If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

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Oliver
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Oliver » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:27 pm

I am a big fan of passive investments. However, my one fund is an active fund. It offers factor exposure to microcap stocks (small), value and momentum factors while generating alpha. The fund is Bridgeway's ULTRA-SMALL COMPANY FUND (brusx).

PS It has been closed forever.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Imbros » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:28 am

IlikeJackB wrote:Wellington ..... with the same reasoning as bertilak. Well done! :beer

Age 63, retired.
Another Wellington here. Wellington with some Total International (VGTSX) added is just the perfection to me.
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Hector » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:37 pm

Total World Stock Index
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by pascalwager » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:28 am

Vanguard Total World Stock Index.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Dandy » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:34 am

I'd probably opt for a Target date fund from VG. But count me very surprised at the number of Wellington and Wellesley funds. While Target date funds can and have changed their allocations and composition - going all in on a active managed fund seems to go against a main Boglehead philosophy of using low cost broad based index funds.

I get the respect for these active funds and this exercise is limited to one fund but how odd would it be if the Bogleheads were surveyed and these active managed funds were the leading choices. I could see a reporter saying "so you guys follow the philosophy of Bogle an believe in low cost broad based index funds but choose an active fund if you had only one fund to pick?? I thought that your thought leader said you can't pick winner ahead of time so even great performing active funds will eventually revert to the mean." What is the answer? "Well, these funds are different- they have a great track record?"

Truth be told I have a tiny bit in Wellesley but would find it hard to have it or Wellington be a large part of my portfolio. Don't intend to start a discussion of the merit of these funds - just that to make them your sole choice seems odd.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by fcox85 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:36 am

Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by jnet2000 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:39 am

I am in the Target date fund camp,low cost, diverse, rebalancing and on a glide path. :sharebeer
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Taylor Larimore
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Vanguard Target Fund

Post by Taylor Larimore » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:47 am

retcaveman wrote:
If you could only have one fund, what would it be?
retcaveman:

It would be a suitable Vanguard Target Fund in a tax-advantaged account with these advantages:

designed by Vanguard experts;
low-cost;
indexed;
very diversified;
simple to understand;
simple to maintain (no rebalancing);
more time with family and friends;
never below market returns (no worry).
automatically becomes more conservative with age;
easy for caregivers and heirs to assume.

Note: If I had both taxable and tax-advantaged accounts. I would use the similar Three Fund Portfolio for maximum tax-efficiency.

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

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Petrocelli » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:56 am

Target 2025
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by kenner » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:15 am

I agree with Mel Lindauer - Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund. It includes Total US and International Stocks, Total US and International Bonds, and TIPS. Hard to beat for the at-age investor.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Longtimelurker » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:50 am

Vanguard Life Strategy - Moderate Growth
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Wild Willie » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:36 pm

kenner wrote:I agree with Mel Lindauer - Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund. It includes Total US and International Stocks, Total US and International Bonds, and TIPS. Hard to beat for the at-age investor.

X2, I've been total VTINX for three years and couldn't be happier. Don't make much, but don't lose much either and if something happens to me, the "spousal unit" can just keep on trucking. I have to say tho, it will certainly be nice when the yield goes up once interest rates start rising.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by jp3051 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:37 pm

T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by dewey » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:01 pm

As a retiree--probably Vanguard Balanced Index
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by sambb » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:35 pm

Life strategy mod growth

I don't get the whole wellesley and wellington thing - active management. Don't get that.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by crowd79 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:04 pm

Target 2045

Happy2BeFree

Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Happy2BeFree » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:51 pm

Welleslington.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by sscritic » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:55 pm

Happy2BeFree wrote:Welleslington.
My favorite single fund, followed closely by Target Retirement Income 201015202530354045505560.

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TimeRunner
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by TimeRunner » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:58 pm

You mean Wellsley.
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Sheepdog » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:00 pm

What I wrote in 2009 when this thread started still stands.
Just because it isn't your fault doesn't mean it isn't your responsibility....Josh Reid Jones

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by freddie » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:04 pm

Last 10 years
Wellesly 7.15%

Vanguard LifeStrategy Consrv Grwth: 5.42

Clearly this holding 3 or 4 funds stuff just doesn't work:) If ever active fund out there had <.25% expense ratios, there are a bunch of them that I would be considering. Bump that expense ratio up to 1.25%, and there are a lot less that I am interested in.
sambb wrote:Life strategy mod growth

I don't get the whole wellesley and wellington thing - active management. Don't get that.

Happy2BeFree

Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Happy2BeFree » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:06 pm

TimeRunner wrote:You mean Wellsley.
Welleslington = Wellesley + Wellington (50/50).

