Author Topic: IPS newbie confusion  (Read 1524 times)


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
IPS newbie confusion
« on: March 27, 2017, 08:18:47 AM »
Hello fellow Mustachians and your wealth of knowledge.  I think I have an idea in my head of a good IPS for me to make strides towards FIRE in 10-11 years, but I'm trying to cut down on managing and tracking a bunch of funds.

I've read the 3 -fund portfolio and I like my fund choices, but how do you simplify tracking these things and maintaining your ratios when you have a Taxable account, HSA account, 401k account, Roth IRA and tIRA.  At the moment I'm lucky enough to have all those items managed through Vanguard except the HSA but it has vanguard funds available.

My current IPS plan has bonds, international, REITS and total US Market funds. 

But when my 401k and taxable will eventually out pace my IRAs and HSA how do I maintain the correct %s without a ton of book keeping?

Am I over thinking this?


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3870
Re: IPS newbie confusion
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 09:03:42 AM »
It sounds like for now, you would feel better using the same portfolio everywhere.  If you decide on 20% bonds, then your 401(k), HSA, and IRA each hold 20% bonds.  Any growth happens equally in all account types.

I like having a spreadsheet so I can see what's out of balance.  In Google Sheets, you can use
to insert the current price of Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF ("VTI") in that cell.  And then you can multiply by how many shares you hold to see your exact holding based on the most recent market price.  Add it all up, and divide by the value of each holding and you've got the percentage of that holding in your overall portfolio.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
Re: IPS newbie confusion
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 09:38:03 AM »
OMG that's amazing! I track purchases and dividends by hand in a massive mess of a google sheet that I have.  I think you just saved me a bunch of number crunching with that syntax.

That is a good thought on doing the purchase like that everywhere, I don't think those options exist inside my HSA but maybe I should just keep that separate from the rest of the IPS anyway. 


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
Re: IPS newbie confusion
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 10:02:40 AM »
I have a Google spreadsheet that tracks my investments spread across multiple accounts. I do not have the same percentages in each account, but the finance formulas make it pretty easy to manage the overall allocation. I have a master sheet where I enter the number of shares held in each fund, by account. Then other sheets reference that master sheet and divvy the funds up in other ways - i.e., by stock vs. bond, domestic vs. international, etc. All I ever have to do is every couple of weeks update the number of shares held for each fund.

Vanguard also has a section where you can manually enter the ticker symbol and # of shares held outside of Vanguard, and they will include them in your "Portfolio Watch" analysis. You have to manually update the # of shares over time; they don't pull anything in automatically like Mint or Personal Capital do. But that's about the same amount of effort as a spreadsheet.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 583
Re: IPS newbie confusion
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 09:49:03 AM »
Just an update to this I've settled on an asset allocation that I should be comfortable with in the long term.

I'm close to hitting my first $100,000 mark and that should make these percentages easier to calculate using that as my starting point.

The percentages below are what I want the fund names are things I already have money in. 

10% Bonds (utilizing VBLTX)
30% International (VTIAX)
40% Total Market  (no fucking clue)
20% REIT Index (I want to move to a tax-advantaged account currently all in Taxable, VGSLX)

By the end of 2017 my HSA will have around $16,000 in the investment account. There are several options, but the lowest expense ratio one that matches closest to my desired AA is VFINX.

Since I want 20% in a REIT I feel that moving it from my Taxable account to my Vanguard i401k is probably the best place, but I can't be in the admiral fund there. Is there an ETF that matches? or just say screw it and go with the investor fund?

So Just for my easy math:
10,000 Taxable move into VBLTX (might auto change to an admiral?)
30,000 into VTIAX
20,000 into VGSLX equivalent in 401k

So 16,000 of 40,000 will be in VFINX in HSA. The rest into VTSAX and call it a day?