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Old 08-02-2015, 10:36 AM   #21
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Happy (and apparently his spouse) has made it clear that he isn't a DIY type, so I question whether recommending Vanguard, Fidelity, etc. is really practical in his case.

My recommendation to Happy would be to do as target2019 suggests - put together a concise list of your current investment assets and if you aren't comfortable with your current set of advisors, contact someone like Rick Ferri and see what you think about his relatively low-cost (for an advisor) Portfolio Solutions investment service which focuses on index funds.

Then leave your investments the hell alone...
REW, I agree that Happy and DW could use some hand-holding, what I had in mind was using Vanguard and not DIY but to use their Personal Advisor Service that is 0.3% a year and then pretty much leave it alone other than periodic rebalancing which is what I suspect that Vanguard would recommend. I wasn't clear in my prior response.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:11 AM   #22
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REW, I agree that Happy and DW could use some hand-holding, what I had in mind was using Vanguard and not DIY but to use their Personal Advisor Service that is 0.3% a year and then pretty much leave it alone other than periodic rebalancing which is what I suspect that Vanguard would recommend. I wasn't clear in my prior response.
That is what I was thinking, too. But if it were my pile, I would want to know completely what was in store, and would be cautious while carrying out moves.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:14 PM   #23
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I think part of the difficulty is that you are quick to take a recommendation and run with it. In addition to accepting the words of various advisors over the years, you quickly went to the conclusion that a 3-fund portfolio is the consensus.
I really appreciate everyone's thoughts, I was primarily looking for discussion on where the majority of folks feel comfortable with in their retirement investments. Hopefully this is so others do not fall prey to others claiming to be FIDUCIARY.

Our history is even a little worsened if you add on the fact that my wife's prior husband was a broker, so my DW knows all the cons angles they pull.

We thought we were finding Fiduciary managers, but we find they still have 2 faces. ARS is one scary team that feeds its victims cookies, claims a Fiduciary role, and closes quickly to sell annuities. Just the same as RBC, except nicer and slower to the pull. RBC at least was upfront that it was a broker.

Despite it all, we did OK over the years and have mid seven figure net worth. We also worked to have a sound source of other income into retirement both a high revenue business and rentals. The manager we are now with is holding a combined family account in the 8 figures, which gives us a <.4% fee which includes all management, trading, and legal fees.

Every account we have had managed has been held there at least 1 to 12 years. We have accounts at TD, Schwab, Fidelity and now WTB. I hate to put too large a sum in any one pot, but recently consolidated most of this at WTB and found they invested in things I do not agree with. Otherwise, I would not be questioning the decision. For example, they put $200K in a long short fund that shorts 6 primary stocks. Then, they bought $50,000 in one of those stocks as a long position. Would this not make you cringe? Just having a long short fund alone is contrary to our growth allocation we had prior to this move, and it is a real poorly rated fund, with a negative performance. Can you say run?

I am happy with the low fee structure, but I do not see much of a value over buying a few low cost funds or ETFs like I did 20 years ago DYI. We have done fairly well for working class folks, but would have done much better without some of the "managers" that I pointed out in the first post.

I only hope some in our situation on the edge of FIRE can glean a little insight from our steak dinner errors, and trusting our CPA for 12 years too many.

BTW, when we fired our CPA/investment manager we moved accounting to someone who does the same job for <25% of what we were being gouged. It pays to shop around for cost and trust.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:05 PM   #24
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Fascinating thread. Seems to me that the OP that is in a position where he can't see the forest for the trees?

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... but recently consolidated most of this at WTB and found they invested in things I do not agree with. Otherwise, I would not be questioning the decision ....
Here's how I decode what you have been saying:

A) You say you don't have the temperament to DIY.
B) Your wife does not want you to DIY.
C) So you hire a money manager.
D) Then you come up with your own DIY plan for reference, and when you see that the money manager is doing something else, you fire the money manager and chase a new one. Rinse-repeat.
So in effect, you seem to actually be on the DIY plan, you just want to be able to say you have a money manager handling your plan. But if the money manager gets fired for not doing what you think they should do, it is all an illusion! You are DIY, whether you see it or not. The money manager is a cover story.

As others have said as well, until you figure out what you want, no one can help you.

What's the line from the Bob Seger song (Don't infer anything from the title of the song, just this line that struck me)?

'He wants his home and security
He wants to live like a sailor at sea'.


