Author Topic: One fund portfolio - Optimal?  (Read 11526 times)

efferyj

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One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« on: June 04, 2015, 08:56:55 AM »
I have been doing a lot of research to try to find the best investment strategy.  It seems that the simpler and more understandable the option the better.  I have used insights from a lot of the giants in the industry and come out with a one fund portfolio that appears to be my best option.  I was hoping to get some insight from others.  A lot of the information is dispelling what isn't needed.

Some background - I am 31 years old.  My parents got me into investing at a fairly early age with a college fund account.  I have worked with both active and passive managed accounted over they years.  Through out the tech bubble bust and the great recession I continued to invest money as I could and never withdrew money from my investment (maybe reallocated with adviser advice but always stayed in the market).  When these downturns occur I say that stinks and move on.  I have total faith in the US economy and that stock go up over long periods of time.  I guess I felt like having no investments would be the least of my problems if all the US companies are instantly worthless. 

I have read one of John Bogle's books and listed to numerous interviews on index investing and I agree that trying to beat the market is a waste of time and more importantly a waste of money.  As far as I can tell the only reason to have an investor is to advise the investor to stay in the market when major downturns come around and to help people who are close or in retirement to create a stream of income if that is what they want to do. 

So I settled on indexing as the best bet, but index what?  Common accepted theory would point you to the S&P 500 or the total stock market index, total bond index, and total international index. 

I got rid of the idea of international funds due to the fact that roughly 50% of the revenue and 50% of the profits of the companies in the S&P 500 come from outside the US.  I am confident that these major companies are leveraging their power to continue their profits in new and diverse countries.  International investing also opens you up to currency and political risk on top of investment risk.  If you look at the results from the major market corrects for the last couple decades the international fund drops very similar or even more than the S&P.  The diversification to reduce volatility really isn't there.  Some of this information comes straight from Bogle in an interview I found.  Seems odd that the Vanguard target date funds are so heavy in international.

Next comes bonds.  In the long run bond will be out performed by stocks.  Theory and advisers put people in bonds to lower the volatility of the portfolio.  This helps to protect principal and stop investors from selling at the bottom.  The current market makes bonds seem more difficult.  The interest rates must go up sometime and thus the value of the bond holdings will go down.  This really limits the valid options for bond holdings to lower return and lower timeline bonds that won't be as affected by the rate increase. I am willing to take on the short term volatility to reap the rewards of added returns that can compound over decades. 

Now the to the stock index of choice.  The S&P and the total stock market index are very similar.  The total stock market index holds roughly 80% of the same stocks as the S&P, but you go get some exposure to small and mid cap companies.  I like the added diversification of the total stock market index.  There are debates on if the return will be noticeably different or not from the S&P.  With the high correlation of holdings the difference should be minimal.   My choice for the optimal porfolio is the Vanguard total stock market index fund - admiral shares - VTSAX.  This required a minimum of 10K to invest.  The fund cost is a mere .05%. 

 As mentioned I am not concerned with the ups and downs of the market.  I feel like I have at least 30 years to invest and a downturn stinks but I am concerned about my total investment decades down the road.  Side note, I don't plan on early retirement, but if you do this fund is excellent for taxable accounts due to low turnover.   What do you think?  Is this a crazy, too simple to be true, portfolio?

Booma

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 09:06:33 AM »
I was going to post something very similar myself and your situation correlates with mine almost exactly. The only difference is that my parents raised me to be a knuckle dragging materialist, so I have only just shed my credit card debt and Ducati. I'm looking to start investing and VTSAX seems like the best long term option for someone like you and I, early 30s with good steady income to invest and no immediate FIRE interest.

I know there are a lot of people here who will comment on both sides of the fence, but VTSAX seems to be the bargain. I'll be standing by for a response from the veterans myself.

Merdox

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 09:10:19 AM »
I had a similar question a while back and got some very helpful feedback: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/dumping-the-whole-pot-into-vtsax-please-tell-me-why-i'm-wrong/?topicseen

Currently, my portfolio is about 15% VTIAX (international) and the rest is VTSAX.

