The Three-Fund Portfolio

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fortyofforty
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby fortyofforty » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:27 am

BrandonBogle wrote:
fortyofforty wrote:Any thoughts on constructing a Three Fund Portfolio inside the government's Thrift Savings Plan? I am specifically wondering about the use of the F (Total Bond Market) fund and G (guaranteed government securities) fund, and how and why people would choose between the two.


fortyofforthy, I would check out these threads for more info:
- Wiki: Three-Fund Portfolio (there is a section for the TSP half way down)
- Wiki: Thrift Savings Plan (there are points about using these funds in various scenarios, such as a total market approach)


Thanks for the links. I had seen those before, and was trying to get a bit more in-depth discussion going.
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby abuss368 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:35 pm

Vanguard had recommended the Three Fund Portfolio for a while. Over the past year, Vanguard changed their recommendation to add the Total International Bond Index Fund resulting in a Four Fund Portfolio.

Best.
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby BigFoot48 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:12 pm

Another thread raised the issue of increasing the stock allocation during retirement (or anytime) to improve returns. This got me wondering what returns have been historically for the three-fund portfolio for various allocations. Since we have Simba's Backtesting spreadsheet, I used it to determine returns for stock allocations from 0% to 100% for the Three Fund Portfolio, using the model's default 30 and 40 year periods. (For the International fund allocation, I used the spreadsheet's example which is about 37.5% of the total stock allocation.)

As you can see, a 10% alocation change has about a 0.3%-0.4% annual CAGR impact.

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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby CaliJim » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:55 pm

Interesting graph. Thanks

Question: [deleted]
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby BigFoot48 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:19 am

Answer to deleted question deleted! :sharebeer
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Taylor Larimore
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Personal Finance Questions and Comments

Postby Taylor Larimore » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:24 am

Taylor likes to limit this one to three-fund specific topics.

Questions and comments about personal portfolios are best placed on the Personal Finance Forum.

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:50 pm

General "theory" (backtesting, efficient frontier, etc.) should go in this forum (Investing - Theory, News & General). Bigfoot248's comments should go in this forum.

Anyone needing help with their own personal investments should start a thread here: Investing - Help with Personal Investments, I suggest the Asking Portfolio Questions format.
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby robert88 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:02 pm

I don't think the total bond market is ideal for most investors. The best 5-year FDIC CDs pay about 0.9% more than 5-year treasuries, which is a lot of risk free yield to be throwing away. Now, that may not work for the ultra-high net worth investors who keep bumping up against the $250k limits.

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CDs and OtherAlternatives to Total Bond Market Index Fund

Postby Taylor Larimore » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:24 pm

robert88 wrote:I don't think the total bond market is ideal for most investors. The best 5-year FDIC CDs pay about 0.9% more than 5-year treasuries, which is a lot of risk free yield to be throwing away. Now, that may not work for the ultra-high net worth investors who keep bumping up against the $250k limits.

robert88:

Please post your opinion about Total Bond Fund alternatives (there are hundreds) on the Investing Theory forum.

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby gasdoc » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:57 pm

Taylor,
I think I read in a much earlier post that you have some additional funds besides the three traditional ones. If you believe they primarily overweight certain portions of the big three, why do you have them? Are you just trying to have some fun? :happy

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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby Taylor Larimore » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:44 pm

gasdoc:

My stock funds were purchased long ago and are taxable. Selling or exchanging them now would trigger large capital gains which will be tax-free at my death (I'm 91). If I could start over I would own The Three Fund Portfolio.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby gasdoc » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:11 am

Thanks, Taylor.

I have an actively managed international fund in taxable that I am waiting for retirement to exchange. I have another question, though. Will the three funds eventually become so large that they become expensive to operate, or do economies of scale continue to be an advantage at any fund size.

Thanks. I appreciate your wisdom- and the price is right.

PS. I am reading the latest edition of your Bogleheads book (2014). I read the earlier version, but a review is never a bad thing!

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Economies of scale ?

Postby Taylor Larimore » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:03 am

Will the three funds eventually become so large that they become expensive to operate, or do economies of scale continue to be an advantage at any fund size.

gasdoc:

The "economies of scale" are a significant advantage in lowering the cost of a mutual fund. Vanguard's Total U.S. Stock Market is the world's largest stock mutual fund. Total Bond Market is the world's second-largest bond mutual fund.

