Help deciding between bond funds in 401k

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masrepus
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:14 pm

Help deciding between bond funds in 401k

Post by masrepus »

Hi all,

has anyone used the funds below or have any insights on them as a portion of your fixed income? Within my 401k I currently use a 3-fund portfolio: SP500, Total Intl and Total Bond, all from VG but at Institutional Trust Class. The 401k has some other bond funds, but I wasn't sure how to compare them to the Total Bond. I have no strong feeling to move away from the Total Bond, and I am totally fine with my boring 3-fund, but I was curious if there was any value to using the other funds. Beyond the 30 day yield or the difference between intermediate and short-term, I don't have a good feel on what to compare. I realize the high-yield is more junk bonds so there is increased risk. Is it worth it to pay the higher ER for the MetWest fund over VBTLX? All-in-all, some of my issue may just be a lack of understanding about bonds. I have read quite a bit but nothing really stands out, so I fall back to Total Bond.

I have a Portfolio Review for more details about my situation. Ratio is 89/11 stocks/bonds, international is 9% of stocks. I am fine with more US stock and lower international.

Currently using:

Vanguard Institutional Total Bond Market Index Trust (VBTLX) (ER: 0.03%) - VBTLX is closest symbol I could find
- Intermediate Core Bond
- YTD: 7.33, 1 YR: 6.18

Available to use:

MetWest Total Return Bond Fund - Class C (MWTIX) (ER: 0.3%) MWTIX is closest symbol I could find
- Intermediate Core Bond
- YTD: 8.76, 1 YR: 7.61

PIMCO High Yield Fund Institutional Class (PHIYX) (ER: 0.57%)
- High Yield Bond
- YTD: 3.14, 1 YR: 2.48
- 30 Day: 3.51

Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund Institutional Plus (VBIPX) (ER: 0.04%)
- Short-Term Bond
- YTD: 4.44, 1 YR: 4.46
- 30 Day: 0.37

Fidelity® Investments Money Market Treasury Only - Institutional Class (FRSXX) (ER: 0.19%)
- Money Market-Taxable
- YTD: 0.28, 1 YR: 0.65
- 7 Day: 0.01

Also BrokerageLink but haven't really looked at anything else.

Thanks, Mas
drumboy256
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:21 pm

Re: Help deciding between bond funds in 401k

Post by drumboy256 »

Personally, your low on your international and should up it to at least 20% (imo).

Bond wise, I run 20/80 of the following:
FXNAX - Total Bond
FUAMX - 7yr Treasuries

Anything more than two bond's for chasing gains of returns isn't really worth it. Good luck!
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anon_investor
Posts: 3710
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Re: Help deciding between bond funds in 401k

Post by anon_investor »

masrepus wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:33 pm Hi all,

has anyone used the funds below or have any insights on them as a portion of your fixed income? Within my 401k I currently use a 3-fund portfolio: SP500, Total Intl and Total Bond, all from VG but at Institutional Trust Class. The 401k has some other bond funds, but I wasn't sure how to compare them to the Total Bond. I have no strong feeling to move away from the Total Bond, and I am totally fine with my boring 3-fund, but I was curious if there was any value to using the other funds. Beyond the 30 day yield or the difference between intermediate and short-term, I don't have a good feel on what to compare. I realize the high-yield is more junk bonds so there is increased risk. Is it worth it to pay the higher ER for the MetWest fund over VBTLX? All-in-all, some of my issue may just be a lack of understanding about bonds. I have read quite a bit but nothing really stands out, so I fall back to Total Bond.

I have a Portfolio Review for more details about my situation. Ratio is 89/11 stocks/bonds, international is 9% of stocks. I am fine with more US stock and lower international.

Currently using:

Vanguard Institutional Total Bond Market Index Trust (VBTLX) (ER: 0.03%) - VBTLX is closest symbol I could find
- Intermediate Core Bond
- YTD: 7.33, 1 YR: 6.18

Available to use:

MetWest Total Return Bond Fund - Class C (MWTIX) (ER: 0.3%) MWTIX is closest symbol I could find
- Intermediate Core Bond
- YTD: 8.76, 1 YR: 7.61

PIMCO High Yield Fund Institutional Class (PHIYX) (ER: 0.57%)
- High Yield Bond
- YTD: 3.14, 1 YR: 2.48
- 30 Day: 3.51

Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund Institutional Plus (VBIPX) (ER: 0.04%)
- Short-Term Bond
- YTD: 4.44, 1 YR: 4.46
- 30 Day: 0.37

Fidelity® Investments Money Market Treasury Only - Institutional Class (FRSXX) (ER: 0.19%)
- Money Market-Taxable
- YTD: 0.28, 1 YR: 0.65
- 7 Day: 0.01

Also BrokerageLink but haven't really looked at anything else.

Thanks, Mas
Just stick with total bond.
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1789
Posts: 1782
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:31 pm

Re: Help deciding between bond funds in 401k

Post by 1789 »

Your total bond fund is a fine choice
"My conscience wants vegetarianism to win over the world. And my subconscious is yearning for a piece of juicy meat. But what do i want?" (Andrei Tarkovsky)
retired@50
Posts: 3606
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:36 pm
Location: Living in the U.S.A.

Re: Help deciding between bond funds in 401k

Post by retired@50 »

masrepus wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:33 pm Hi all,

Beyond the 30 day yield or the difference between intermediate and short-term, I don't have a good feel on what to compare.

Thanks, Mas
Compare expense ratios.

You're already in the correct fund.

Regards,
This is one person's opinion. Nothing more.
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