(Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

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TexasFuzzball
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(Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

Hi, all.

I have just gotten a bit of an introduction to the Three-Fund Portfolio concept and have a very basic question.

I am 54 and have the following investments kinda scattered around over the years.

- Betterment
- Two 401K from former employers
- 401K from current employer
- Individual investing account w/ Vanguard
- Individual Trade account
- ESPP with current employer
- Tiny little Titan account

My question : Is the three-fund portfolio concept suggesting (or flat-out saying) that I should consolidate some/most of those accounts into just the three funds (U.S. Stock, Int'l Stock, U.S. Bond) ?

Seems that the answer to that is meant to be 'yes,' but that also seems like a hell of a lot of work.

Thanks. Be patient with me. I am not a very experienced investor, and this is my first post here.

Mark
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KingRiggs
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by KingRiggs »

Yes.



Sorry, had to say it. :D Others will be along shortly to give details and encouragement.

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Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

its worth it.. i actually only hold two funds.. "total world stock" and a bond fund.. makes it simple enough for my wife to take over if/when i get hit by the bus.
retiredjg
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by retiredjg »

Welcome to the forum. :happy

Very few people actually hold only 3 funds. The "3 fund" portfolio is a guideline, a goal to work toward achieving. The idea is to hold a broad range of US stocks (most of them if you can), a broad range of foreign stocks (most of them if you can), and a broad bond fund that contains a lot of different kinds of bonds. And to do this at low cost.

If you have a 500 index in your 401k instead of a total stock index, that's fine. Close enough. And you may be able to "complete" it by adding on an extended market index or small cap index or something. If not, the 500 index alone will do.

Same with international - Not everyone has access to a low cost international fund. Some people have to be satisfied with something less than "total".

Same with bonds. A 401k (or similar) is a good place to hold your bond allocation, but many people do not have a total bond index available. So they use what they can.

The idea is to build the broadest diversified portfolio you can at the lowest cost....all based on what you have available. It may not be 3 funds.
Money_Badger
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Money_Badger »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:51 pm Hi, all.

I have just gotten a bit of an introduction to the Three-Fund Portfolio concept and have a very basic question.

I am 54 and have the following investments kinda scattered around over the years.

- Betterment
- Two 401K from former employers
- 401K from current employer
- Individual investing account w/ Vanguard
- Individual Trade account
- ESPP with current employer
- Tiny little Titan account

My question : Is the three-fund portfolio concept suggesting (or flat-out saying) that I should consolidate some/most of those accounts into just the three funds (U.S. Stock, Int'l Stock, U.S. Bond) ?

Seems that the answer to that is meant to be 'yes,' but that also seems like a hell of a lot of work.

Thanks. Be patient with me. I am not a very experienced investor, and this is my first post here.

Mark
Start a little at a time. If your current 401K has good / low cost index funds, move the old 401Ks into the current (assuming it's allowed). I did it recently and it's not all that much work. The current employer 401K will walk you through it and do the heavy lifting.
retiredjg
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by retiredjg »

If you want help "reallocating everything", post your information in the format shown in the link at the bottom of this message. With all those accounts, that will be a bit of an undertaking, but you will learn a lot about your portfolio while doing it.
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

OK. Great. Thank you for the replies.

I have started working up a list of my accounts and will post back here sometime later when I am ready to ask for help.

I will certainly need it. :)

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by RudyS »

It should be obvious, but be sure to consider tax implications of any changes. There might be an opportunity to sell some losers to offset gains. I.e, tax loss harvesting. There's more to this, but just wanted to bring up the tax issue.
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

RudyS wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:21 pm It should be obvious, but be sure to consider tax implications of any changes. There might be an opportunity to sell some losers to offset gains. I.e, tax loss harvesting. There's more to this, but just wanted to bring up the tax issue.
Yes, and this is where I just am not very knowledgeable. Sounds stupid, I suppose, but I don’t know how assess the tax implications of selling so-n-so fund and whether or not it is worth doing so in order to reap the benefits of the fund consolidation. I guess, when I am ready to ask for help, that will be one of the things I will most need help with.

