My portfolio: seeking advice

From Bogleheads

Welcome to the non-US investors section of Bogleheads®. There are many knowledgeable and friendly investors in this online community. They freely share their time and expertise with new posters who are looking for help, but they cannot give good advice without knowing something about you.

Before posting a portfolio question, remember that investing starts with a plan. What are you saving for, when do you need the funds, and how much of a loss can you tolerate, among other things? If you are clear on these questions, you will receive better quality help.

Also, please be sure to check the Outline of non-US domiciles and Non-US frequently asked questions sections of the wiki, both for general investing information for non-US investors and for any pages that are specific to your country of residence.

It helps us to know some important things about you. This may include details about any investments you already have. This information will help us to avoid recommending unsuitable funds or ETFs, for example ones that overlap with your existing holdings, ones that have significant tax drawbacks, or ones that are too risky or too conservative for your situation.

To make sure you get the help you need, please consider the instructions on this page. You do not have to include details on every section, but the more information that you do give, the better the answers to your questions will become.

Canada flag.png Canada: Canadian investors are encouraged to join our sister forum Financial Wisdom Forum and create a topic using the My Portfolio: Seeking Advice format. Also see: My Portfolio: Seeking Advice - finiki, the Canadian financial wiki

Flag of Spain.svg Spain: Spanish investors are encouraged to join our brother forum Bogleheads® España - Inversión Pasiva, Indexada y Periódica.


Once you have identified your investing questions, it is time to post. We do not need to know your name or the exact amount of money you have invested or anything else that will identify you. If we ask for information that you do not want to disclose for any reason, it is fine to leave it out.

Templates for your post

Please create a post in the Non-US Investing forum. Put the name of your country of residence somewhere in the topic title.

For convenience, you can use one or more of the templates below to help you compose your post. Copy and paste the relevant section or sections into the post and replace the placeholders. If the suggested format of any of these does not work for you, feel free to supply the same information in any format that is more convenient for you. These templates are only suggestions.

Please provide balance amounts either in US dollars (USD) or in one of the other most commonly traded currencies: European Euro (EUR), Japanese Yen (JPY), British Pound (GBP), Swiss Franc (CHF), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Australian Dollar (AUD), New Zealand Dollar (NZD), or South African Rand (ZAR). Please indicate clearly which currency you used when providing balances. If none of these, please consider converting your currency into USD in your post. Most forum members will be unfamiliar with many currencies, but USD is widely understood.

Primary information

Without this information, it may be difficult or impossible to answer your questions. Other sections are optional, but it is vital that you include details from this one.

[b]Country of residence:[/b] This is critical. It determines your exposure to US taxes for nonresident aliens, and your ability to use any US income tax and US estate tax treaties. Also, add this to the post title.

[b]International lifestyle:[/b] Indicate if you expect to move country before retiring or in retirement, or if you regularly change country either for work or for other reasons.

[b]Age:[/b] (a range will be good enough)

[b]Desired asset allocation:[/b] xx% stocks / xx% bonds (indicate if you are not sure)
Whether or not you plan to hold a significant amount of your home country's stocks (a "home country bias"): xx% of stocks (indicate if you are not sure)

Please consider adding a hint about the size of your current total portfolio (you can state this as high four-figures, mid five-figures, low six-figures, and so on). What might be appropriate for a very large portfolio might not be appropriate for a new investor.

Additional information

If they seem relevant, please add any of the following details to your post. This information is optional.

[b]Currency:[/b] The currency in which you operate (USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, CHF, CAD, AUD, NZD, ZAR).

[b]Emergency funds:[/b] Three to six months of expenses (indicate if you have this, but it is generally not part of your asset allocation).

[b]Debt:[/b] Indicate if you have any debt (credit card, school loans, car loans, mortgage) and the interest rate you are paying on each loan.

Also, if you know the details of any state pension(s) you are entitled to and you wish to add them here, this can improve the accuracy of the replies you receive.

Current investments

Again optionally, it may be useful for you to add information on your current investments. If you already hold some investments, it can help to give us some details of your current investment portfolio. If you do not have a portfolio already, or if you do but you do not want to share it, please ignore this section.

Otherwise, please indicate your current portfolio including all investment and retirement accounts. It is often important to look at the portfolio as a unified whole rather than look at accounts in isolation. If you wish, you may repeat this information for your spouse or civil partner. Omit any sections where either you do not hold this account type, or it does not apply to your country of residence. If you have several accounts of the same type, show them separately.

