Author Topic: need advice to reorganize/simplify my investments  (Read 453 times)

mariettapeashoot

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need advice to reorganize/simplify my investments
« on: January 08, 2019, 04:05:28 AM »
Hello wise mustachians!

I am 42 years old, no debt other than my mortgage and have been saving reasonably for the past 15ish years. I have have used functional, though not optimal savings strategies: max out (when able) my 401k through my work and give the rest of my savings to a investment manager to deal with. As a result, I am probably paying too much in fees and also don't really understand where my money is/what my investments are.

I am looking for advice for the best way to move my money from the investment manager into accounts that have lower management fees but still allow me to have a very simple system. (eg, Betterment is more my style than Vanguard. And while I am housecleaning, I would also like to set up something to better track my spending.

**Note: I'm sure that for many of you, investing seems so easy, so straightforward, that it seems foolish to do anything other than Vanguard/rebalance it periodically yourself. But if you are going to give me that advice, then please take a moment to give more details that you think is necessary about the process. For example, MMM talks alot about 'Vanguard VTI', but when I look for that on the Vanguard website, I don't see just one VTI option. There is 'EFT (VTI)' and 'admiral funds', etc. And if there is anyone out there who really *hears* me when I say that I want more hand-holding and less 'rebalance it yourself', I would love to hear from you!**

Here are the basics of my current investments:
-$215k in 'folio balanced growth' (70%stocks/30%bonds) (taxed)
-$150k in Roth IRA 'BSWM SRI balanced growth' (70%stocks/30%bonds)
-$35k Roth IRA 'Hines Global REIT'
-$245 in 401k at work

Specific questions:
-What do I need to do to move my money? Do I have to sell everything, get cash and then reinvest somewhere else? If I go to betterment, for example, will they walk me through it?
-Are there tax consequences? or fees? or market timing to think about?
-I really need my new set up to be *simple*--I would like some hand-holding (probably in the form of good software with the option to occasionally talk to a person)
-for monitoring my money: Mint vs Personal Capitol vs You Need A Budget?

Thanks for your help! I'm all in on the spend-less-than-you-earn strategy--but think I can get some real benefits from just getting better organized. I would like to understand my investments better--but more through simplifying/centralizing/helpful software. (Honestly, I have been spending alot of time recently reading the blog and the forum posts and while I appreciate all the information, I am really clear that I just don't want to get into all the details the way that many you have been able to do!)

Thanks in advance for all the help.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 12:51:05 PM by mariettapeashoot »

mies

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Re: need advice to reorganize/simplify my investments
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 04:44:04 AM »
I canít give any advice on how to move the assets around, but from reading other threads on here, you might want to stay away from Betterment. They charge a lot for basic things like rebalancing and if you ever decide you want to move to a different brokerage company, they donít make it easy.

Also, donít shy away from learning about the details for your investments. The financial services industry wants you to believe itís super hard to manage your money and only their expert advice will save you from yourself. Itís not true. Before you start moving and selling things, I would recommend taking a step back and learning about the basics of index fund investing. Itís actually pretty easy.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 04:38:11 PM by mies »

BrightFIRE

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Re: need advice to reorganize/simplify my investments
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 11:34:16 AM »
Hello wise mustachians!

I am 42 years old, no debt other than my mortgage and have been saving reasonably for the past 15ish years. I have have used functional, though not optimal savings strategies: max out (when able) my 401k through my work and give the rest of my savings to a investment manager to deal with. As a result, I am probably paying too much in fees and also don't really understand where my money is/what my investments are.

I am looking for advice for the best way to move my money from the investment manager into accounts that have lower management fees but still allow me to have a very simple system. (eg, Betterment is more my style than Vanguard. And while I am housecleaning, I would also like to set up something to better track my spending.

Here are the basics of my current investments:
-$215k in 'folio balanced growth' (70%stocks/30%bonds) (taxed)
-$150k in Roth IRA 'BSWM SRI balanced growth' (70%stocks/30%bonds)
-$35k Roth IRA 'Hines Global REIT'
-$245 in 401k at work

Specific questions:
-What do I need to do to move my money? Do I have to sell everything, get cash and then reinvest somewhere else? If I go to betterment, for example, will they walk me through it?
-Are there tax consequences? or fees? or market timing to think about?
-I really need my new set up to be *simple*--I would like some hand-holding (probably in the form of good software with the option to occasionally talk to a person)
-for monitoring my money: Mint vs Personal Capitol vs You Need A Budget?

Thanks for your help! I'm all in on the spend-less-than-you-earn strategy--but think I can get some real benefits from just getting better organized. I would like to understand my investments better--but more through simplifying/centralizing/helpful software. (Honestly, I have been spending alot of time recently reading the blog and the forum posts and while I appreciate all the information, I am really clear that I just don't want to get into all the details the way that many you have been able to do!)

Thanks in advance for all the help.

You would transfer your assets to a new brokerage, so no, you don't have to worry about selling or cash or taxes.

You don't need software or an advisor. Read the JL Collins stock series - it really helped me understand investing much better than I previously had. https://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/ If you don't want to read it serialized on the blog for free, he also published it as a book called The Simple Path to Wealth.

What you want is "set it and forget it" - so first you have to figure out your preferred asset allocation. If you don't want to go 100% stocks, then pick something like 90/10 or 80/20 stocks/bonds or a 3 fund: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Lazy_portfolios Set it up and check it once a year to rebalance, easy peasy! If you have any questions, any brokerage will be happy to have a person talk to you if you're planning to give them all your money.

Personally, I use Mint for tracking. I've used it for almost 10 years, so I have really good trend tracking. For example, this helped me set up an emergency fund, because I looked back for 5 years and now know that I've never spent more than $5k in a year on unexpected expenses. A lot of people like Personal Capital, but it didn't work for me - it kept "losing" my passwords, making it too much like work.

ysette9

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Re: need advice to reorganize/simplify my investments
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 11:49:33 AM »
Congrats on your savings and for wanting to get out of a high-fee advisor. Just note the irony of wanting to get away from an expensive live-person advisor and swapping him/her for an expensive robo advisor.

As others have said, you can do much better, and easily as well. Do some personal education with the like above and pick a Bogleheads lazy portfolio of your liking.

If you really truly can’t bring yourself to do that, then lay Vanguard 0.3% to manage your investments for you. It won’t get cheaper than that for good investment management unless you do it yourself.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: need advice to reorganize/simplify my investments
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 10:21:02 PM »
One other thing to think about: you might want more of your stocks/higher-risk stuff in Roth accounts and the like, while your bonds (lower return) and so on in accounts that get taxed.  In the long run, you save more on taxes that way, assuming you can manage it in terms of cash flow.