Tjat

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 09:19:37 AM »
Well, investing solely into VTSAX is not "optimal" but it's not "bad".

What you're missing is diversification into other asset classes (internationals, bonds, real estate), which if done properly can achieve the same returns (or greater) at the same (or reduced) risk. The following post at GRS explains this very simply.

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/09/29/investing-101-how-diversification-reduces-risk/

brooklynguy

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 10:12:58 AM »
There has been lots of discussion in the forum on this topic with counterpoints to Tjat's post above, including the thread linked to by Merdox (and the other threads linked to in that thread), but in my view the new gold standard is this relative recent post by Go Curry Cracker:

http://www.gocurrycracker.com/path-100-equities/

surfhb

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2015, 10:52:54 AM »
Well, investing solely into VTSAX is not "optimal" but it's not "bad".

What you're missing is diversification into other asset classes (internationals, bonds, real estate), which if done properly can achieve the same returns (or greater) at the same (or reduced) risk. The following post at GRS explains this very simply.

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/09/29/investing-101-how-diversification-reduces-risk/

+ 1 !

efferyj

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2015, 10:56:07 AM »
Tjat,

Thank you for the post.  I don't doubt the article's numbers of validity.  I am a bit skeptical of what he chose to use in the portfolio and why.  He is using the S&P and I would use the total market...not a big deal.  The other holdings are an intermediate bond fund and small international companies.  In the world of indexers this is a bit speculative.  Why not the entire international market?  Why just intermediate bonds and not the entire bond market?  I ran a back test portfolio with Vanguard funds - VTSAX 1/3, VTIAX 1/3, and VBTLX 1/3 from 2011 to 2015.  I wanted to go back further to test this but the international funds were created in 2011.  I would need to look up the oldest index of this type to make an longer timeline back test report. This divided portfolio was tested against VTSAX 100%.  The CAGR number show 7.85% vs 14.70%.  Admittedly the variance is higher as expected.

Tjat

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2015, 11:26:57 AM »
I didn't really look at what specific funds were included in the portfolio as it doesn't really matter, at least with traditional portfolio theory. Regardless of your chosen investments, a diversified portfolio will always see lower returns that the best performing investment and higher returns that the worst performing investment. The benefit is that the standard deviation (expected variance) for a diversified portfolio is lower than an individual investment for a given return. There was an interesting study done in the late 70's I think where two guys demonstrated that the majority of diversification benefits can be achieved with just 4 stocks (hence, 3-4 mutual funds are even more effective)

From a real-world perspective, getting lost in this gobbly-gook is failing at the 80/20 rule. You can accomplish 80% (or likely more) of the total benefit, by blindly maxing out your 401K in low cost index funds and not spending like a jackass. For those looking to truly optimize, traditional portfolio optimization can be one more thing to learn and incorporate for incremental benefits. However, I consider my time as part of my portfolio, which is why I can't speak to more than my undergraduate coursework summarized in the prior paragraph.

starlight

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 01:23:41 PM »
I'm no expert on investing, but have been reading and thinking about the best asset allocation for a few years now, investing with Vanguard index funds and a 401K.  I know that past performance doesn't necessarily predict future results, but  I have come across a past performance calculator and it seems that smart diversification may make a big difference.  Smaller slices of small cap value, for instance could really improve performance for example, but add more volatility. 

I like what Paul Merriman has to say about the optimal mix of stocks and bonds.  He recommends low cost Vanguard index funds, from several different asset classes and seems to be reasonable, yet may not be possible for many of us working with limited 401K options.

I also found this past performance calculator: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-asset-class-allocation#analysisResults  His is the Ultimate Buy and Hold example.