I can dream, can't I? :happy

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:59 pm

I would guess a Target or Life Strategy fund.
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by PedRad » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:35 pm

Target fund. I would go with a later target year, probably 2060 since it matches my current asset allocation, although I hope to retire by 2045.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Suppertime » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:28 am

I've been benchmarking my actual returns against LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund since 2007, and I'm losing (IRR of 4.6% vs 6%). If there's a market crash that let's me sell everything without capital gains, I will put everything in the Moderate Growth Fund and say goodbye to slicing and dicing and tax optimizing forever.

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Re:

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:22 am

teacher wrote:Wellington for now and Wellesley for later.
1) what age would "later" be in your case?

2) it's been quite a few years now since your reply, has the answer to this question changed for you?

Thank you.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:41 am

bertilak wrote:
sambb wrote:Interesting that people put down wellington, yet this board is so against actively managed funds with turnover. I wonder why it isnt just a target retirement fund or vanguard balanced.
I am one of those who mentioned Wellington. I look at it like this. The benefits of index funds are most often listed as:
  • Diversification. Wellington is "diversified enough" for me. It could be better, but I am willing to accept their opinions on this. They have been around, and successful, for a very long time.

    I did have a very Boglehead-ish portfolio with about six index funds but became concerned that this carefully constructed edifice with rebalancing rules was more than I could reasonably expect someone else to maintain should I die or become incapacitated. My primary reason for switching was for simplicity.
  • Low Cost. Wellington is certainly low cost with the Admiral shares at only 0.17%. Note that if you concentrate all your portfolio into a single fund you are more likely to qualify for Admiral status.

    My previous portfolio had an overall, weighted, ER of 0.12%. Now it is 0.17%. I look at that 5 basis points as the cheapest management fee I could ever hope to find and the management is provided buy one of the most respected management companies in the world.
Also, my impression is that Wellington, although actively managed, is "lightly" managed. There is no attempt to "swing for the fences" and take extraordinary risk in the hopes of making a killing. Their strategy of investing in large, reliable, value companies that pay dividends is a conservative strategy. I also like the AA of (about) 65/35.

Another perspective: There are lots of index funds that aren't really index funds, like the DFA funds. Those are index-like, actively managed, funds based on their own idea of how to pick stocks (the various "factors"). Perhaps Wellington is similar but simply doesn't advertise their methods in the same way as DFA. (DFA marketting literature, by the way, specifically states that their funds are NOT index funds.)

Although the mantra is "past performance is not ... (etc, etc)." I don't believe that. Even the "science" of investing (MPT, EMH, factors) is based on analysis of past market behavior. I'm sure that mantra applies to the "beat the market" stock pickers, but I don't think that is the Wellington strategy. Wellington has a pretty good history of past performance.
two and a half years later, is Wellington still your pick?

at what age is Wellington no longer a good main-holding choice?

Thanks

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Maynard F. Speer
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Maynard F. Speer » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:05 am

Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth

Long-term I think attack is the best form of defense, so this is my largest holding ... Private Equity-like returns, but with 250 holdings, and without the usual fee drag ... The managers have a great track record (stretching back to the 60s), take a conservative approach, and have a clear information advantage (with large teams, and focus on a very small geographical area)

It could lose 80% at times (such as it is investing in this part of the market), but so long as I could keep a cash allocation, and the UK economy doesn't go the way of Greece [political comment deleted by admin alex] it's about as optimistic as I am on any part of the market today ... If I knew markets were going to be terrible for the next 30 years, I'd opt for a hedge fund, BlueCrest AllBlue
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by danaht » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:14 am

If it had to be one fund - VTI - while I am working - because nothing beats stocks in the long run. I don't like target date funds because of the added expense. Having 100% stocks near/or during retirement would be a bad idea. So before retirement I would switch it to a low cost fund that had a 50/50 allocation between stocks and bonds.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by bertilak » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:24 am

JLMA wrote:
two and a half years later, is Wellington still your pick?

at what age is Wellington no longer a good main-holding choice?

Thanks
I received an inheritance so had to open a taxable account. I no longer wanted an all-in-one fund because I wanted to manage asset location as well as asset allocation. I therefore switched to TSM+TBM and recently added some international (developed countries) for an unrelated reason. (See William Bernstein's Deep Risk.)

I still think Wellington is great for those who are on the conservative side and want an all-in-one fund. Comparing Wellington (VWENX, actively managed) to another Vanguard all-in-one fund (VSMGX, passive index) with about the same AA (W=65/35; LS=60/40) shows Wellington has in the past done considerably better: Wellington vs Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth. That could be because W has a bit more in equities, but my gut feel is the difference does not explain all the extra return. This is backed up by W's better Sharpe Ratio (1.46 vs 1.26 per Morningstar).
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by fortyofforty » Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:50 am

One fund for everything, and forever? Then it'd be Balanced Index fund. I've been comfortable with stock market risk over the years, but realize that the 40% allocation to bonds will smooth things out in later years. It's cheaper than the LifeStrategy funds, and probably as good (if not as well-diversified).
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by teacher » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:30 am

In Nov. 2009, my answer to the topic question was, "Wellington for now and Wellesley for later".
JLMA asked:
1) what age would "later" be in your case?