Best wishes.
Taylor

P.S. Mel, Michael and I are pleased that you thought enough of the first edition of our Bogleheads' Guide to Investing that you are now reading the second edition.
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby abuss368 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:59 am

gasdoc wrote:Thanks, Taylor.

I have an actively managed international fund in taxable that I am waiting for retirement to exchange. I have another question, though. Will the three funds eventually become so large that they become expensive to operate, or do economies of scale continue to be an advantage at any fund size.

Thanks. I appreciate your wisdom- and the price is right.

PS. I am reading the latest edition of your Bogleheads book (2014). I read the earlier version, but a review is never a bad thing!


Historically Vanguard has lowered the expense ratios of funds as the overall fund size increases. Essentially, the expenses are spread across a larger pool of dollars.
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby gasdoc » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:45 am

abuss368 wrote:Historically Vanguard has lowered the expense ratios of funds as the overall fund size increases. Essentially, the expenses are spread across a larger pool of dollars.


Thanks, Taylor and abuss368,
I guess I had always thought that to a point there are economies of scale, but that at some point it was hard for a manager to purchase such large amounts of a given stock on the open market. Perhaps that is more of a problem in a small cap fund.

Thanks, again, guys.

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The Three Fund Portfolio uses Morningstar's "Top Picks"

Postby Taylor Larimore » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:35 am

Bogleheads:

Morningstar has a Special Report featuring "Top Core Picks for Indexers." Among their "Top Picks" are Total Stock Market, Total International Stock Market and Total Bond Market -- all in The Three Fund Portfolio.

Morningstar's Top Core Picks for Indexers

Best wishes
Taylor
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby ankonaman » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:12 pm

Taylor as a 58 year old investor I spoke with Vanguard regarding their recommendation for percent stock to bond ratio. They recommended a 65% stock to 35% bond ration until age 80 where they recommend a 60 stock 40 bond ratio. This was based on a moderately agressive investing style. Thoughts?

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Wrong Forum

Postby Taylor Larimore » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:12 pm

ankonaman wrote:Taylor as a 58 year old investor I spoke with Vanguard regarding their recommendation for percent stock to bond ratio. They recommended a 65% stock to 35% bond ratio until age 80 where they recommend a 60 stock 40 bond ratio. This was based on a moderately aggressive investing style. Thoughts?

ankonaman:

Please post questions about personal portfolios on the Help With Personal Investments Forum where you will get more and better replies. I'll look for you there.

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio uses Morningstar's "Top Picks"

Postby abuss368 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:25 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Bogleheads:

Morningstar has a Special Report featuring "Top Core Picks for Indexers." Among their "Top Picks" are Total Stock Market, Total International Stock Market and Total Bond Market -- all in The Three Fund Portfolio.

Morningstar's Top Core Picks for Indexers

Best wishes
Taylor


Good article. Thanks Taylor!
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Re: Wrong Forum

Postby ankonaman » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:02 am

Taylor Larimore wrote:
ankonaman wrote:Taylor as a 58 year old investor I spoke with Vanguard regarding their recommendation for percent stock to bond ratio. They recommended a 65% stock to 35% bond ratio until age 80 where they recommend a 60 stock 40 bond ratio. This was based on a moderately aggressive investing style. Thoughts?

ankonaman:

Please post questions about personal portfolios on the Help With Personal Investments Forum where you will get more and better replies. I'll look for you there.

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor


Taylor put it in the correct forum. Thanks. Bob

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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby jay22 » Sun May 03, 2015 11:51 am

Taylor, do you agree with Mr. Bogle when he says that most investors need not diversify to international equities? In other words, do you personally think that a Two Fund Portfolio (TSM + TBM) is better than Three Fund Portfolio (TSM + TISM + TBM)?

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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby RevYoung » Sun May 03, 2015 1:13 pm

Hi jay22,

You may be interested to read the thread I recently started asking almost that exact same question. It was very enlightening thanks to the help of fellow Bogleheads:

How important is an international allocation?

