Author Topic: Need easier way to examine asset allocation  (Read 13441 times)

Zette

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Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« on: November 17, 2013, 08:04:58 AM »
Currently, DH and I are 43, and have been following the standard advice -- have a 6 month emergency fund, no debt outside of a mortgage, max your 401k, contribute to ROTH, etc.  We're both engineers, although I've been a SAHM to our three kids for 6 of the last 8 years.  I'm just starting to look at the possibility of FIRE.

We currently have $1.2M in investments, with 9 accounts (his and her IRA, ROTH, SEP, 401k, stock options, 529, and taxable) spread across 3 brokerages (Edward Jones, Etrade, and Fidelity 401k).  We have 13 different mutual funds, many of which are present in multiple accounts, and a large amount sitting in cash.

To date I've been a set and forget kind of investor -- I would follow the advice of the Edward Jones broker on which funds to invest in (mainly American Funds) whenever I had a large sum (profit from a home sale, 401k rollover, or SEP contribution).  I have often gone years without even re-balancing the asset allocation.

DH claims he is not a market timer (we have arguments about the definition), but moved all the money in his accounts into cash a couple of years ago, and is waiting for a correction to get back in the market.  He tends to choose actively traded mutual funds in things like emerging Asian markets. 

I want to become a smarter investor, and part of this process is to understand what we currently have.  I tried Morningstar's Instant X-Ray, but the result said we only have 5% in cash, when I know the reality is more like 33%.  I looked at Personal Capital, but am not willing to give them the passwords to all our accounts!  Ditto with Mint.  Creating my own spreadsheet is proving to be very time-consuming, and is not automatically update-able.  Last time I looked at Quicken it was oriented toward tracking stock trades -- is it still bloat-ware?

I think I want to ultimately move us toward Vanguard index funds, with an allocation of something like 40% domestic stock, 30% foreign stock, 30% bonds.

Any suggestions on an easier way to examine our asset allocation and track our investments?




rubybeth

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 08:09:35 AM »
I looked at Personal Capital, but am not willing to give them the passwords to all our accounts!  Ditto with Mint. 

I think you need to get over it when it comes to Personal Capital and Mint. You enter your passwords, but it's not possible to move any money with these sites. I've used Mint since the early days and it's extremely secure, never had any issues. I've been using Personal Capital since MMM talked it up in a blog post, and it's very similar to Mint, but might be more what you're looking for. Do more research on how these sites work, get comfortable with the idea, and then dive in. It gives you a view of your finances day-to-day, with up to the minute totals, and no spreadsheet can do that with the kind of ease and elegance that these sites can.

amha

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 10:48:30 AM »
You should check out FutureAdvisor (http://www.futureadvisor.com)---they automatically calculate your asset allocation across all your accounts (and recommend an optimal allocation using index funds and ETFs). It requires you typing in your password to your brokerages, like Mint and PersonalCapital---but, like the above poster says, it's not something to worry about. They can't move money---they can only see what's in your account. (All of these sites use Yodlee (http://www.yodlee.com/) as the way they access banks.)

Also, if you really are completely paranoid, you CAN enter everything manually in FutureAdvisor. It's a bit more typing, but it works.

MilStachian

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 11:13:05 AM »
Zette,
I hear you about not wanting to hand over passwords.  I was the same way, but after I looked at it from a different perspective I relaxed a bit.

First, Mint and PC both exist entirely to manage your financial life online.  They have an incredible interest in ensuring your login information stays protected.  Does that guarantee that there will never be any issues?  No.  But it does mean they are investing serious capital into protecting login information.

Second, I think it's much more likely someone will get access to your logins through sloppiness on your part.  Reusing passwords and login names for different sites, simple passwords, poor browsing habits, using public computers/WIFI to access different accounts.

To get over this, I use a password generator to create incredibly complex passwords that I change often for my most important accounts.  An example; my Personal Capital password is in excess of 32 characters long, with many symbols, numbers, upper and lower case letters, and no words.  It's a hassle, but to me it's due diligence.

As Rubybeth said, PC and Mint are both great.  I use PC religiously.  If you can "get OK" with your reservations, I think one of those sites will be your best bet.

