Author Topic: Building "portfolio" at Vanguard - on track?  (Read 2693 times)

G-dog

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Building "portfolio" at Vanguard - on track?
« on: May 31, 2014, 05:42:12 PM »
I posted some data earlier ("Best steps to retire @ 55 yo") for a reality check.  One consensus was that I was holding too much cash.

In April I finally started moving some cash into Vanguard funds. I moved $40K in April, $20K each into VFIAX and VTSAX, each is now at ~$21.5K. Today I got $20K in VIMAX, $10K in VFICX, and $10K in VSMAX.  I am just guessing here, these are my attempts to have some diversification, and keep fees down.  Some funds have a minimum of $50K to get the Admiral fund reduced expense ratio. I can't quite pull the trigger to sink that much in one place yet.  It's probably more an emotional issue than rational... I welcome any comments and ideas to improve my "strategy".

I've also been working on tracking expenses, including everything I spent on a recent vacation. I don't have my husband's data on what he spent, some I can estimate.  I can post a summary if folks would be interested.

ArbitraryGuy

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Re: Building "portfolio" at Vanguard - on track?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 07:29:30 PM »
I don't know what your risk tolerance is, but you may want to think about bonds and international diversification.

The biggest key is contributing to your 'stash every month.  If you can commit to a high savings rate and stick with it, you'll be all set.

Other than those minor comments, it looks to me like you're on track.  Good luck!

wtjbatman

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Re: Building "portfolio" at Vanguard - on track?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 09:07:50 AM »
Your asset allocation is a little goofy. Alright, for your bond fund you have VFICX, no problem. Then you have VTSAX, a total stock market fund. That should be the end of your portfolio. Once you're carrying total stock market exposure, you don't need anything else. Instead, you have three more funds for no reason. An S&P 500 fund, a Mid-cap fund, and a small-cap fund. Huh? You're already getting exposure to the S&P 500, mid-caps, and small-caps with VTSAX! Dump those other funds. Or, if you don't like how VTSAX is weighted, then dump that fund and put the money into those other three equity funds according to an allocation you are comfortable with.

One of the good things about dumping the three extra funds is it gives you enough money to invest 50k+ in VTSAX and get the lower expense ratio.

Mr Mark

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Re: Building "portfolio" at Vanguard - on track?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 09:23:29 AM »
I did like receiving those messages from Vanguard when you could upgrade to the Admiral version with lower fees. It was like a little pat on the back for saving.

Decide your asset allocation. First bond equity, then what equity splits - international vs domestic, simple at first.

I've ended up with arguably a too complex A A, as I use about 7 funds to get a small/med cap tilt vs market, plus added a REIT allocation. I also use a % allocated to a core balanced fund (mainly Wellington and Wellesley funds)  to keep equity bond split auto-balanced where I want it ( right now 15% bonds) rather than using the total bond index. I manually rebalance the equity % once a year, and as I feed cash in as best I can without selling anything.