Thanks again,

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Quaestner »

RudyS wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:21 pm It should be obvious, but be sure to consider tax implications of any changes. There might be an opportunity to sell some losers to offset gains. I.e, tax loss harvesting. There's more to this, but just wanted to bring up the tax issue.
Yes - it's easy to make your changes in tax deferred accounts. In your taxable account, you should think and plan carefully so you don't get hit with an unexpected tax bill.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by 22twain »

While you're gathering your data, look up the "cost basis" of each holding in your taxable (non-401K) accounts, and include that in your list. Then people can give you better advice about the taxes involved in selling them.
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

22twain wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:48 pm While you're gathering your data, look up the "cost basis" of each holding in your taxable (non-401K) accounts, and include that in your list. Then people can give you better advice about the taxes involved in selling them.
Great. Thank you very much.

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by kimura king »

Yep. I was in the same scenario last year and put everything into a 3 fund with Fidelity (FZROX, FZILX, FXNAX). My stress level went down after the process and my investing confidence went up. I value the 3 fund portfolio for a lot of reasons commonly discussed here.

Calling both the current brokerage and the new brokerage should help facilitate the process, ask them to email you the forms for a "direct transfer." I've also heard it called a "transfer in kind." Make sure the funds go to the new Fidelity/Vanguard IRA, not to your house. That way you ensure this is a tax-free event.
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

Another quick (maybe) question.

I have shuffled things around in Etrade such that I have a 60/20/20 US Stock / Intl Stock / US Bond allocation now (three Vanguard ETFS).

I have the same thing in Vanguard with Admiral Shares.

The question : At a high portfolio level, that’s a 60/20/20 split as I want it, but it is different funds in different locations. Is the 3-Fund concept “okay” with that, or is it still “best” to move everything out of one place and into the other?

Note : I haven’t even messed with my 401Ks or ESPP yet. The easy stuff to do was to rebuild what I had in Vanguard and ETrade, so I have done that. I’ll move on (and will probably ask for help with) the 401Ks, Betterment, and ESPP (maybe not ESPP) later.

Thank you.

Mark
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bertilak
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by bertilak »

RudyS wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 5:21 pm It should be obvious, but be sure to consider tax implications of any changes. There might be an opportunity to sell some losers to offset gains. I.e, tax loss harvesting. There's more to this, but just wanted to bring up the tax issue.
Yes, take tax considerations into account. It took me two years to sort out a mess of miscellaneous investments into a three fund portfolio. Luckily there was enough volatility to realize some tax losses now and then!

Note that three "fund" is an ideal situation but the real points are:
  1. three asset classes
  2. (low cost) Index funds
Do your best with that!
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
retiredjg
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by retiredjg »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:44 am The question : At a high portfolio level, that’s a 60/20/20 split as I want it, but it is different funds in different locations. Is the 3-Fund concept “okay” with that, or is it still “best” to move everything out of one place and into the other?
It is fine and extremely common to have things at different locations.
Note : I haven’t even messed with my 401Ks or ESPP yet. The easy stuff to do was to rebuild what I had in Vanguard and ETrade, so I have done that. I’ll move on (and will probably ask for help with) the 401Ks, Betterment, and ESPP (maybe not ESPP) later.
It is usually easiest to start with the 401k and ESPP - things that have the least flexibility - and build the rest of the portfolio around that. Probably no harm done, but you may end up changing what you have just done in those two accounts.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by pkcrafter »

TexasFuzzball wrote:
The question :
At a high portfolio level, that’s a 60/20/20 split as I want it, but it is different funds in different locations. Is the 3-Fund concept “okay” with that, or is it still “best” to move everything out of one place and into the other?
What are the "different" funds you are using?

All accounts marked for retirement saving/investing are counted as one portfolio. That simplifies things and reduces unneeded duplication.