(As a nerdy aside, if you do decide to go with a spreadsheet or desktop application, how do you intend on securing it?  I would recommend encrypting the file with something like open source True Crypt.)

kyleaaa

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 12:31:37 PM »
Morningstar's Instant X-Ray tool is among the best in the industry, they just don't really handle cash very well. Since you already know how much cash you hold, use Morningstar and add in the cash yourself. Problem solved.

beltim

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 12:41:41 PM »
I use quicken. As bloaty as it sometimes is, it's the best tool I've ever used for tracking both personal finance and investments. There are other tools that do one or the other, but quicken does both well. And you don't have to give quicken your login information - ever.

aj_yooper

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2013, 01:59:31 PM »
If you are able to pare down to one provider (say Fidelity-I use Vanguard), they summarize your tallies very easily. 

Have you read up on the Bogleheads' investing site and authors like Malkiel (Random Walk on Wall Street for Investors), Bernstein (Four Pillars of Investing), Ferri (Asset Allocation), and Tobias (The Only Investment Guide ...)?  I would also carefully evaluate whether you want to continue using Edward Jones as a financial adviser.  Since you are doing well and considering FIRE, you might want to think about I Bonds and build your EF to a year or more.  Some do 2 years as protection in a bear market.

I would also recommend doing a spread sheet indicating your Investment Policy statement for you and your spouse's holdings. 

Depending on your living expense level, you could be close to financial independence already so you can really benefit by greater financial expertise. 

I'm like you and will not give up my passwords to a financial tracking site like Mint, etc. 
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 06:35:25 AM by aj_yooper »

alanwbaker

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2013, 11:54:50 PM »
Hi Zette,

Kudos for embarking on this path. 

Asset allocation is important, but working it down to the last percent is not.  Morningstar is close enough.

I'll just second everything aj_yooper said.  Dial your browser over to the Bogleheads site and you'll find lots of helpful info that supports the direction you've chosen.

Zette

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2013, 07:33:44 AM »
It finally dawned on me that the Etrade account is fairly safe because it has one of those electronic keys where the number changes every 60 seconds, so even if someone hacked PC and got the password they could not get into the account without stealing my purse.   The EdwardJones account can only transfer money electronically to the Etrade account.  So I'm going to get over it (but also check out FutureAdvisor).

Quote
Have you read up on the Bogleheads' investing site and authors like Malkiel (Random Walk on Wall Street for Investors), Bernstein (Four Pillars of Investing), Ferri (Asset Allocation), and Tobias (The Only Investment Guide ...)?

Yes, I have read all of these plus John Bogle's Common Sense on Investing and extensively on the Bogleheads site.  It's a case of paralysis by analysis.  I sailed through Calculus, Diff EQ, and Engineering Math, but trying to pick out which financial numbers to pay attention to on a mutual fund statement or Morningstar report makes my eyes glaze over.  There are a gazillion funds out there, and even when I narrow it down to a single fund family I have trouble determining why I should pick one fund over another.

This makes me think I should probably be an index investor, but DH is not on board.  He's encouraging me to go do research on emerging South American markets and pick some good funds...



the fixer

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 10:22:20 AM »
I sailed through Calculus, Diff EQ, and Engineering Math, but trying to pick out which financial numbers to pay attention to on a mutual fund statement or Morningstar report makes my eyes glaze over.  There are a gazillion funds out there, and even when I narrow it down to a single fund family I have trouble determining why I should pick one fund over another.
That's easy: asset class, diversification, and expense ratio.

What type of asset is the fund invested in? E.g. for stocks, small vs large vs mid vs blend, growth vs value stocks, country. A fund like the Growth Fund of America (RGABX) is a large cap US stock mutual fund with a mix of growth and value stocks. For bond funds, pay attention to average duration and credit quality. Some actively managed funds will move assets around and try to time the market; avoid these, they don't know what's coming any better than you do, and it makes what you're trying to do (understand your portfolio) an order of magnitude more difficult. Some funds have a mixed allocation between multiple types of asset classes, but stick to set targets like 65/35 stocks/bonds. These can work well as most or all of a portfolio if you're generally happy with the fund's allocation, and they offer a bonus of making rebalancing easier. The tradeoff is they're harder to customize.

How diversified are the investments in the fund within the asset class? The more diversified, the better. Most funds other than hedge funds are a fine choice here.