If you are specifically interested in Taylor's thoughts on the matter, I'd encourage you to take a look at the thread he started in July 2014:

International investing. A good call by our mentor.

I hope that helps. Have a great weekend! :mrgreen:
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Why International ?

Postby Taylor Larimore » Sun May 03, 2015 1:43 pm

jay22 wrote:Taylor, do you agree with Mr. Bogle when he says that most investors need not diversify to international equities? In other words, do you personally think that a Two Fund Portfolio (TSM + TBM) is better than Three Fund Portfolio (TSM + TISM + TBM)?

Jay:

I added Total International to The Three Fund Portfolio for two primary reasons:

1. In 1989 the Japanese stock market was larger than the U.S. stock market. In December of that year the Nikkei 225 Index reached a peak of 38,916. Today, approximately 26 years later, it is 19,531--approximately one-half. Japanese investors who did not diversify internationally made a terrible mistake. This could happen to U.S. investors.

2. A Vanguard study came to this conclusion:
Although there is no right answer for all investors, empirical and practical considerations suggest a reasonable starting allocation to non-U.S. stocks of 20%, with an upper limit based on global market capitalization.

Considerations for investing in non-U.S. equities

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby jay22 » Sun May 03, 2015 1:45 pm

RevYoung wrote:Hi jay22,

You may be interested to read the thread I recently started asking almost that exact same question. It was very enlightening thanks to the help of fellow Bogleheads:

How important is an international allocation?

If you are specifically interested in Taylor's thoughts on the matter, I'd encourage you to take a look at the thread he started in July 2014:

International investing. A good call by our mentor.

I hope that helps. Have a great weekend! :mrgreen:

That is a fascinating thread; thanks for posting. :happy

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Re: Why International ?

Postby jay22 » Sun May 03, 2015 1:48 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
jay22 wrote:Taylor, do you agree with Mr. Bogle when he says that most investors need not diversify to international equities? In other words, do you personally think that a Two Fund Portfolio (TSM + TBM) is better than Three Fund Portfolio (TSM + TISM + TBM)?

Jay:

I added Total International to The Three Fund Portfolio for two primary reasons:

1. In 1989 the Japanese stock market was larger than the U.S. stock market. In December of that year the Nikkei 225 Index reached a peak of 38,916. Today, approximately 26 years later, it is 19,531--approximately one-half. Japanese investors who did not diversify internationally made a terrible mistake. This could happen to U.S. investors.

2. A Vanguard study came to this conclusion:
Although there is no right answer for all investors, empirical and practical considerations suggest a reasonable starting allocation to non-U.S. stocks of 20%, with an upper limit based on global market capitalization.

Considerations for investing in non-U.S. equities

Best wishes.
Taylor

Taylor, thanks for your reply. I keep my International allocation to 30% (all in TISM) and plan to stay the course. But, I cannot help but think about the currency/political risk with international investments. I guess the experts at Vanguard and people like you know better so I'd just shrug off that feeling. :D

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The Three Fund Portfolio won 82.9% of the time.

Postby Taylor Larimore » Sun May 03, 2015 2:07 pm

Jay:

Your post brought me to a Study by Rick Ferri & Alex Benki which concluded:

"The Three Fund Portfolio" outperformed randomly selected actively managed funds in its category over a 16-year period (1997-2012) 82.9% of the time (Table 2)."

A Case for Index Fund Portfolios

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor
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Beating the international stock market ?

Postby Taylor Larimore » Mon May 04, 2015 1:48 pm

I cannot help but think about the currency/political risk with international investments.

Jay:

The currency and political risks of international investments are well known--therefore they are already priced into international securities. In my opinion, it is futile to think we can beat the market (except by knowing something other investors don't know--or by luck).

During the past ten years, only 16% of international fund managers beat their benchmark indexes. S&P Dow Jones Indices (Report 6, page 10)

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Total Bond Market and Total Stock Market = world's largest

Postby Taylor Larimore » Mon May 04, 2015 4:02 pm

Bogleheads:

According to the Wall Street Journal, Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index Fund in The Three Fund Portfolio is now the "World's Largest Bond Fund." Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index Fund is already the "World's Largest Stock Fund."