Show each fund or holding as a percentage of the entire portfolio, not as a percentage of the account that holding is in. If this instruction is not clear, see the example under 'Key points' below.

[u][b]Current retirement assets[/b][/u]

[b]General investment account, taxable[/b]
xx% cash (for investing – do not include emergency funds) 
xx% fund or ETF name (ticker symbol) (expense ratio)  
xx% stock company name (ticker symbol)

[b]Retirement savings account, tax deferred[/b] (indicate account type, such as UK SIPP, Canadian RRSP, or French PEA)
xx% cash (for investing – do not include emergency funds) 
xx% fund or ETF name (ticker symbol) (expense ratio)  
xx% stock company name (ticker symbol)

[b]Sheltered investment account, tax free[/b] (indicate account type, such as UK ISA or Canadian TFSA)
xx% cash (for investing – do not include emergency funds) 
xx% fund or ETF name (ticker symbol) (expense ratio)  
xx% stock company name (ticker symbol)

[b]Insurance investment account[/b] (indicate account type, such as French Contrat d’assurance-vie or Belgian Tak 21 or Tak 23)
xx% cash (for investing – do not include emergency funds) 
xx% fund or ETF name (ticker symbol) (expense ratio)  
xx% stock company name (ticker symbol)

The total percentage of all the above accounts together (not each account individually) should equal 100%.

Future investment amounts

If you are currently investing into these accounts, it may help us to have an idea of how much you invest annually. As above, if this section does not apply to you, or if it does but you do not want to share this information, please ignore this section.

[u][b]New investments[/b][/u]

[b]New annual contributions[/b]
xx General investment account (Amount invested annually into your taxable account, in the currency indicated above)
xx Retirement savings account (Amount invested annually into your tax deferred account, in the currency indicated above)
xx Sheltered investment account (Amount invested annually into your tax free account, in the currency indicated above)
xx Insurance investment account (Amount invested annually into your insurance account, in the currency indicated above)

Investment questions

Finally, ask your investment questions. Some forum members may know only one or two aspects of what you are asking. Numbering your questions helps these forum members to address those questions specifically and directly.

1. ...
2. ...

Key points

Please try to provide as much of the information requested above as you can. Leaving out important information often results in delays or longer exchanges.

Identify the country you live in. In particular, stating that you live in the European Union (EU) is not especially helpful. Each EU country has its own individual tax regime, and its own tax treaties (or not) with the US and with other countries.

Please post fund names, not just fund or ETF ticker symbols.

If you see several different expense ratios for a single fund, use the net expense ratio. In UCITS ETFs, this may be indicated as 'TER', 'OCF', or something else, but is usually clear from the ETF's factsheet.

Please make sure that percentages add up to 100% across all of your accounts, not within each account. For example:

  • General investment account, taxable
    • 35% Vanguard UCITS Halley's Comet ETF (VHAL) (0.08%)
    • 35% iShares UCITS Continental Drift ETF (ICON) (0.32%)
  • Retirement savings account, tax deferred (UK SIPP)
    • 05% Lyxor UCITS Polar Magnetic Reversal ETF (XPOL) (0.27%)
    • 25% X-trackers UCITS Total Solar Eclipse ETF (ECLP) (0.12%)

The percentage total of all funds (General investment account + Retirement savings account) is 100%.


Again, please remember to put the name of your country of residence somewhere in the title of your post. This will help to draw in fellow members also either living in that country or with specific knowledge of how to invest from within that country.

If asked to add additional information, you can either reply, or you can use the edit button (found at the upper right hand side of your post) to add the information to your original post.

Please make all responses and additions to your original post in the same conversation rather than creating a new topic. It helps everyone if the history of the discussion is available in one place.

Many replies ask a great deal of effort by the posters. We simply ask that if you receive replies, you go back and respond to them in some way. It is a hollow feeling for those of us who respond to questions to never hear back from the person who started the conversation. Remember, the purpose of this is to have a conversation! We are not expecting a thank-you necessarily, but feedback on what you found helpful, if anything. We appreciate hearing back from you.

USING CAPITAL LETTERS is considered rude (it is shouting). Capitals are good for emphasis, but are hard to read. If you consistently post in CAPITALS, some people may not bother to read and respond to your questions.

Preparing to make a post can be a significant learning experience for you. We appreciate posts that show careful planning. This does not mean your questions must be complex or show extensive investment knowledge. We really enjoy simple ones and want beginning investors to feel very welcome. Our goal is to help.

See also

External links