So, it may be worthwhile to do some research there.  I would also be interested in what others think about Paul Merriman's approach (he writes a lot of articles on Marketwatch), and the merits of looking at past performance of the market to help plan for the future.  It appears that one or two or three index fund may be easy to put together, but may not be the best one can do to maximize performance while minimizing risk. 


forummm

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2015, 02:09:41 PM »
Tjat,

Thank you for the post.  I don't doubt the article's numbers of validity.  I am a bit skeptical of what he chose to use in the portfolio and why.  He is using the S&P and I would use the total market...not a big deal.  The other holdings are an intermediate bond fund and small international companies.  In the world of indexers this is a bit speculative.  Why not the entire international market?  Why just intermediate bonds and not the entire bond market?  I ran a back test portfolio with Vanguard funds - VTSAX 1/3, VTIAX 1/3, and VBTLX 1/3 from 2011 to 2015.  I wanted to go back further to test this but the international funds were created in 2011.  I would need to look up the oldest index of this type to make an longer timeline back test report. This divided portfolio was tested against VTSAX 100%.  The CAGR number show 7.85% vs 14.70%.  Admittedly the variance is higher as expected.

A 4 year backtest is almost meaningless. Even a 40 year backtest should be viewed with scrutiny.

In the past, over long periods of time, having both the US and international markets in your portfolio reduced portfolio volatility without sacrificing returns. Adding bonds reduces portfolio volatility but decreases returns somewhat.

efferyj

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2015, 02:27:33 PM »
Thanks for the post. I agree the short time frame doesn't mean much.  I was limited by the duration the funds have existed.  My main point was to show that you are giving up a significant amount of return for the variance.  The four year difference is a exaggeration of what the difference would be on a longer time frame. 

I know you wanted to be in domestic and international funds.  As mentioned in the first post the domestic companies get half of their revenues and profits from outside the US.  I feel like putting much in international would weight your portfolio heavily away from the US.  The half coming from the US companies already seems like a considerable amount.

forummm

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2015, 03:38:41 PM »
Thanks for the post. I agree the short time frame doesn't mean much.  I was limited by the duration the funds have existed.  My main point was to show that you are giving up a significant amount of return for the variance.  The four year difference is a exaggeration of what the difference would be on a longer time frame. 

I know you wanted to be in domestic and international funds.  As mentioned in the first post the domestic companies get half of their revenues and profits from outside the US.  I feel like putting much in international would weight your portfolio heavily away from the US.  The half coming from the US companies already seems like a considerable amount.

http://www.vanguard.com/pdf/ISGGEB.pdf

Adding intl decreases volatility, but in the long run will have a negligible effect on returns. The last 5 years just happen to be a period where international stocks lagged US stocks. It's been the opposite in prior years on occasion. That's why the extra diversification reduces volatility.

innerscorecard

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2015, 08:59:47 PM »
There is no such thing as 100% optimal in investing. The sooner you realize that the better off you will be.

martin

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2015, 10:59:05 PM »
domestic companies get half of their revenues and profits from outside the US.
But is that really relevant?
Stocks invest in companies not  economies. Buying US indexes you are buying GM, international funds mean you are buying Toyota and VW. Even if they are all competing in the same international markets - one is GM........
 

steveo

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2015, 02:18:50 AM »
I like this approach but I don't think its optimal. I think the optimal approach will take into account some diversification into other asset classes to decrease the volatility of your portfolio especially as you get close to drawing down on your savings.

At the same time I don't believe that there is a one size fits all optimal approach for everyone and you need to figure this out for yourself however at the very least I think you need some form of long term emergency fund as a buffer to drawing down when the stock market is falling or has crashed.

efferyj

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2015, 07:31:19 AM »
Thanks everyone for their responses.  I'm not worried about the downturns as much due to my timeline of roughly 35 years until retirement.  I do keep an ample emergency fund to help endure the unexpected costs of life and home ownership.  As I get closer to retirement I definitely will work on limiting volatility. I will likely also keep a significant amount in my bank account to handle everyday costs and stop from being forced to take money out if/when a major correction occurs. 

