something like Rick had in mind, I'd drop the emerging markets slice all together.

Rick has stated at least once that he is now satisfied to use the newer total Total International Index funds (funds that contain developed markets, emerging markets, large, mid, and small cap stocks). Back in the time those funds did not exist or were not easily obtainable, I think he did prefer to assemble the various components separately in order to achieve an entire market approach. (A guess on my part.)

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by Rick Ferri » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:48 am

I'd like to add some clarity behind this conversation as my Core-4 portfolio has become quite popular over the years.

There is a difference between investment philosophy and portfolio strategy. We're all Bogleheads', which means we all believe in low-cost passive investing. This is our "philosophy" and it's universal. "Strategy" is how we implement this belief and it is personal. Strategy includes asset allocation and the funds we select to represent that allocation plus things like tax-management and rebalancing method. Although we're all of the same philosophy, I doubt there are two Bogleheads who have the exact same strategy.

Many people have adopted my Core-4 portfolio as their base strategy and that's fine. My reason for introducing this portfolio several years ago wasn't to say "this is the one." I did it to provide a base allocation from which you could tailor to your needs. The portfolio covers all the basic asset classes in a basic allocation and it is not overly complex.

We have many conversations about the nuances of strategy on this forum, and that's a good thing. These conversations are best approached from the view of what's best for a particular member's situation. Strategy conversations can become convoluted and of little use when they become about determining which mix of funds will provide the optimal return in the future. That we cannot know.

Rick Ferri
Last edited by Rick Ferri on Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:13 am, edited 3 times in total.
The Education of an Index Investor: flounders in darkness, finds enlightenment, overcomplicates strategy, embraces simplicity.

N52570
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by N52570 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:50 am

retiredjg wrote:Ok. I see this is a discussion of a 60/40 portfolio that Rick designed for a discussion/article back in 2014.

http://awealthofcommonsense.com/wp-cont ... rri-ii.png

In that portfolio Rick does not tilt toward emerging markets at all that I can see. The EM segment is 20% of the international allocation - that is something near market weight.

The portfolio presented in the original post is heavily tilted toward emerging markets - nothing like what Rick designed for the international allocation. So, rattlenap, if you are looking for something like Rick had in mind, I'd drop the emerging markets slice all together.

Rick has stated at least once that he is now satisfied to use the newer total Total International Index funds (funds that contain developed markets, emerging markets, large, mid, and small cap stocks). Back in the time those funds did not exist or were not easily obtainable, I think he did prefer to assemble the various components separately in order to achieve an entire market approach. (A guess on my part.)
He use(s,d) a DFA EM fund. Have you clicked on your own link! :D
"Nobody knows nothing"! Raymond

Levett
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by Levett » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:18 am

A nice crisp explanation from Rick Ferri, Certified Financial Vagabond! :wink:

Hope you are having the time of your life, Rick. Well deserved.

Lev

retiredjg
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by retiredjg » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:19 am

N52570 wrote:He use(s,d) a DFA EM fund. Have you clicked on your own link! :D
Yes, I know what the link says. :happy He used the DFA EM fund for 20% of the international allocation. Unless things have changed, that is near market weight, not overweight, for emerging markets.***

I also know what the Core Four says. In that portfolio (newer version, not original version) he used Vanguard's Total International Index. Rick is a flexible guy. He has no problem using whatever is available and makes good sense.

My only point is I think the original post portfolio is heavily tilted to EM and I don't think that is what Rick was suggesting.

***I see that the current Vanguard Total International fund has 15% emerging markets. However, I've seen it as high as 23% and 25% in past years and think it was higher than 15% back in 2014 when that article was written.

N52570
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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by N52570 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:24 am

retiredjg wrote:
N52570 wrote:He use(s,d) a DFA EM fund. Have you clicked on your own link! :D
Yes, I know what the link says. :happy He used the DFA EM fund for 20% of the international allocation. Unless things have changed, that is near market weight, not overweight, for emerging markets.***

I also know what the Core Four says. In that portfolio (newer version, not original version) he used Vanguard's Total International Index. Rick is a flexible guy. He has no problem using whatever is available and makes good sense.

My only point is I think the original post portfolio is heavily tilted to EM and I don't think that is what Rick was suggesting.

***I see that the current Vanguard Total International fund has 15% emerging markets. However, I've seen it as high as 23% and 25% in past years and think it was higher than 15% back in 2014 when that article was written.
Now Im tracking! :oops:

Thanks
"Nobody knows nothing"! Raymond

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by cfs » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:56 pm

Thank you.

Thanks to our shipmate Rick Ferri for dropping by to say hello and for explaining the Core Four [again].

Thanks for reading.
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by gerntz » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:59 pm

Where do short-term cash reserves come into play here?

