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Top comments that mention products on r/portfolios:

u/xcrunna19 · 2 pointsr/portfolios

Just my 2 cents, but I would try to refinance that mortgage given today's rates. Almost six percent seems really high, you can get 3-4% depending on if it is a 10, 15, or 30 yr mortgage. The thing you would have to keep in mind is to get it lowers you would probably need the LTV to go to at least 80% maybe 75% to get the best rates (don't know the structure of what the marginal benefit is, don't work in loan mod/refinancing). So you would have to put an add'l 5-10% down which could be 4.5-9K down.

I also noticed that you didn't mention a roth/traditional ira. I would put the max (5K for 2011 and 5K for 2012) into these avenues. The roth / traditional ira debate is whether or not you believe that when you take out the contributions if you will be in a higher or lower tax bracket.

Also definitely take the employer match to the max. I do not know what you have to choose from in your 403(b), but definitely choose the route of indexing. Active funds have too much performance chasing involved and 2/3s of actively managed funds are beating by index funds each year. The ones that beat the index funds over a 10yr period shrinks even further

If higher then do the Roth IRA, if lower then do the traditional IRA. If you choose the traditional IRA make sure that you include it on your taxes. If you already filed your taxes file an amendment to your taxes to reap the benefits.

My personal choice for choosing an IRA is Vanguard, but it depends what you will be using the IRA for. If you do not wish to invest in Vanguard funds it might be better to shop around for a better IRA. I personally have an IRA with Vanguard and think they are a great co.

Make sure that when you open the IRA to take advantage of the tax advantaged space. Meaning the Bonds and Real Estate portion of your investment portfolio that you want to invest is in this location. REITs/Bonds are not great for tax advantaged space because you have to pay for the distributions.

When you say the 15% gtd do you mean like I-Bonds/savings EE bonds. These can be purchased through the website. They have the full faith and credit of the US gov't so they are as close as gtd as you are going to get in investing.

The 64% equities is a little vague. If you want to be simple you can simply invest in X% of your equity portion in vanguard total stock market index (VTSMX) and X% of your equity portion in vanguard total international market index (VGTSX). Misnamed helped me out when setting up my portfolio and is a very useful asset to this forum.

He led me on the path that since you are tilted currently towards the U.S. (ie your job, house, car, etc) you should not be so heavily concentrated on domestic stocks. An even 50% domestic, 50% int'l breakdown of equities will help to protect you from the downside of the U.S. markets.

Since Real estate acts more like a stock your overall allocation above would be more like 73% stock 27% fixed income imo (and that's giving you the benefit that the 15% gtd portion is fixed income, could be labelled as cash depending on how you invest it). Generally a decent rule of thumb is are you willing to lose 50% of your equity value in a year. If not you are too much invested in stocks. This is not a conservative/moderate conservative approach to be honest. I am currently 75/25 and consider my portfolio very aggressive.

A good book to read is The Boglehead's Guide to Investing if you want to learn more about asset allocation etc.

TL;DR Refinance mortgage, contribute to IRA, do employer match to the match with your 403(b), make sure to use tax advantaged space correctly, and possibly modify your allocation.

u/taylorbm · 2 pointsr/portfolios

Since this is a Roth IRA I'd drop the bond component all together. Since a Roth IRA is tax advantaged, I'd put only the highest appreciation securities into the account. From most to least desirable to hold in a Roth account: emerging markets, small/mid cap, large cap, reits, treasury bonds, corporate bonds, municipal bonds. This is the concept of asset location. Google it and read about it you haven't. It's easy to implement as you build a portfolio over time.

For a Roth IRA, since you won't have to pay taxes at withdrawl (30+ years from now) you want the money you put into that account to grow as much as possible. Bonds will dampen that growth. You said "I feel that growth ETF's are better suited to me as they have greater risk" so it sounds like you understand you have a very long time horizon. That being said, if you're afraid the volatility of that account could scare you into selling an equity, then keep the bond component.

I like sector specific ETFs in moderation. I think you can take advantage of sector downturns (for example XLE or VDE for Energy sector right now) if your time horizon is long enough and you aren't afraid of the short term. You want to be careful about overexposing yourself to a particular sector from your other holdings though. Be greedy when others are fearful.

Instead of Small or Mid cap Growth vs. Value I prefer broader ETFs of just Small caps and Mid caps without making a distinction between growth or value. VB or SCHA for small cap? VO or SCHM for mid cap? With companies as "small" as small and mid cap companies I think it can be hard to tell which companies are undervalued or positioned for growth. So why not get broad exposure to all of them?

For my tastes your international allocation is too heavy since you get a healthy exposure to international from MGK. If you want a little extra exposure to international (but not emerging markets) you can look at an ETF like IEFA.

And last, I'd totally avoid messing around with commodities. Historically they tend to perform worse than keeping your money in your mattress.

And a great book to read:

Hope that helps.

u/jerschneid · 3 pointsr/portfolios

Cool, well your learning attitude will serve you well!

As a bit more of an overview, the VT ETF contains 8,116 stocks. That means when you buy that, essentially every working stiff on the face of the planet from the janitors to the CEOs is working to make you rich. You collect value in terms of profits coming back to you in dividends as well as gain in value of the stocks.

You feel passionately about weed stocks, but what if oil has an amazing next five years. What about health care? What about autonomous driving cars? What about energy? What about technology? With VT you own all of it, including the up and coming ones you didn't even know about or predict.