What's the fund's expense ratio? The lower the better. Look for 12b-1 fees, these are marketing and advertising costs the fund incurs. This is an outright waste of your money. Good mutual funds don't need to advertise (like MMM's "Position of Strength" concept). Also look for loads, and commissions you might pay to buy the fund within the accounts you have. If you would have to pay a commission but really want the fund, look for a commission-free way to buy it (i.e. set up a new account with a provider that lets you buy it commission-free).

If you're still having trouble picking funds, it's probably because you don't have a good plan for what you want to invest in, so everything sounds good to you. It's like trying to buy a computer without knowing what you're going to use it for. So if you're confused, stop looking at mutual funds entirely and get a bit introspective.

For instance, (and this is all hypothetical and not what I use or recommend) start with formulating a plan like "I want a portfolio of 70% stocks and 30% bonds." Refine it a bit: "I want to be diversified internationally, so I want 30% of my stock holdings (approx 20% of total portfolio) to be in non-US stocks." Refine more: "I want to hold an even, market-weighted distribution of US stocks across all cap ranges, but overweight small cap by an extra 10% because I think those stocks will outperform over the long term." Keep refining the plan by adding growth vs value, REITs, TIPS, I bonds, whatever you want until it's as complex as you want to manage. It doesn't have to be perfect; you could easily just stop with "I want X% stocks and Y% bonds."

The sample plan I outlined above says I would need to find separate mutual funds for the broad, total US stock market; US small cap; broad, diversified non-US stocks; and bonds. Now I start shopping for mutual funds at the lowest cost that meet my requirements. These four funds held in the right percentages would be close to ideal: VTSAX, VSIAX, VTIAX, VBMFX.

If I simplify the requirements to just stocks and bonds, then I only need to find two, very simple, very diversified funds (perhaps VTSAX and VBMFX). Or maybe I could use a single target date or other mixed fund that matches my stock/bond allocation.

By the way, this is also how you fight your husband's market timing. If he had a plan like the above, he'd have to explain why this plan he came up with that was supposed to be a long-term, multi-decade strategy, was no longer valid and needed to be scrapped.

RootofGood

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 10:49:36 AM »
We currently have $1.2M in investments, with 9 accounts (his and her IRA, ROTH, SEP, 401k, stock options, 529, and taxable) spread across 3 brokerages (Edward Jones, Etrade, and Fidelity 401k).  We have 13 different mutual funds, many of which are present in multiple accounts, and a large amount sitting in cash.


Any suggestions on an easier way to examine our asset allocation and track our investments?

Hi from another fellow engineer! 

I'm a very passive investor and basically just let the funds sit there for a loooong time, so I think my advice might be relevant to you.

It sounds like your needs are two fold:

1. You need to develop an asset allocation
2. You need to develop a way to cross check your current holdings against your target asset allocation

I started reading your thread and Personal Capital was going to be my first suggestion to consolidate all accounts to 1 place.  Then you can copy/paste from one screen into a spreadsheet and let the spreadsheet do the actual analysis for you.  Not sure how to get around handing over passwords...   Once you get everything into personal capital, it is incredibly simple to copy/paste.  I have just under 30 separate accounts at probably 10 different custodians between all the IRAs, new and old 401ks, HSA, 529s, taxable brokerage accounts, and 457 plan.  It used to take me a long time to log into all the accounts, then copy/paste or download into my analysis spreadsheet.  Now it's one log in to Personal Capital, then copy/paste to my spreadsheet. 

As for developing an asset allocation, I'm no expert on it.  You can satisfy your husband's need to dabble in emerging Asian markets mutual funds by putting a 5% allocation for Emerging Markets into your asset allocation.  I don't think actively managed is worth the expense, but hey, it's only 5% and if it keeps your husband entertained and away from the other 95%, you'll be a winner.  Here's a look at my asset allocation and some explanation of why I view diversification as valuable:  http://rootofgood.com/diversification-and-asset-allocation/ 

I'm working on a write up of how I use Personal Capital and my own custom "portfolio analysis" spreadsheet to see where I'm overweight and underweight on each asset class, and how I decide where to invest new money.  I'll share that when I finish it up, since it might give you an idea to start building your own investment management strategy. 