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.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

You can have numerous accounts with various funds and still practice the 3 fund strategy. I have 10 accounts and do this.

Fund type, for example: US Stock. I hold VTI, FZROX, SCHB, SPTM and an S&P 500. All are 1 fund, to me. In each account, I may be limited to certain funds and I make do with what's available at low cost.

If you have a large 401k or tIRA, it's where you'd typically want all 3 fund types. That way, you can rebalance when needed in one account.

Simplicity is typically encouraged. It's something I could do more of.
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

retiredjg wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:22 pm It is usually easiest to start with the 401k and ESPP - things that have the least flexibility - and build the rest of the portfolio around that. Probably no harm done, but you may end up changing what you have just done in those two accounts.
Yep, I knew even as I was doing it that that I may end up reswizzling things around a bit, but I was getting antsy to take some sort of action at all, so I went after what I had in E*Trade and Vanguard. :)

Thanks.

P.S. I do know that the expectation is for me to use the Asking Portfolio Questions template (or whatever it's called). Once I am ready for more detailed help, I will be sure to use it.

Mark
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

pkcrafter wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:29 pm TexasFuzzball wrote:
The question :
At a high portfolio level, that’s a 60/20/20 split as I want it, but it is different funds in different locations. Is the 3-Fund concept “okay” with that, or is it still “best” to move everything out of one place and into the other?
What are the "different" funds you are using?

All accounts marked for retirement saving/investing are counted as one portfolio. That simplifies things and reduces unneeded duplication.

Paul
Perhaps I am using some terminology wrong. If so, sorry.

In E*Trade, I have VXUS, VTI, and BND. All ETFs.
In Vanguard : VTSAX, VTIAX, and VBTLX. All Admiral Shares.

If this seems a little haphazard, it may very well be. In my original post, I confessed to being quite a novice.

Mark
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

Not that it matters right now, but I realized my typo too on my split. It is 40/20/40 US/IntL/US Bond.

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by pkcrafter »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:46 pm
In E*Trade, I have VXUS, VTI, and BND. All ETFs.
In Vanguard : VTSAX, VTIAX, and VBTLX. All Admiral Shares.

If this seems a little haphazard, it may very well be. In my original post, I confessed to being quite a novice.

Mark
:thumbsup :happy

What is overall allocation to stocks/bonds?
Paul
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by bertilak »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:46 pm
Perhaps I am using some terminology wrong. If so, sorry.

In E*Trade, I have VXUS, VTI, and BND. All ETFs.
In Vanguard : VTSAX, VTIAX, and VBTLX. All Admiral Shares.

If this seems a little haphazard, it may very well be. In my original post, I confessed to being quite a novice.

Mark
As far as asset allocation, three funds or otherwise, it matters little where things are invested -- that's secondary. You first need to satisfy yourself that you are aiming at the right Asset Allocation (strategy) before you concern yourself with asset location (tactics).
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

pkcrafter wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:50 pm
What is overall allocation to stocks/bonds?
Paul
40 / 20 / 40 US Stock, Intl Stock, US Bond

Mark
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

bertilak wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:54 pm As far as asset allocation, three funds or otherwise, it matters little where things are invested -- that's secondary. You first need to satisfy yourself that you are aiming at the right Asset Allocation (strategy) before you concern yourself with asset location (tactics).
Yep, I recognize the strategy component. I settled on 40 US Stock / 20 Intl Stock / 40 US Bond for now but plan to revisit that.

With my most recent question, I was just really trying to ascertain if the 3-Fund Portfolio was really trying to say “everything in literally only three funds in one place” or if the idea was more “settle on your strategy and then achieve it as simply and inexpensively as you reasonably can.” Seems that the answer is the latter.