And don't trade or try to time the market. Just buy and hold. Take a look at this portfolio growth calculator. VT will grow about 10%/year over time. Your gains can be massive if you can sock away a little more every month.

And read this book. It's $3 on kindle, $7 on paperback, 100 pages and it will make you a millionaire.

u/strolls · 1 pointr/portfolios

Ah! I know nothing about IRAs.

We have a couple of tax-advantaged savings / pension wrappers here in the UK, but my understanding is that generally you can buy the same things in your pension as you can outside.

It looks like Morningstar give Vanguard good reviews for their low expenses and low tracker error - that's what I'd expect from Vanguard, they're large and very highly respected.

Vanguard are a good company to buy from, but index funds are a commodity - you're buying more or less the same thing whoever you buy it from.

An S&P 500 index tracker is basically the same from all fund providers, and all of them will probably offer US All-cap funds at least mostly like VTSAX. What is more important is what role the fund fulfils in your portfolio - in terms of asset allocation and stuff.

I don't see what's split 90/10 between foreign and American.

It would make a lot of sense (I think it would normally make sense) for about 50% of your equities allocation to comprise US companies, as the US constitutes about 52% of world market cap.

I would guess the rest of your equities allocation would be International and Emerging Markets. Here in the UK Vanguard offer the FTSE All-World tracker and the FTSE Global All Cap tracker, allowing you to buy a well-balanced, globally diversified basket of equities in a single fund.

I wouldn't expect a large amount of bonds to feature in the portfolio of someone with 30 years to retirement. Not more than 25% or 30%, I would say, and I'm sure there are people here your age and older with no bonds in their portfolio.

Bonds have historically provided lower returns than equities, but with less volatility, and they're inversely correlated (I think) - when stocks crash, scared investors rush to bonds, increasing their resale value. So they act as "return smoother", reducing the volatility of your portfolio as a whole.

If there's a stockmarket crash tomorrow, however, and 50% is wiped off the value of your equities, they are almost certain to recover within about 30 or so (based on historical stockmarket data). They are likely to recover and continue growing much sooner than that.

Since equities grow better than bonds, and you don't need the portfolio smoothing of bonds yet, I would expect equities to comprise the majority of your portfolio. That is how the target date funds are set up - mostly equities at the moment, increasing the proportion of bonds as the target date approaches.

I hope this is helpful. Tim Hale's Smarter Investing is the go-to guide for UK investors, I don't know what to recommend for the US which might be as good. Maybe some of the Boglehead books?

u/sd2dl · 1 pointr/portfolios

First post on this sub, great job as far as planning out your investment areas i.e. domestic/emerging markets. One addition I can think of to include in your overall policy would be a set of metrics or more basic principles, however you want to define it, that govern how you pick individual investments. This can range from conservative old school value investing to momentum investing, but the point is to have something laid out in your mind or on paper so that when pouring over the relentless amount of financial info, you can have a framework from which to judge individual opportunities. A couple of books that have helped me create my own investment strategies are Intelligent Investor and F Wall Street. Best of luck to you out there.

u/adonzil · 3 pointsr/portfolios

An important note to what /u/satansbuttplug mentioned, you can ONLY invest $5500 in an IRA or your earned income. Which ever is higher. Since you make ~$1k from your job, in all likelihood you only have an earned income of ~1.2k at the most. This limits your contribution to ANY type of IRA to that.

Like /u/satansbuttplug said, it is more important to save than focus on rate of return. Alternatively, like you mentioned OP, you risk tolerance may be high because he wont be crushed if this money loses its value, just remember to stomach to loses and stay in the market. Learn to bear the markets ups and downs with 3K so that later you can keep your 401k and other assets invested during down turns. Market volatility isnt going anywhere.

There is very little black and white, right and wrong in investing, whatever works for you is probably the best approach for you. Most important is making a plan and sticking to it. Head to the school library and read some investing books, this will help guide your decision. A widely recommended book is this book

u/JeffB1517 · 1 pointr/portfolios

Much better! Highly leveraged Real Estate selling at close to book and low leveraged growth stocks selling at a huge multiple to book is diversification. Now I'm still not sure what the bonds are for and you have 0% international.

Can I suggest looking at something like: VPGDX. While that fund is likely too conservative for you (65/35) it demonstrates what a balanced portfolio should look like.

Strong recommendation for you:

u/josiahstevenson · 1 pointr/portfolios

So you're saying

>Obviously we can't time the market

which I'd argue isn't obvious and might not be true (Bridgewater and a couple others seem to do okay at it), when the entire post is literally about nothing else than timing the market. Which is fine, I guess...

I do think there exist risk premia that can be harvested systematically -- the problem is that you're being paid to take that risk for a reason.

Check out one or the other (or both) of Asset Management by Andrew Ang and/or Expected Returns by Antti Ilmanen.

And realize that you're not at all the first person to try backtesting something that looked like it worked, and there are enough people who do this for a living that most of the best opportunities are pretty picked-over.

How far back does your backtest go? If you can, try your favorite parameters out of sample. Most people who do this are disappointed by the results, but maybe this is different.

u/revolvingcreddit · 1 pointr/portfolios

Have a read of Meb (not Mark) Faber's "Global Asset Allocation" (free Kindle copy here ) and Rick Ferri's All About Asset Allocation