It has taken awhile, but Mr. Bogle's invention of Total Market Index Funds has changed the world of investing -- for the better.

Thank you, Jack!

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby Seattlenative » Mon May 04, 2015 8:39 pm

Today I glanced at Vanguard's "all-in-one" Lifestrategy and Target Retirement mutual funds. The AAs are very, very similar to the Three Fund Portfolio, except that they've now added international bonds to the mix. The six funds I've listed below, listed from the most conservative to moderate in terms of risk-vs.-reward level, are invested in Investor Shares of four Vanguard index mutual funds: Total Stock Market (TSM), Total Bond Market (TBM), Total International Stock (INT) and Total International Bond Market (IB). Each of the six "all-in-one" funds listed below lists total acquired fund ERs between 0.15% to 0.17%.

Lifestrategy Conservative Growth Fund
TSM: 27.9% TBM: 48.1% INT: 12.0% IB: 12.0%

Target Retirement 2015
TSM: 34.9% TBM: 31.4% INT: 15.3% IB: 10.4%

Lifestrategy Moderate Growth Fund
TSM: 41.8% TBM: 32.2% INT: 18.0% IB: 8.0%

Target Retirement 2020
TSM: 41.8% TBM: 31.3% INT: 18.2% IB: 8.7%

Target Retirement 2025
TSM: 47.0% TBM: 25.4% INT: 20.5% IB: 7.1%

Target Retirement 2030
TSM: 52.1% TBM: 19.4% INT: 22.7% IB: 5.8%

If you use a Vanguard Brokerage account for commission-free purchases, and either used Vanguard's equivalent ETFs (VTI - BND - VXUS - BNDX) or the higher-minimum-investment Admiral Shares, you could slightly reduce those acquired fund ERs. However, if you really want a one-time "set it and forget it" investment, this is another way of obtaining a Four Fund Portfolio (the fourth being the addition of Total International Bond Market).

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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby RevYoung » Mon May 04, 2015 8:50 pm

Indeed, Seattlenative! I myself consider my Target Retirement investments to following the spirit of the "Three Fund Portfolio" if not the letter. :mrgreen:

Right now they are a good fit for me until I amass a larger portfolio. Eventually, I expect to parcel the funds out when I can get Admiral shares of all of them in the quantities needed for my desired asset allocation. There are tax-efficient ways to place the funds, after all—one of the many benefits of the Three Fund Portfolio. :beer

Cheers!
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby fortyofforty » Tue May 05, 2015 6:22 am

Truly the only downside to the "target risk" LifeStrategy funds is the expense ratio. If it'd drop to around .12 I would find it very hard to resist the call of ultimate simplicity.
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby ankonaman » Tue May 05, 2015 9:18 am

Another interesting caveat is that Vanguard offers investing advisors for smaller portfolios. Previously a client had to have a half million in assets to be offered this service. They charge a management fee of 0.30 percent to manage your portfolio for you for smaller accounts. Guess what they put you in; a four fund portfolio. They give you a mix of Total Stock Market (TSM), Total Bond Market (TBM), Total International Stock (INT) and Total International Bond Market (IB) based on your risk tolerance and age. My question to the advisor is why would I pay you an extra fee to duplicate what I am already doing? Apparently some people are doing just that which is totally nuts. :oops:

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Less is more.

Postby Taylor Larimore » Tue May 05, 2015 1:31 pm

My question to the advisor is why would I pay you an extra fee to duplicate what I am already doing?

ankonaman:

Investors cannot believe that investing is as simple as owning three (or four) total market index funds.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Less is more.

Postby CABob » Tue May 05, 2015 2:25 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Investors cannot believe that investing is as simple as owning three (or four) total market index funds.

And many advisors don't want the investors to believe? :annoyed
Bob

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Re: Less is more.

Postby RevYoung » Tue May 05, 2015 3:18 pm

CABob wrote:
Taylor Larimore wrote:Investors cannot believe that investing is as simple as owning three (or four) total market index funds.

And many advisors don't want the investors to believe? :annoyed


With apologies to Upton Sinclair:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when the salary of the one expected to explain it to him depends upon his not understanding it. :wink:
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The Three Fund Portfolio beats 7 other Professional Portfolios

Postby Taylor Larimore » Thu May 07, 2015 4:38 pm

I asked about back testing simply so I could understand the past performance of various recommendations.