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by bertilak »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 pm
bertilak wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:54 pm As far as asset allocation, three funds or otherwise, it matters little where things are invested -- that's secondary. You first need to satisfy yourself that you are aiming at the right Asset Allocation (strategy) before you concern yourself with asset location (tactics).
Yep, I recognize the strategy component. I settled on 40 US Stock / 20 Intl Stock / 40 US Bond for now but plan to revisit that.

With my most recent question, I was just really trying to ascertain if the 3-Fund Portfolio was really trying to say “everything in literally only three funds in one place” or if the idea was more “settle on your strategy and then achieve it as simply and inexpensively as you reasonably can.” Seems that the answer is the latter.

Mark
I agree with that answer! It just seemed (to me) that your question as posed left open the possibility you were asking if there was some strategic (i.e. important) reason that it all needed to be exactly three funds in just one place, which is not implied by the shorthand term "three fund portfolio."

I read the term "three fund portfolio" as "three asset class" portfolio with the assumption it be implemented with low-cost index funds. There are lots of reasons someone may want or need to achieve that goal with a mix of specific vehicles (taxable account, IRA, 401(k), mutual funds, ETFs, etc.) and at specific institutions. Everyone has their individual constraints and opportunities.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by retiredjg »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 pm ... “settle on your strategy and then achieve it as simply and inexpensively as you reasonably can.” Seems that the answer is the latter.
This.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

retiredjg wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:48 pm
TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:03 pm ... “settle on your strategy and then achieve it as simply and inexpensively as you reasonably can.” Seems that the answer is the latter.
This.
Yep, figgered so.

I'm a bit too literal sometimes (as in, way too damned often).

When I first read the idea of "Three-Fund," I was literally imagining that I was supposed to be trying to somehow combine everything into three funds and three funds only. I was struggling with how that was going to happen with old and current 401Ks at two different shops, current stock plan, E*Trade personal account, Betterment, etc.

Thanks for the confirmation. 👍️

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by 123 »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:51 pm ...Seems that the answer to that is meant to be 'yes,' but that also seems like a hell of a lot of work...
It's a lot less work than having a hodge-podge of investments spread over a variety of accounts when you can't even recall why any particular investment was chosen at the time.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Minty »

A big chunk of the Boglehead philosophy is concern with fees. One potential motivator for simplification might be that your current 401(k) plan might (1) accept rollovers, and (2) have lower-cost fund offerings which would make it worthwhile to consolidate your old 401(k)s into your current one. Alternatively, your old 401(k)s might have high fees or poor offerings, and you might be able to do better with a rollover IRA--perhaps to Vanguard (or etrade) which would make it easier to keep track of your funds and rebalance. That being said, for various reasons,we have brokerage and retirement accounts at Fidelity and Vanguard, as well as retirement accounts at Provident and TIAA-CREF, and keep track of them fine using Mint and an Excel spreadsheet.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by PQ12$ »

Mark - my advice to you is to take your time. A lot of smart people here, as you can see, willing to help you. But don’t do anything until you feel you have a solid handle on investing strategy, Boglehead or otherwise. It took me 300 hours of reading and absorbing what people on this site recommended while in your position. Only then could I with confidence do what in the end was so simple - take 17 funds down to 4. If you aren’t sure of what you are doing you’re not likely to stick with it which is the key to the whole thing. Invest the time to be sure. Based on the questions you are asking I’d give it 3 months minimum of Bogle education and you’ll be in a really good place to then execute a plan.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

PQ12$ wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:14 pm Mark - my advice to you is to take your time. A lot of smart people here, as you can see, willing to help you. But don’t do anything until you feel you have a solid handle on investing strategy, Boglehead or otherwise. It took me 300 hours of reading and absorbing what people on this site recommended while in your position. Only then could I with confidence do what in the end was so simple - take 17 funds down to 4. If you aren’t sure of what you are doing you’re not likely to stick with it which is the key to the whole thing. Invest the time to be sure. Based on the questions you are asking I’d give it 3 months minimum of Bogle education and you’ll be in a really good place to then execute a plan.
I appreciate that. Thank you very much.