I'm still not sold on international stocks.  Over the tech bubble and the great recession they provided no help.  If you pull up a chart over those times and compare them to the US market the international stocks declined by an even larger amount that the US.  The international stocks were slightly saved by the fact they were having a nice run up before they fell.  Also, I think you take on considerable additional risks with currency and political issues that will affect your returns regardless of the quality of the companies you invest in. 

I appreciate your insight.  Thanks again!


efferyj

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2015, 07:43:10 AM »
domestic companies get half of their revenues and profits from outside the US.
But is that really relevant?
Stocks invest in companies not  economies. Buying US indexes you are buying GM, international funds mean you are buying Toyota and VW. Even if they are all competing in the same international markets - one is GM........

I believe it is relevant.  The companies are just an entity that is valued based on the present value of the estimated future earnings, some book value, etc.  The companies rise and fall based on their ability to make money. If a US company and a international company are operating in the same country they are both being affected by the same economic factors of the region.  They have similar exposure to the market.   There are definitely great companies internationally that will out perform their US counterparts.  I appreciate your comments.  Thanks!

Kaspian

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2015, 12:50:53 PM »
No. Just plain no.  This thread has 'no' written all over it.  Another "I'm doing a one-asset strategy, I've made up my mind, I'll do it no matter what any of you say, but try and convince me anyway," post?   How many of these are there on here now for the love of Pete?  Know what else was a great one-asset strategy?  Housing in 2007. 

I'm not worried about the downturns as much due to my timeline of roughly 35 years until retirement. 

Downturn's not what you should be worried about.  Ever seen a horror movie where the person looks in a mirror and their own reflection is grimacing holding a bleeding knife?  THAT is the thing to worry about.  You, not the downturn. 

Please see the attached PDF, "Why Diversify?  Because Winners Rotate"  Though I know you will likely discard the data immediately.  ...Half my age but twice as worldly.


Pooperman

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2015, 04:14:41 PM »
Sorta what kaspian said. There have been times where housing was good, or bonds, or stocks, or cash, or gold, or whatever. Having a portfolio that can withstand, and even thrive in a multitude of economic scenarios is essential. equities since 'the death of equities' has done remarkably well, but you have to remember that they also did so poorly that such a headline was printed! Theory suggests we are in for another string of such returns. Being diversified can save you from yourself and shitty market conditions.

Indexer

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2015, 06:25:53 PM »
Sure do it... if you can give me 1 reason why it is better than...

60% VTSAX / 40% VTIAX.

You should never be 100% domestic stocks.  For one if you look at a graph of domestic VS international returns over time you will notice which one outperforms tends to switch in 3-7 year cycles.  Domestic outperforms for a few years, then international, then domestic, then there will be no clear winner for a few years, then international.....

When you combine them in a 70/30 or 60/40 split you bring down volatility without reducing long term returns.

If you are 100% stocks then a 70/30 - 60/40 VTSAX/VTIAX split would IMO be the optimal portfolio.  It is also MY stock portfolio.



The chart measures volatility.  Lower is better.  The lowest volatility is between 30-40% of the portfolio being international.

efferyj

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2015, 10:29:10 AM »
No. Just plain no.  This thread has 'no' written all over it.  Another "I'm doing a one-asset strategy, I've made up my mind, I'll do it no matter what any of you say, but try and convince me anyway," post?   How many of these are there on here now for the love of Pete?  Know what else was a great one-asset strategy?  Housing in 2007. 

I'm not worried about the downturns as much due to my timeline of roughly 35 years until retirement. 

Downturn's not what you should be worried about.  Ever seen a horror movie where the person looks in a mirror and their own reflection is grimacing holding a bleeding knife?  THAT is the thing to worry about.  You, not the downturn. 

Please see the attached PDF, "Why Diversify?  Because Winners Rotate"  Though I know you will likely discard the data immediately.  ...Half my age but twice as worldly.