Umfundi:

Market Watch columnist, Paul Farrell, posted this comparison of "8 Lazy Portfolios."

Allen Roth's "Second Grader's Starter Portfolio" uses the same 3 funds as "The Three Fund Portfolio." It is the top performing portfolio in all four time periods!

Past performance does not forecast future performance.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Total Bond Market and Total Stock Market = world's largest

Postby abuss368 » Thu May 07, 2015 9:25 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Bogleheads:

According to the Wall Street Journal, Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index Fund in The Three Fund Portfolio is now the "World's Largest Bond Fund." Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index Fund is already the "World's Largest Stock Fund."

It has taken awhile, but Mr. Bogle's invention of Total Market Index Funds has changed the world of investing -- for the better.

Thank you, Jack!

Best wishes.
Taylor


Hi Taylor,

I did read this great news. How indexing has caught on and changed the investing world for the better.

Thank you Jack Bogle!

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: The Three Fund Portfolio beats 7 other Professional Portfolios

Postby abuss368 » Thu May 07, 2015 9:31 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
I asked about back testing simply so I could understand the past performance of various recommendations.

Umfundi:

Market Watch columnist, Paul Farrell, posted this comparison of "8 Lazy Portfolios."

Allen Roth's "Second Grader's Starter Portfolio" uses the same 3 funds as "The Three Fund Portfolio." It is the top performing portfolio in all four time periods!

Past performance does not forecast future performance.

Best wishes.
Taylor


Hi Taylor,

Great news for the Three Fund Portfolio. What surprised me was not to long ago, the king of the Lazy Portfolio's was the Yale Portfolio from David Swensen. What has lowered the performance? TIPS for one has been a drag. At the end of the day, is there a need for 7 -10 (or more) funds? I am of the opinion less funds results in less complexity and costs.

I would like to see the Lazy Portfolio's include Rick Ferri's "Core Four" Portfolio.

Keep investing simple.
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: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby LadyGeek » Fri May 08, 2015 11:52 am

abuss368 wrote:I would like to see the Lazy Portfolio's include Rick Ferri's "Core Four" Portfolio.

The "Core four" is in the wiki: Lazy portfolios
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby abuss368 » Fri May 08, 2015 7:08 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
abuss368 wrote:I would like to see the Lazy Portfolio's include Rick Ferri's "Core Four" Portfolio.

The "Core four" is in the wiki: Lazy portfolios


Great portfolio recommendation!

Thanks!
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A nice first post

Postby Taylor Larimore » Tue May 19, 2015 12:48 pm

"After years of actively "managing" my own investments, and now nearing retirement, I've decided to take the more passive approach of the three-fund portfolio. After extensive reading on this subject, and from my own personal investing experience, I have become a believer. Its simplicity and long term results are a thing of beauty." --NYGIANT

...viewtopic.php?f=1&t=165976&newpost=2495819

Thank you for sharing.

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

mfswatz9
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby mfswatz9 » Tue May 19, 2015 2:12 pm

Taylor wrote:

"My stock funds were purchased long ago and are taxable. Selling or exchanging them now would trigger large capital gains which will be tax-free at my death (I'm 91). If I could start over I would own The Three Fund Portfolio."

Could you explain why your stock funds capital gains will be tax-free upon your death?

Thanks.

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packet
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby packet » Tue May 19, 2015 2:26 pm

mfswatz9 wrote:Taylor wrote:

"My stock funds were purchased long ago and are taxable. Selling or exchanging them now would trigger large capital gains which will be tax-free at my death (I'm 91). If I could start over I would own The Three Fund Portfolio."

Could you explain why your stock funds capital gains will be tax-free upon your death?

Thanks.

The cost basis will get "stepped up" for whomever inherits the funds/stocks.
As in, the date of inheritance becomes the inheritor's cost basis date... they could sell that day and pay zero capital gains...

At least that's my current understanding.

:beerCheers,
packet
First round’s on me.