To be honest, I don't know that I will take 300 hours or 3 months before executing on a plan, but on the other hand I do grasp that had you not said this I probably would have executed much faster than I should.

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Brianmcg321 »

Having 8 different brokerage/retirement accounts seems like a lot more work than having a 3-fund portfolio.

Why not consolidate all those accounts?
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

Brianmcg321 wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:24 pm Having 8 different brokerage/retirement accounts seems like a lot more work than having a 3-fund portfolio.

Why not consolidate all those accounts?
Maybe no reason not to. I am not trying to avoid it. I just wanted to know if it was "mandated" by the 3-fund concept.

I agree with you. Checking on my money in so many different places and dealing with it all at tax time is a pain. If I can reasonably/sensibly consolidate down to just a few, then that would be great, but I also don't want to artificially force myself down to (say) three funds if that isn't the right thing to do for my finances.

My biggest need will be to (a) figure out what to do with my 401Ks (I have two old ones and a current one) and (b) learn what else I could/should be doing that I am completely overlooking.

For instance, I have no IRAs. Don't know if I should. I am 54 years old and almost certainly have not done many of the things that I should have by now with my money. If I should be moving some of my existing funds into IRAs (or whatever), that would be interesting to learn. I'm sure there are other examples.

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Certainly not mandated to have one account.

My biggest is my IRA which contains all 3 funds. The other 9 accounts I have each has ONE fund.
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by epictetus »

i would encourage you to take a step back and take a breath. there is no rush.

there is no "right" way to set all this up. there are a lot of right ways. the main thing is to avoid a few big mistakes.

and there is no "mandate" to do things a certain way.

this is a great board to receive feedback/input/etc as you have already found.

we were all new at this at one point. and we are all still learning.

i think if you can figure out what makes sense to you and implement that it will be easier to maintain over time.
Focus on what you can control
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

epictetus wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:14 pm i would encourage you to take a step back and take a breath. there is no rush.
You’re right, and I am not in a hurry, but on the other hand I do feel some time pressure simply because at my age (54) and with having lost a lot (relatively) in my divorce a few years ago, I feel waaaaaaay behind in getting this stuff in order. The divorce was five years ago, and I am only just now starting to look at this stuff. I should have been doing this 30 years ago, or at least 30 months ago, or at least 30 days ago, but instead I’m doing it now.

So, no, not in a hurry, but yes I’m in a hurry. Hope you get it.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Sophia1884 »

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:25 pm its worth it.. i actually only hold two funds.. "total world stock" and a bond fund.. makes it simple enough for my wife to take over if/when i get hit by the bus.
Why did you choose Total World Stock and not the Total Stock Market?
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

Sophia1884 wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:06 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:25 pm its worth it.. i actually only hold two funds.. "total world stock" and a bond fund.. makes it simple enough for my wife to take over if/when i get hit by the bus.
Why did you choose Total World Stock and not the Total Stock Market?
Uh. Wrong thread. I didn’t say that.

Not even sure how someone else’s comment could have gotten quoted into my thread. :)

Mark
JBTX
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by JBTX »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:51 pm Hi, all.

I have just gotten a bit of an introduction to the Three-Fund Portfolio concept and have a very basic question.

I am 54 and have the following investments kinda scattered around over the years.

- Betterment
- Two 401K from former employers
- 401K from current employer
- Individual investing account w/ Vanguard
- Individual Trade account
- ESPP with current employer
- Tiny little Titan account

My question : Is the three-fund portfolio concept suggesting (or flat-out saying) that I should consolidate some/most of those accounts into just the three funds (U.S. Stock, Int'l Stock, U.S. Bond) ?

Seems that the answer to that is meant to be 'yes,' but that also seems like a hell of a lot of work.

Thanks. Be patient with me. I am not a very experienced investor, and this is my first post here.