And Edward Jones?  Ouch!  They can be expensive.  I love me some Vanguard and Fidelity and low low cost index funds. 




dadof4

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 04:57:36 PM »
DH claims he is not a market timer (we have arguments about the definition), but moved all the money in his accounts into cash a couple of years ago, and is waiting for a correction to get back in the market.  He tends to choose actively traded mutual funds in things like emerging Asian markets. 
By purpose or not, your DH is a market timer. And if he still doesn't believe it, you can point him here and show that some anonymous person on the internet told him so.
If that isn't very persuasive, take practically any Vanguard index fund, and track where it was a couple of years ago. You'll notice it has gone up by 40-50%. A third of your money, or around $400k, could have made you another $200k. Ouch!
The sad part is that after seeing the markets go up, your spouse may be even MORE convinced that he should wait on the sideline. Marriage is more important than finances, and us men don't like being told we're wrong about "important" stuff, so tread carefully :)

From a financial standpoint though, this is your biggest opportunity for growth, especially when compared to rebalancing things you have already invested.

RootofGood

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2013, 01:33:57 PM »
DH claims he is not a market timer (we have arguments about the definition), but moved all the money in his accounts into cash a couple of years ago, and is waiting for a correction to get back in the market.  He tends to choose actively traded mutual funds in things like emerging Asian markets. 
By purpose or not, your DH is a market timer. And if he still doesn't believe it, you can point him here and show that some anonymous person on the internet told him so.
If that isn't very persuasive, take practically any Vanguard index fund, and track where it was a couple of years ago. You'll notice it has gone up by 40-50%. A third of your money, or around $400k, could have made you another $200k. Ouch!
The sad part is that after seeing the markets go up, your spouse may be even MORE convinced that he should wait on the sideline. Marriage is more important than finances, and us men don't like being told we're wrong about "important" stuff, so tread carefully :)

From a financial standpoint though, this is your biggest opportunity for growth, especially when compared to rebalancing things you have already invested.

Yeah, I didn't want to bring that up.  Salt.  Wounds.  Rubbing.  $200k.  Ouch.  The cost of tuition in the school of investing. 

the fixer

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2013, 01:49:14 PM »
RootofGood is correct, past mistakes are not important in finance. The only things important about money are where it is and where it's going, not where it came from or where money you no longer have went.

aj_yooper

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2013, 03:42:57 PM »
It finally dawned on me that the Etrade account is fairly safe because it has one of those electronic keys where the number changes every 60 seconds, so even if someone hacked PC and got the password they could not get into the account without stealing my purse.   The EdwardJones account can only transfer money electronically to the Etrade account.  So I'm going to get over it (but also check out FutureAdvisor).

Quote
Have you read up on the Bogleheads' investing site and authors like Malkiel (Random Walk on Wall Street for Investors), Bernstein (Four Pillars of Investing), Ferri (Asset Allocation), and Tobias (The Only Investment Guide ...)?

Yes, I have read all of these plus John Bogle's Common Sense on Investing and extensively on the Bogleheads site.  It's a case of paralysis by analysis.  I sailed through Calculus, Diff EQ, and Engineering Math, but trying to pick out which financial numbers to pay attention to on a mutual fund statement or Morningstar report makes my eyes glaze over.  There are a gazillion funds out there, and even when I narrow it down to a single fund family I have trouble determining why I should pick one fund over another.

This makes me think I should probably be an index investor, but DH is not on board.  He's encouraging me to go do research on emerging South American markets and pick some good funds...

If you have read at Bogleheads, you know you need an Investment Policy statement-stock%/bond% and goals for your money.  This is crucial.  Investing triggers emotional reactions and they will distract and cause you to make less money, or worse, lose money.  You and DH need a plan.  This is your homework.  Remember, you could be close to financial independence. 

It is very important to approach your IP with a clear head and clear goals.  Write up your plan.


bUU

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2013, 10:04:12 AM »
I use quicken. As bloaty as it sometimes is, it's the best tool I've ever used for tracking both personal finance and investments. There are other tools that do one or the other, but quicken does both well. And you don't have to give quicken your login information - ever.
Ditto. Quicken is a frequent whipping boy but the reality is that it is the absolute best at doing what it does. Every other approach requires substantially more manual work on your part (including having to pilot the murky paths of open source software), or is deficient in some way.