I appreciate your opinion.  I wanted to come to this forum to get an honest second and third look at what my research was telling me.  I do feel confident in the options I originally posted, otherwise I wouldnít waste everyoneís time regurgitating something I heard on a podcast or read in money magazine.   I get how you could assume that posters will do their strategy no matter what.  Iím not interested in spending my time asking for insight to not consider what people have to say.  Maybe you see my comments back to someone as just blowing off their insight but I truly do want to hear what they have to say and if they feel my comments back are incorrect I would love to hear why.   

The chart is interesting and does a great job showing the ups and downs each individual year.  I am going to post a portfolio back test that should do a good job aggregating most of the sectors shown in the chart.  The allocations will be somewhat arbitrary since it isnít a comparison of a 100% portfolio of each of the classes in the chart.  I didnít find a back test program to do 14 individual portfolios.  Also, the chart only goes back to 1997 since that is when the investor class international fund was created that year. 

I do appreciate your concern form me and my financial well being.  I think there are some points we wonít agree on and that is fine with me and Iím sure you.  In the end I doubt that the differences we have a substantial difference over the very long term.  As long as we both aggressively save we will both win. 

efferyj

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2015, 10:54:36 AM »
Sure do it... if you can give me 1 reason why it is better than...

60% VTSAX / 40% VTIAX.

You should never be 100% domestic stocks.  For one if you look at a graph of domestic VS international returns over time you will notice which one outperforms tends to switch in 3-7 year cycles.  Domestic outperforms for a few years, then international, then domestic, then there will be no clear winner for a few years, then international.....

When you combine them in a 70/30 or 60/40 split you bring down volatility without reducing long term returns.

If you are 100% stocks then a 70/30 - 60/40 VTSAX/VTIAX split would IMO be the optimal portfolio.  It is also MY stock portfolio.



The chart measures volatility.  Lower is better.  The lowest volatility is between 30-40% of the portfolio being international.

Thank you for the thoughtful post.  I think you have a solid plan if you do go with the 60/40 allocation.  I was able to run a portfolio back test from 1997 to today.  1997 was used since the newest fund was created then.  Please note I had to use the investor shares not the admiral shares in order to avoid only doing a back test starting in 2011.  I also put in some bonds in a third portfolio for fun.  They gave me three portfolios to compare so why not?

I very well could be missing something, let me know, but the return of the total stock market is roughly 1% higher than the 60/40 mix and the standard deviation is slightly lower.   The account with 20% bonds did pretty well also.  Obviously, looking back and for only 18 years is only a tool that doesnít predict the next 18 year and beyond.  Another factor is the creation of the Euro/Eurozone and its recent difficulties that have caused some pretty large and abnormal swings.   Just looking at the chart alone, it is crazy how much correlation there is.

Kaspian

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2015, 11:33:54 AM »
Sadly, I've never seen a numeric chart which accurately portrays the human condition vis-ŗ-vis finance.  I'd love to see something which maps timelines of those investors who bail on their strategy, change course, sell everything at the bottom (due to panic or recession unemployment), switch to buying gold/real estate, or just plain stop putting new money into investments.  I agree with all the numbers as far as appreciation and volatility go, but for smaller investors (like us), I'm sure if you stood back it's a completely different picture as to what actually happens to most investments over the long-run.  Your numbers are true and I could see somebody retiring having annualized something great like 11+% but if I found out that only 1 in 15 was able to follow a given investment strategy through to its conclusion, it's certainly not something I'd sign up for.  I put all my eggs in one basket when I was 23.  A fund called Amerigrowth or something (purely high profile US companies.)  I thought I was being smart.  Then the Nasdaq-dot-com-bubble-burst thing happened in 2000.  I learned in that saying it's not the basket you have to worry about--it's the person carrying it. 

brainfart

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2015, 11:35:22 AM »
Over here we call that "home bias", and it's certainly not recommended.

rmendpara

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2015, 02:38:21 PM »

 As mentioned I am not concerned with the ups and downs of the market.  I feel like I have at least 30 years to invest and a downturn stinks but I am concerned about my total investment decades down the road.  Side note, I don't plan on early retirement, but if you do this fund is excellent for taxable accounts due to low turnover.   What do you think?  Is this a crazy, too simple to be true, portfolio?