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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby LadyGeek » Tue May 19, 2015 3:19 pm

^^^ It's in the wiki: Step-up in basis

mfswatz9 - If you have further questions, start a thread in Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (death of a portfolio owner is a legal issue). We'll answer your questions there.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Kevin22751
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby Kevin22751 » Fri May 22, 2015 11:30 am

Question: Do I really need to have International equities in my portfolio ? I am in the process of re-balancing and did some research on the International category using Morningstar data. What I found was that over the past 10-15 years the correlation between international equities and the US stock market has risen to about 85%. I also found that the international category has produced lower average returns with a higher standard deviation than the US stock market over this period. So, given that the international category has lower returns with higher risk and is 85% correlated to the US stock market, why would I want to include international equities in my portfolio ? Wouldn't I be better off with a two fund portfolio using VTSAX and VBTLX ? If not, why not ? Thanks !!

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Taylor Larimore
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Wrong Forum

Postby Taylor Larimore » Fri May 22, 2015 12:34 pm

Kevin22751 wrote:Question: Do I really need to have International equities in my portfolio ? I am in the process of re-balancing and did some research on the International category using Morningstar data. What I found was that over the past 10-15 years the correlation between international equities and the US stock market has risen to about 85%. I also found that the international category has produced lower average returns with a higher standard deviation than the US stock market over this period. So, given that the international category has lower returns with higher risk and is 85% correlated to the US stock market, why would I want to include international equities in my portfolio ? Wouldn't I be better off with a two fund portfolio using VTSAX and VBTLX ? If not, why not ? Thanks !!

Welcome to the Bogleheads Forum!

You ask very good questions about structuring your personal portfolio. Please re-post your question on the Investing - Help with Personal Investments forum where you should get more replies. Opinions are divided about International investing.

I might suggest you read: What Experts Say About Past Performance

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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bertie wooster
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby bertie wooster » Fri May 22, 2015 12:40 pm

Kevin22751 wrote:Question: Do I really need to have International equities in my portfolio ? I am in the process of re-balancing and did some research on the International category using Morningstar data. What I found was that over the past 10-15 years the correlation between international equities and the US stock market has risen to about 85%. I also found that the international category has produced lower average returns with a higher standard deviation than the US stock market over this period. So, given that the international category has lower returns with higher risk and is 85% correlated to the US stock market, why would I want to include international equities in my portfolio ? Wouldn't I be better off with a two fund portfolio using VTSAX and VBTLX ? If not, why not ? Thanks !!


No you don't need to, but many of us do. I split my equities 50/50 b/w domestic and international. If you only own Total Stock Market for your equities I think you won't be as well diversified as you could be (by adding Total International) but there are far worse portfolios out there.

As far as international having lower returns and higher standard deviation, the key is not these metrics for Total International and Total Stock Market in isolation, but how these metrics are for a mixed portfolio. Search for TrevH's posts. He's done a lot of work showing how you get lower standard deviation and higher returns from mixing (though he also includes domestic and international small caps). I haven't bothered to crunch the numbers myself, I just went for the option of greater diversification and took TrevH's analysis at face value. YMMV.

Good Luck!

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RevYoung
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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby RevYoung » Fri May 22, 2015 7:52 pm

Kevin22751 wrote:Question: Do I really need to have International equities in my portfolio ?


Hi Kevin22751,

From my post above:

You may be interested to read the thread I recently started asking almost that exact same question. It was very enlightening thanks to the help of fellow Bogleheads:

How important is an international allocation?

If you are specifically interested in Taylor's thoughts on the matter, I'd encourage you to take a look at the thread he started in July 2014:

International investing. A good call by our mentor.

I hope that helps. Have a great weekend! :mrgreen:
“For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.”

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Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Postby LadyGeek » Sat May 23, 2015 8:06 am

FYI - New member Bcon123 is asking a question about his portfolio. I moved those posts into a standalone thread here: The Three Fund Portfolio [Portfolio help]
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Kevin22751
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Re: Wrong Forum

Postby Kevin22751 » Sat May 23, 2015 10:20 pm

Thanks, Taylor. And thank you for your warm welcome to the forum. I have re-posted my question, and there does seem to be quite a bit of interest on the topic.

All the best to you,
Kevin


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