2) it's been quite a few years now since your reply, has the answer to this question changed for you?
I posted that response in November of 2009. With the help of a Boglehead who was very generous with his time, I had just streamlined our very complex portfolio making it well diversified and more tax-friendly. I had not retired yet, and I was caregiver for my mother in her 90's. I was unsure what our income would be in retirement, whether DH would take a pension or lump sum and when we would retire, but Wellington would have been my choice under those circumstances.

Six years later, DH and I are retired, my pension and DH's social security covers our budget, DH took the lump sum and put it in Stable Value, my sweet mamma has passed, and DH and I have received inheritances which we keep in a money market. (I'm not sure if that is the best place for so much cash.) The money market could cover discretionary expenses and 3% inflation well into the foreseeable future so the portfolio will mostly go to our children, grandchildren and charity. We plan to do some traveling and we are renovating the kitchen and bathrooms, but have no plans to move to a grand house or buy expensive toys. So, age has no bearing on which of the two funds we would choose today. In fact, not including cash in the MM, our allocation has increased from 50/50 to 60/40, and we would continue to choose Wellington today if we were limited to one fund.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by oldzey » Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:24 pm

I'm 48 years old, so if I only could have one fund, it would probably be the Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund (VTTHX).
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Jerry55 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:11 am

I don't think ANY of us would be happy with "ONE FUND", but maybe you can find someone who is.....

In addition to my TSP (C/S/I), I have Dodge & Cox International and Wellesley (Roth) + Wellington (Taxable)

Both of my Vanguard funds are approx. 1/3 of my overall funds, with Wellesley @ 60% and Wellington @ 40%

There IS no "one answer fits all", especially here. I guess there's more to this "One answer fits all" catagory...
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by ogd » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:39 am

bertilak wrote: I still think Wellington is great for those who are on the conservative side and want an all-in-one fund. Comparing Wellington (VWENX, actively managed) to another Vanguard all-in-one fund (VSMGX, passive index) with about the same AA (W=65/35; LS=60/40) shows Wellington has in the past done considerably better: Wellington vs Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth. That could be because W has a bit more in equities, but my gut feel is the difference does not explain all the extra return. This is backed up by W's better Sharpe Ratio (1.46 vs 1.26 per Morningstar).
1) Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The more I read about investing (and investing opinions), the more I think there should be no exceptions to this rule. If fund A did better than fund B, but fund B is structurally sound and otherwise appropriate for investor X, the outperformance of another fund over some period means nothing at all.

2) Now, speaking of structurally sound: the main reason that LSMG underperformed was its former allocation to the ill-fated Vanguard Asset Allocation fund, which engaged in market timing. For a pretty long period ending with its demise in 2011, it seemed to always do the wrong thing. Good riddance. If it makes you feel better, LSMG was not recommended, or "with heavy reservations" on this site, precisely because of that structural problem. It's much better now. Going forward, Wellington still has the latitude to do a little "tactical allocation" (i.e. dumb things), whereas LSMG does not.

For me it would have to be either LSMG or Balanced Index.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Norsky19 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:51 am

Vanguard Target Retirement 2030

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by pascalwager » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:22 am

VG Total World Stock
Retired, pension, no SS | 55/45, S/B | 50/50, US/int'l | tilts: large value, small | cash 1%

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Igetit » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:10 am

I am 59 and i would pick Wellesley

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by jim054 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:46 pm

Wellington. It's stock portfolio acts like the 500 Index. It's bond portfolio acts like Total Bond Index.
Managers are the best of the best at Vanguard. Management takes care of all the re-balancing.
Low cost. 65/35. Indexing (closet). Perfect one fund.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Sat Dec 05, 2015 6:17 pm

jim054 wrote:Wellington. It's stock portfolio acts like the 500 Index. It's bond portfolio acts like Total Bond Index.
Managers are the best of the best at Vanguard. Management takes care of all the re-balancing.
Low cost. 65/35. Indexing (closet). Perfect one fund.
I was under the impression that V's funds were passive funds and had no management; is this not true for Wellington?

thank you
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by tj » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:44 pm

JLMA wrote:
jim054 wrote:Wellington. It's stock portfolio acts like the 500 Index. It's bond portfolio acts like Total Bond Index.
Managers are the best of the best at Vanguard. Management takes care of all the re-balancing.
Low cost. 65/35. Indexing (closet). Perfect one fund.
I was under the impression that V's funds were passive funds and had no management; is this not true for Wellington?