Mark
We've got more accounts than you can count on two hands, and more funds than that. I'm all for simplicity, but I've felt no compelling reason to rearrange everything just to the magical number of *3* funds. If I were going to strive for simplicity I'd gravitate towards target date or life strategy funds (they work best in retirement accounts)

Whatever the case, you need to understand what you have and be able to measure your asset allocation.
protagonist
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by protagonist »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:51 pm

My question : Is the three-fund portfolio concept suggesting (or flat-out saying) that I should consolidate some/most of those accounts into just the three funds (U.S. Stock, Int'l Stock, U.S. Bond) ?

Seems that the answer to that is meant to be 'yes,' but that also seems like a hell of a lot of work.


Mark
My take on it (though I don't have a 3 fund portfolio) is that it may be a lot of work up front, but it will save you a tremendous amount of work going forward, that would way more than make up for the initial labor investment. It is an incredibly easy portfolio to monitor and maintain.
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

Sophia1884 wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:06 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:25 pm its worth it.. i actually only hold two funds.. "total world stock" and a bond fund.. makes it simple enough for my wife to take over if/when i get hit by the bus.
Why did you choose Total World Stock and not the Total Stock Market?
Because i'm going to hold "total stock" and "total international" at "market weight" and if i just hold "total world" it takes care of it.. and its simple enough my non finance spouse can understand stocks and bond at 75/25.

I want an international exposure, because I want the diversity that non-US investments brings. (both the good and the bad) A simple example is that I don't knwo if the next FAANG company will be a US company or one from the rest of the world. I should care where a company chooses to be listed..

or.. if my favorite burger company decides to do a corporate inversion and become a canadian company https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... CI20141211
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Mrxyz »

Yes.
I was you many moons ago, and now its boringly simple and easy and stress free.................
Just do it.......and stop fiddling with asset allocations...........keep it simple .....
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:45 pm
Sophia1884 wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:06 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:25 pm its worth it.. i actually only hold two funds.. "total world stock" and a bond fund.. makes it simple enough for my wife to take over if/when i get hit by the bus.
Why did you choose Total World Stock and not the Total Stock Market?
Cmon. Get this out of my thread, please.
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:13 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:45 pm
Sophia1884 wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:06 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:25 pm its worth it.. i actually only hold two funds.. "total world stock" and a bond fund.. makes it simple enough for my wife to take over if/when i get hit by the bus.
Why did you choose Total World Stock and not the Total Stock Market?
Cmon. Get this out of my thread, please.
You asked "is it worth getting to three" and i responded "yes, its worth it, in fact i went to two", then the other person had a question on why two.
pkcrafter
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by pkcrafter »

Fuzzball, regarding your accounts--
TexasFuzzball wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:51 pm Hi, all.

- Betterment

Why a Betterment acct? Is it taxable?

- Two 401K from former employers

These two accounts may be able to be transferred to your current 401k. You will have to ask your employer if it's possible. Also, do they offer low cost index funds?

Another option is to transfer the two old 401k plan to an IRA. If you are going to consider that, ask us about how to transfer correctly.



- 401K from current employer
- Individual investing account w/ Vanguard

The Vanguard acct is taxable, right?

- Individual Trade account
No.

- ESPP with current employer
- Tiny little Titan account

No Titan

My question : Is the three-fund portfolio concept suggesting (or flat-out saying) that I should consolidate some/most of those accounts into just the three funds (U.S. Stock, Int'l Stock, U.S. Bond) ?

It's not saying that, but the answer is rather simple--avoid complexity. You might consider a Vanguard target date fund or Lifestrategy fund in one or two of your accounts to keep things simple.

Yes, the 3-fund, but get rid of Titan, the two 401ks (Transfer), and the Betterment.

Seems that the answer to that is meant to be 'yes,' but that also seems like a hell of a lot of work.

It is not a hell of a lot of work, but it will take some time, so check with the board on how to make the transfers.

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.
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TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

Why a Betterment acct? Is it taxable?
Because a few years ago I was looking around for other investment options and came across Betterment. The Roboadvisor thing was attractive to me. I wanted something that could make money for me without me having to do anything.