This has been answered correctly by many already, but I'll try to offer a different perspective.

First, we have to agree on a foundation belief that a rational investor is seeking the highest risk adjusted return, not the highest return. What this means is that a rational investor should be willing to trade a certain amount of return in exchange for a certain amount of risk, and vice versa... and this goes in both directions for more/less return and more/less risk.

Quote
I got rid of the idea of international funds due to the fact that roughly 50% of the revenue and 50% of the profits of the companies in the S&P 500 come from outside the US.

This is a common misconception. Remember, as a rational investor, you seek the highest risk adjusted return. Simply obtaining sales from a certain geography doesn't make a difference. Let's make a fake example. Say you have two companies in the entire world. Ford makes and sells cars in the USA, and is a "US equity". Toyota also makes and sells cars in the USA, but is an "Intl equity". Both companies operate in the exact same place and make the exact same profits and sell the exact same stuff. Again, a theoretical example. The difference is that Toyota is based outside of the US, so the value of that equity will vary in the short term compared to Ford, but in the long term, they should be around the same. The advantage of splitting your portfolio in this example 50/50 Ford/Toyota, is that over the long term, your expected total return is the exact same. Let's call it 10%. By adding Toyota to the portfolio, it is likely that the gain/loss (unrealized) in the short term throughout the many years will swing back and forth... you earn the same total return over a long period of time, but with lower volatility (our proxy for portfolio risk).

Again, in order to conclude that you are better off owning the Intl equity (Toyota) in addition to US equity (Ford), you have to shift your perspective from "maximum return" to "highest risk adjusted return". So, if someone offers you a portfolio with the same long term return, but with lower volatility, a rational investor should choose the mixed portfolio.

Hope that helps.

Indexer

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2015, 04:35:40 PM »

Thank you for the thoughtful post.  I think you have a solid plan if you do go with the 60/40 allocation.  I was able to run a portfolio back test from 1997 to today.  1997 was used since the newest fund was created then.  Please note I had to use the investor shares not the admiral shares in order to avoid only doing a back test starting in 2011.  I also put in some bonds in a third portfolio for fun.  They gave me three portfolios to compare so why not?

I very well could be missing something, let me know, but the return of the total stock market is roughly 1% higher than the 60/40 mix and the standard deviation is slightly lower.   The account with 20% bonds did pretty well also.  Obviously, looking back and for only 18 years is only a tool that doesnít predict the next 18 year and beyond.  Another factor is the creation of the Euro/Eurozone and its recent difficulties that have caused some pretty large and abnormal swings.   Just looking at the chart alone, it is crazy how much correlation there is.

19 years is a short time frame.  You picked a starting year where domestic vastly outperformed international.  If you start in 1998 the average annual returns of portfolio 1 & 2 are almost identical.   8.18% VS 8.38%.  Domestic can outperform for years, and so can international.   


Picking different years yields this...



efferyj

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Re: One fund portfolio - Optimal?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2015, 07:59:37 AM »
Sadly, I've never seen a numeric chart which accurately portrays the human condition vis-ŗ-vis finance.  I'd love to see something which maps timelines of those investors who bail on their strategy, change course, sell everything at the bottom (due to panic or recession unemployment), switch to buying gold/real estate, or just plain stop putting new money into investments.  I agree with all the numbers as far as appreciation and volatility go, but for smaller investors (like us), I'm sure if you stood back it's a completely different picture as to what actually happens to most investments over the long-run.  Your numbers are true and I could see somebody retiring having annualized something great like 11+% but if I found out that only 1 in 15 was able to follow a given investment strategy through to its conclusion, it's certainly not something I'd sign up for.  I put all my eggs in one basket when I was 23.  A fund called Amerigrowth or something (purely high profile US companies.)  I thought I was being smart.  Then the Nasdaq-dot-com-bubble-burst thing happened in 2000.  I learned in that saying it's not the basket you have to worry about--it's the person carrying it.

Thanks for the personal story!  It really helps.