I boot up Quicken. I click Investing / Asset Allocation, and voila, in less than ten seconds I get:


fmzip

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2013, 06:03:12 PM »
I am new here, can someone key me in on the acronym "DH"

Is it devine husband? Designated hitter?

Cyrano

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2013, 07:04:09 PM »
I use my own spreadsheet, and having to update it by hand isn't a big deal. I only rebalance twice each year.

If you're rebalancing funds you won't need for decades more often than monthly, you've crossed from personal finance into personal entertainment.

Zette

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2013, 08:30:12 PM »
I use quicken. As bloaty as it sometimes is, it's the best tool I've ever used for tracking both personal finance and investments. There are other tools that do one or the other, but quicken does both well. And you don't have to give quicken your login information - ever.
Ditto. Quicken is a frequent whipping boy but the reality is that it is the absolute best at doing what it does. Every other approach requires substantially more manual work on your part (including having to pilot the murky paths of open source software), or is deficient in some way.

I boot up Quicken. I click Investing / Asset Allocation, and voila, in less than ten seconds I get:

Are you invested in mutual funds or just individual stocks?  The last time I bought Quicken (probably 10 years ago) it couldn't look up the holdings of my mutual funds and expected ME to look up the values and enter them, or else just counted the entire fund as stock.  Has this improved substantially?

beltim

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2013, 09:32:32 PM »
I use quicken. As bloaty as it sometimes is, it's the best tool I've ever used for tracking both personal finance and investments. There are other tools that do one or the other, but quicken does both well. And you don't have to give quicken your login information - ever.
Ditto. Quicken is a frequent whipping boy but the reality is that it is the absolute best at doing what it does. Every other approach requires substantially more manual work on your part (including having to pilot the murky paths of open source software), or is deficient in some way.

I boot up Quicken. I click Investing / Asset Allocation, and voila, in less than ten seconds I get:

Are you invested in mutual funds or just individual stocks?  The last time I bought Quicken (probably 10 years ago) it couldn't look up the holdings of my mutual funds and expected ME to look up the values and enter them, or else just counted the entire fund as stock.  Has this improved substantially?

I have both. Quicken handles both fine.  I'm not sure about individual bonds, though. 

bUU

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2013, 04:03:44 AM »
I use quicken. As bloaty as it sometimes is, it's the best tool I've ever used for tracking both personal finance and investments. There are other tools that do one or the other, but quicken does both well. And you don't have to give quicken your login information - ever.
Ditto. Quicken is a frequent whipping boy but the reality is that it is the absolute best at doing what it does. Every other approach requires substantially more manual work on your part (including having to pilot the murky paths of open source software), or is deficient in some way.

I boot up Quicken. I click Investing / Asset Allocation, and voila, in less than ten seconds I get:

Are you invested in mutual funds or just individual stocks?  The last time I bought Quicken (probably 10 years ago) it couldn't look up the holdings of my mutual funds and expected ME to look up the values and enter them, or else just counted the entire fund as stock.  Has this improved substantially?
I've been using Quicken since 1996 I think. I really don't remember how it was at the start, but I know that at least since 1999 its been tracking stocks and mutual funds without me having to enter any NAVs. Now: Whether your bank or brokerage complied with the standards for personal electronic communication with Quicken, that's another matter. Even today the cheap-o 401k custodian Ascensus refuses to spend the money necessary to make tracking 401ks with them easier for their customers. Cheap-o ESPP custodian Computershare is the same. But Fidelity, Vanguard, and all our banks are all automatic now.

RootofGood

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2013, 09:23:41 AM »
I've been using Quicken since 1996 I think. I really don't remember how it was at the start, but I know that at least since 1999 its been tracking stocks and mutual funds without me having to enter any NAVs. Now: Whether your bank or brokerage complied with the standards for personal electronic communication with Quicken, that's another matter. Even today the cheap-o 401k custodian Ascensus refuses to spend the money necessary to make tracking 401ks with them easier for their customers. Cheap-o ESPP custodian Computershare is the same. But Fidelity, Vanguard, and all our banks are all automatic now.