-ERD50
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:09 PM   #25
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I think you would be best off to simplify down to one place and a simple 3-5 fund portfolio to begin. Then read, learn and you can get more complicated if you want to.

I note that most target date funds only include 3-5 funds covering domestic and international stocks and bonds.

Anyone that put me in a long/short fund I would drop like a hot potato.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:22 PM   #26
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I note that most target date funds only include 3-5 funds covering domestic and international stocks and bonds.

Anyone that put me in a long/short fund I would drop like a hot potato.
I have 250K in Vanguard Target Date fund, its a dog, but it fills the need for all in one for now as my only DYI move. As for the potato, you got my point, thanks. I expected more from this WTB team. Its a lazy way to balance downside, at the exact cost of performance.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:46 PM   #27
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A) You say you don't have the temperament to DIY.
B) Your wife does not want you to DIY.
C) So you hire a money manager.
D) Then you come up with your own DIY plan for reference, and when you see that the money manager is doing something else, you fire the money manager and chase a new one. Rinse-repeat. [/INDENT]
-ERD50
I am sorry, I was not clear. We did not hire and fire so many managers in 38 years. We entertained many for selection as we move to a more conservative allocation for only the next 5 years. We have a lot more invested in real estate and business assets to carry us for the next 60 years.

We were, in fact, with one manager for 12 years, after we realize we were screwed, had a few steak dinners and moved a good chunk to Sherwood (a non-steak dinner advisor) He did very well in an up market while I was working, but did not do as well when we requested a change in allocation strategy for my FIRE (mainly due to fee = to ROI on bonds). I learned from the 12 year period that to trust one advisor without question, leads to them making a lot of money at our expense.

From this web site, it was clear that many others were at a similar point as we are, going from aggressive growth, to income/moderate growth. I was interested in opinion, or experience. Advice, I get plenty and I am well read on investing. Both Schwab and Fidelity advised me to purchase bond ladders for interim income, and leave allocation to aggressive growth for the majority of our investments, but in funds they made some bucks on. We thought WTB with a low fee, would do a better job of allocation than to buy a friken JP Morgan Research Market Neutral Fund JPMNX, this came as a bit of a shock.

Thanks for the discussion!
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:08 PM   #28
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I have 250K in Vanguard Target Date fund, its a dog......
WADR, you call this a dog?

1 Year 5.84%
3 Year 13.75%
5 Year 12.14%
10 Year 6.82%

What do you expect as a return for 3, 5 or 10 years?

I'm guessing that this dog beats the crap out of your actual returns for the last 3, 5 and 10 years given what you have relayed earlier in this thread.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:46 AM   #29
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WADR, you call this a dog?

1 Year 5.84%
3 Year 13.75%
5 Year 12.14%
10 Year 6.82%

What do you expect as a return for 3, 5 or 10 years?

I'm guessing that this dog beats the crap out of your actual returns for the last 3, 5 and 10 years given what you have relayed earlier in this thread.
Actually, VTIVX had a little different return than you stated;
1 year=3.29%, which is what I called sub par. Your data may be better than Morningstars report.

To answer your question, in the bull market of 2014, it should have done better, but longer term, I agree it performed OK. We managed to recover from losses in 2009, but not to the degree we should have. Were are up >25% from the peak prior to late 2008, which is about in pace with the S&P.

Despite everyone's effort to kill our investments, we still performed OK once we left our 12 year relationship with Brian's Madrona funds. The up market the past few years has been easy to capture some significant gains. We were with RBC in 2013 and other than the annuity loss, we were up 22.12%, 20.14%, 1.78% and 2.7% on other investments. A blended return of 12.8% for 2013.

With Sherwood, last year, we were up 12.4%, and YTD June 30, up another 5.2%. With about a 60/40 allocation, no foreign.

That is why I called VTIVX a dog, lagging return in 2014 at 5.84% and 3.38% YTD against our other investment accounts that were up 12.2% 2014 and 5.2% YTD. I am not by any means dumping it.

Depending on the allocation, the Boglehead 3 fund method seems a lot simpler for nearly equivalent returns and is essentially the fund mix used by the target date funds with one less level of fees.

Top 10 Holdings of VTIVX (99.95% of Total Assets)
Company Symbol % Assets YTD Return %
Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Inv N/A 57.13 N/A
Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index Inv N/A 32.85 N/A
Vanguard Total Bond Market II Idx Inv N/A 6.98 N/A
Vanguard Total Intl Bd Idx Investor N/A 2.99 N/A
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:11 AM   #30
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Actually, VTIVX had a little different return than you stated;
1 year=3.29%, which is what I called sub par. Your data may be better than Morningstars report.