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by bengal22 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:36 pm

As stated elsewhere the important fact is your asset allocation of stocks/bonds and to me the most important fact - how much are you saving. Once you know your stock to bond ratio, all the other tweeking is minor variation.
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Short-term cash reserves?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:44 pm

gerntz wrote:Where do short-term cash reserves come into play here?
gerntz:

Assuming one can obtain cash from their credit-card, bank, portfolio or elsewhere, I see no reason to add a separate low-yielding "cash reserve" account that may never be used.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by TropikThunder » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:05 pm

retiredjg wrote: ***I see that the current Vanguard Total International fund has 15% emerging markets. However, I've seen it as high as 23% and 25% in past years and think it was higher than 15% back in 2014 when that article was written.
The % EM in VXUS depends on how you analyze the fund holdings, and it's one of my pet peeves regarding M*.

M* uses MSCI classifications for DM and EM, which places South Korea, Taiwan, and UAE (among others) in EM. Yet when you use the portfolio analysis link on a fund page, the total EM allocation omits those three countries and underestimates a fund's EM exposure.

So for VXUS (Vanguard Total International), M* does indeed list EM at 15.34%. But when you add back in Taiwan (3.15%) and UAE (0.23%), you get the allocation listed by Vanguard, 18.7%.

Plus, to add perhaps unneeded complexity, FTSE considers South Korea to be EM, not DM. Adding the 3.51% allocation to South Korea brings VXUS up to 22.22% EM per FTSE criteria. Splitting hairs perhaps, since I don't really think 15% vs 18% vs 22% will matter over a typical investor's time frame.

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by retiredjg » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:21 pm

Interesting point that I had not considered. I was assuming it had more to do with valuations around the planet - and international and EM are definitely down right now. But I think what you have pointed out is probably a bigger difference.

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Re: Short-term cash reserves?

Post by gerntz » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:12 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
gerntz wrote:Where do short-term cash reserves come into play here?
gerntz:

Assuming one can obtain cash from their credit-card, bank, portfolio or elsewhere, I see no reason to add a separate low-yielding "cash reserve" account that may never be used.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Thanks for the input. I don't expect to use a reserve - that's why I call it reserve, but then I don't expect a lot of things. Me, I'd take, and do, 10% of the 40% bond allocation and keep it as cash and various currencies. If the market crashed tomorrow, I'd like to be able to invest. And today at least, short-term bonds hardly pay more than zero.

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by abuss368 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:59 pm

Rick Ferri wrote:I'd like to add some clarity behind this conversation as my Core-4 portfolio has become quite popular over the years.

There is a difference between investment philosophy and portfolio strategy. We're all Bogleheads', which means we all believe in low-cost passive investing. This is our "philosophy" and it's universal. "Strategy" is how we implement this belief and it is personal. Strategy includes asset allocation and the funds we select to represent that allocation plus things like tax-management and rebalancing method. Although we're all of the same philosophy, I doubt there are two Bogleheads who have the exact same strategy.

Many people have adopted my Core-4 portfolio as their base strategy and that's fine. My reason for introducing this portfolio several years ago wasn't to say "this is the one." I did it to provide a base allocation from which you could tailor to your needs. The portfolio covers all the basic asset classes in a basic allocation and it is not overly complex.

We have many conversations about the nuances of strategy on this forum, and that's a good thing. These conversations are best approached from the view of what's best for a particular member's situation. Strategy conversations can become convoluted and of little use when they become about determining which mix of funds will provide the optimal return in the future. That we cannot know.

Rick Ferri
Hi Rick,

In my opinion your post was so very well written. That makes much sense and clears the air.

Thank you for your contributions.

Best.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by abuss368 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:01 pm

Bogleheads,

In my opinion, Rick's "Core Four" investment portfolio is an excellent choice and has many benefits:

* low cost
* diversification with thousands of securities
* no manger risk
* no style drift
* cash flows from dividends
* easy tax reporting
* easy to understand and explain
* best of all - simplicity

Thank you Rick Ferri!
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by abuss368 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:02 pm

moneywise3 wrote:You don't need extra REIT. There's a very few people with special goals that need that.
We invest in both the Vanguard U.S. and International REIT funds. The cash flows from dividends will be part of our retirement in the future.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: Short-term cash reserves?

Post by abuss368 » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:04 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
gerntz wrote:Where do short-term cash reserves come into play here?
gerntz:

Assuming one can obtain cash from their credit-card, bank, portfolio or elsewhere, I see no reason to add a separate low-yielding "cash reserve" account that may never be used.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Hi Taylor,

What about the old saying "cash is king"?

Best.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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"Cash is King?"

Post by Taylor Larimore » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:53 am

What about the old saying "cash is king"?
abuss368:

Like many "old sayings," it contains an element of truth -- but many "old sayings" are dangerous.

Best wishes
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: Rick Ferri Portfolio Review

Post by cjcerny » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:22 pm

It's a fine portfolio. It would work for anyone. I doubt that it is any better than a 3 fund portfolio, however, and 3 is way more simple to manage than 8. It's a portfolio for someone who manages portfolios all day long. :)

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Re: "Cash is King?"

Post by abuss368 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:27 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
What about the old saying "cash is king"?
abuss368:

Like many "old sayings," it contains an element of truth -- but many "old sayings" are dangerous.

Best wishes
Taylor
Indeed.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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