How hard is it to get started with Quicken today if you are starting from scratch? 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 11:55:37 AM by RootofGood »

Siamond

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2013, 11:02:02 AM »
I am new here, can someone key me in on the acronym "DH"

Is it devine husband? Designated hitter?

Dear Husband. Although your 2nd suggestion is really funny.

Well, DH is a die-hard (a DH DH?) market timer, that is for sure.

RootOfGood, maybe try to make him read proper wisdom? Like Bernstein's Four Pillars of Investing? Then ask him what he got out of it... This is filled with facts that no one can deny and leads to inescapable conclusions... Index Funds and Passive Investing all the way... He can dispute your opinion, w're all entitled to opinions, but I don't see how he'll be able to dispute Bernstein's factual analysis.

And as a side note, you can tell him afterwards that having a small chunk of your portfolio on Emerging Markets does seem like a good idea. Just not specific bets like South America, and not going in & out of it to one's whim. Stay the course...

bUU

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2013, 03:26:37 AM »
How hard is it to get started with Quicken today if you are starting from scratch?
It depends on how persnickety you are. I'm pretty persnickety. If I were starting from scratch today, I would dig out the records for the 37 stocks and mutual funds we currently hold, finding the purchase record for each of the lots (a number well into the hundreds, because of reinvesting of dividends), and enter each of those transactions. It might take a little work to enter some of those transactions, since at least one of those holdings came from a conversion of another holding. (I think it is only one holding now that I've had since before such a conversion, but prior to a cleanup I did in 2012, I had many holdings that were the results of 5-for-1 splits and other complex machinations.) Then I would enter the 12/31/2013 account balances for our bank accounts, and I would be rolling from there.

Figuring out the cost basis for the purchase transactions for a few dozen holdings sounds like a lot of work, but keep in mind that you'll probably have to do it someday, anyway, and once it is done you have record of it and it'll be tracked from there for you.

(I suppose you could simplify what I outlined above by adopting average cost, and just entering the calculated average cost, but personally I'd find that unsatisfying.)

RootofGood

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2013, 10:08:42 AM »
How hard is it to get started with Quicken today if you are starting from scratch?
It depends on how persnickety you are. I'm pretty persnickety. If I were starting from scratch today, I would dig out the records for the 37 stocks and mutual funds we currently hold, finding the purchase record for each of the lots (a number well into the hundreds, because of reinvesting of dividends), and enter each of those transactions. It might take a little work to enter some of those transactions, since at least one of those holdings came from a conversion of another holding. (I think it is only one holding now that I've had since before such a conversion, but prior to a cleanup I did in 2012, I had many holdings that were the results of 5-for-1 splits and other complex machinations.) Then I would enter the 12/31/2013 account balances for our bank accounts, and I would be rolling from there.

Figuring out the cost basis for the purchase transactions for a few dozen holdings sounds like a lot of work, but keep in mind that you'll probably have to do it someday, anyway, and once it is done you have record of it and it'll be tracked from there for you.

(I suppose you could simplify what I outlined above by adopting average cost, and just entering the calculated average cost, but personally I'd find that unsatisfying.)

Ok, thanks.  I do the annual cost basis tracking manually in a spreadsheet and it's just 1x a year and takes a few hours.  I have recently halted auto dividend reinvestments in taxable accounts, so that should reduce the administrative work of tracking tax lots. 


Zette

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2013, 09:38:42 AM »

[/quote]I've been using Quicken since 1996 I think. I really don't remember how it was at the start, but I know that at least since 1999 its been tracking stocks and mutual funds without me having to enter any NAVs. Now: Whether your bank or brokerage complied with the standards for personal electronic communication with Quicken, that's another matter. Even today the cheap-o 401k custodian Ascensus refuses to spend the money necessary to make tracking 401ks with them easier for their customers. Cheap-o ESPP custodian Computershare is the same. But Fidelity, Vanguard, and all our banks are all automatic now.
[/quote]

That was probably the problem -- Edward Jones has always been pretty behind the times electronically.

RootofGood

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Re: Need easier way to examine asset allocation
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2013, 11:31:13 AM »
Zette,

I put together a summary of how I do asset allocation tracking and rebalancing here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/investor-alley/using-asset-allocation-targets-and-rebalancing-to-manage-investments/

Hope it helps!