thank you

Vanguard has several managed funds including Wellington Fund. It is managed by Wellington Management.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by tj » Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:46 pm

jim054 wrote:Wellington. It's stock portfolio acts like the 500 Index. It's bond portfolio acts like Total Bond Index.
Managers are the best of the best at Vanguard. Management takes care of all the re-balancing.
Low cost. 65/35. Indexing (closet). Perfect one fund.
I wouldn't compare the stock side of Wellington to 500 Index or the bond side to Total Bond INdex. It's much more concentrated with mega cap value stocks and investment grade corporate bonds, I don't think that's a bad thing and growth has outperformed value the past several years, so value is probably "due". For me at age 30, I like Wellington, but having so much of my wealth in bonds at a young age, I'd prefer to go with something like Vanguard Equity Income - at least in tax advantaged accounts - and that is precisely the holding in both my IRA and 401k currently. if I was early retired and had a lower taxable income, I wouldn't have a problem putting my taxable equities in VEIRX also.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by sia » Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:56 pm

As some others have said - Total World in perpetuity.

Its actually the only thing I own. The US% of the world has gone up and more recently down over time. I see no reason to place a bet on that. I'd rather own the entire market forever

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by tj » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:17 am

sia wrote:As some others have said - Total World in perpetuity.

Its actually the only thing I own. The US% of the world has gone up and more recently down over time. I see no reason to place a bet on that. I'd rather own the entire market forever
I only have VTI and VEA in my taxable account. VT has a lot more unqualified dividends with the emerging market exposure. Maybe that's irrelevant, maybe the Emerging Market exposure leads to higher return in the long term, especially as said developing companies become developed, but I'm also completely content to just not invest in the 'developing' countries.

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by CommonCent$ » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:46 am

ruralavalon wrote:
will98683 wrote:Hi. I'm new here (first post, as a matter of fact).

Would you recommend Wellington in a taxable account? I've got a good AA already set up (or so I think) in my "retirement" accounts and am unsure where I want to go with my taxable.
Welcome to the forum :) .

In a taxable account it should be something tax-efficient, like Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund or Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund. Wiki article link: Principles of tax-efficient fund placement .

And it should be coordinated with what you hold in your tax-potected accounts, please see : "Portfolio Planning".

To get help with this, you need to create a new post in its own thread with a lot more detail, please see: "Asking Portfolio Questions" .


The group's thoughts on VTCLX vs VTSAX (or VTI) in TAXABLE account?
NNN = "Nobody Knows Nothing"

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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by ofcmetz » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:53 am

Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund (VSMGX) would be the one for me if I could only own one fund forever. Although, I feel like this is cheating since it includes more than one fund. Oh well, I still stand by my choice.
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:31 pm

Welcome to the forum :) .
CommonCent$ wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:
will98683 wrote:Hi. I'm new here (first post, as a matter of fact).

Would you recommend Wellington in a taxable account? I've got a good AA already set up (or so I think) in my "retirement" accounts and am unsure where I want to go with my taxable.
Welcome to the forum :) .

In a taxable account it should be something tax-efficient, like Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund or Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund. Wiki article link: Principles of tax-efficient fund placement .

And it should be coordinated with what you hold in your tax-potected accounts, please see : "Portfolio Planning".

To get help with this, you need to create a new post in its own thread with a lot more detail, please see: "Asking Portfolio Questions" .


The group's thoughts on VTCLX vs VTSAX (or VTI) in TAXABLE account?
My choice for one fund in a taxable account would be Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral (VTSAX) ER 0.05%.

Vanguard Tax-Managed Capital Appreciation (VTCLX) ER 0.12% won't be worth the higher expense ratio unless you are in a high tax bracket. Also it's a little less diversified than the total market fund, it has fewer small-cap stocks.
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fidelio
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by fidelio » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:07 am

wellesley, or total world stock w/ a bunch of treasuries to achieve the desired asset allocation. i'm 64, retired. if older, maybe the target fund that's 70/30 bonds/stocks.

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NoRoboGuy
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by NoRoboGuy » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:36 am

Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund (VSCGX). The LifeStrategy Funds are a series of broadly diversified, low-cost funds with an all-index, fixed allocation approach that provides a complete portfolio in a single fund. Acquired fund fees and expenses
as of 02/26/2015 = 0.15%

The fund holds 60% of its assets in bonds, a portion of which is allocated to international bonds, and 40% in stocks, a portion of which is allocated to international stocks.
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staybalanced
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Re: If you could have only one fund, what would it be?

Post by staybalanced » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:25 am

VTSAX

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