At the time I had an ETrade account (with multiple employers having used ETrade for their ESPP) and a small amount in Vanguard. In both cases, I was having to make decisions about what to invest in when I really didn't have the knowledge or discipline to do it right.

I was attracted by the idea of just having to tell Betterment what my risk tolerance was, transfer some money in, and let it go. I'm glad I did. Betterment was profitable for me, but it is still just another place where I had my money.

It is taxable.
>> - Two 401K from former employers

These two accounts may be able to be transferred to your current 401k. You will have to ask your employer if it's possible. Also, do they offer low cost index funds?

Another option is to transfer the two old 401k plan to an IRA. If you are going to consider that, ask us about how to transfer correctly.<<
I haven't gotten to the 401Ks yet. When I am ready to ask about them, I definitely will.

Not sure if my current 401K offers low cost index funds.

The 401Ks are (or seem to be) where I will need the most help, but not until I dive in and take a look at what I am in now and what my options are at all three places (two former employers and my current one).
The Vanguard acct is taxable, right?
Correct
Yes, the 3-fund, but get rid of Titan, the two 401ks (Transfer), and the Betterment.
Already got rid of Titan and plan to get rid of Betterment.

When the time comes, I will likely seek advice about what to do with what I pull out of Betterment and the right way to do it. I didn't have enough at Titan to worry about that.
It is not a hell of a lot of work, but it will take some time, so check with the board on how to make the transfers.
I plan to. Thank you very much.

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by absolute zero »

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:37 pm
TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:13 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:45 pm
Sophia1884 wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:06 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:25 pm its worth it.. i actually only hold two funds.. "total world stock" and a bond fund.. makes it simple enough for my wife to take over if/when i get hit by the bus.
Why did you choose Total World Stock and not the Total Stock Market?
Cmon. Get this out of my thread, please.
You asked "is it worth getting to three" and i responded "yes, its worth it, in fact i went to two", then the other person had a question on why two.
OP is very territorial. Address him, and him only. No side conversations allowed. :)
Topic Author
TexasFuzzball
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by TexasFuzzball »

absolute zero wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:09 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:37 pm
TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:13 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:45 pm
Sophia1884 wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:06 pm

Why did you choose Total World Stock and not the Total Stock Market?
Cmon. Get this out of my thread, please.
You asked "is it worth getting to three" and i responded "yes, its worth it, in fact i went to two", then the other person had a question on why two.
OP is very territorial. Address him, and him only. No side conversations allowed. :)
OP was having a rough day. Sorry.

Mark
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Re: (Hopefully) Quick question : Really just three funds? Reallocate everything?

Post by absolute zero »

TexasFuzzball wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:26 pm
absolute zero wrote: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:09 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:37 pm
TexasFuzzball wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:13 pm
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:45 pm
Cmon. Get this out of my thread, please.
You asked "is it worth getting to three" and i responded "yes, its worth it, in fact i went to two", then the other person had a question on why two.
OP is very territorial. Address him, and him only. No side conversations allowed. :)
OP was having a rough day. Sorry.

Mark
No worries and welcome to the forum! :beer You'll learn a lot if you stick around. I know I sure have.

To give my two cents on your question (note I haven't read all the responses). My take is that the 3 fund portfolio is an excellent strategy to simplify one's investments while still achieving a low cost and diversified portfolio. That said, there is no "magic" to the number 3. It's a popular portfolio around here, but some have a 1 fund portfolio and others have an 8 fund portfolio. Personally, I hold 4 funds.

I think a general concept on this forum is never to underestimate the long term costs of complexity. Something only trivially complex (like an extra fund or two) is an extra detail that needs to be managed and watched for decades. So if you want more than 3 funds then by all means go for it, but be sure to have a solid rationale for why you are holding each fund and make sure that they are funds you are happy to stick with for a long time.
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