To answer your question, in the bull market of 2014, it should have done better, but longer term, I agree it performed OK. We managed to recover from losses in 2009, but not to the degree we should have. Were are up >25% from the peak prior to late 2008, which is about in pace with the S&P.

Despite everyone's effort to kill our investments, we still performed OK once we left our 12 year relationship with Brian's Madrona funds. The up market the past few years has been easy to capture some significant gains. We were with RBC in 2013 and other than the annuity loss, we were up 22.12%, 20.14%, 1.78% and 2.7% on other investments. A blended return of 12.8% for 2013.

With Sherwood, last year, we were up 12.4%, and YTD June 30, up another 5.2%. With about a 60/40 allocation, no foreign.

That is why I called VTIVX a dog, lagging return in 2014 at 5.84% and 3.38% YTD against our other investment accounts that were up 12.2% 2014 and 5.2% YTD. I am not by any means dumping it.

Depending on the allocation, the Boglehead 3 fund method seems a lot simpler for nearly equivalent returns and is essentially the fund mix used by the target date funds with one less level of fees.

Top 10 Holdings of VTIVX (99.95% of Total Assets)
Company Symbol % Assets YTD Return %
Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Inv N/A 57.13 N/A
Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index Inv N/A 32.85 N/A
Vanguard Total Bond Market II Idx Inv N/A 6.98 N/A
Vanguard Total Intl Bd Idx Investor N/A 2.99 N/A
There should be a poll about this.

I think most are aware that target funds are more conservative, and lag what you can get with the three funds above when you dial up the equities side. Add in some small/midcap for more juice.

The target funds seem to have more TBM than most would recommend, and the trend for TBM is sinking. Come to think of it, Total Int'l hasn't been helping much.

Since the target funds are composed of broad index measures, they are never really dogs, in the way you meant. They are delivering exactly what was advertised. You get the index in exactly the mix you choose. And you lose a bit with the internal expenses.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:16 AM   #31
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Actually, VTIVX had a little different return than you stated;
1 year=3.29%, which is what I called sub par. Your data may be better than Morningstars report.....
Sorry, but you have wrong info. The 5.84% for the year ended 7/31/2015 that I posted is directly from Vanguard. See https://personal.vanguard.com/us/fun...tExt=INT#tab=1 Though I think that we would agree that one year is way to short a period to assess performance of an investment.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:24 AM   #32
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....That is why I called VTIVX a dog, lagging return in 2014 at 5.84% and 3.38% YTD against our other investment accounts that were up 12.2% 2014 and 5.2% YTD. ....
According to Vanguard's website, VTIVX had a total return of 7.16% in 2014 and 3.27% YTD as of 7/31/2015.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:25 AM   #33
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That is 1-year.
3.29% is YTD.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:31 AM   #34
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Yes, international has hurt performance, but adds diversification. There have been and will be periods where international equities outperforms domestic equities. If you want less international, you can just buy the four funds in the proportions you desire.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:33 AM   #35
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That is 1-year.
3.29% is YTD.
One year (year ended 7/31/2015) is 5.84%, YTD through 7/31/2015 is 3.27%.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/fun...Ext=INT#tab=1a
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:48 AM   #36
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Happyras and I have the same keyboard problem.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:35 AM   #37
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One year (year ended 7/31/2015) is 5.84%, YTD through 7/31/2015 is 3.27%.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/fun...Ext=INT#tab=1a
I stand corrected, somehow the morningstar sight gave me a bum number net of expenses. However, for some strange reason my performance for that fund held in a Fidelity 401K account, was only up 2.9%, must be an institutional cut

Anyway, thanks everyone for the good feedback and discussion.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:55 AM   #38
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I am sorry, I was not clear. We did not hire and fire so many managers in 38 years. We entertained many for selection as we move to a more conservative allocation for only the next 5 years. We have a lot more invested in real estate and business assets to carry us for the next 60 years.

From this web site, it was clear that many others were at a similar point as we are, going from aggressive growth, to income/moderate growth. I was interested in opinion, or experience. Advice, I get plenty and I am well read on investing. Both Schwab and Fidelity advised me to purchase bond ladders for interim income, and leave allocation to aggressive growth for the majority of our investments, but in funds they made some bucks on. We thought WTB with a low fee, would do a better job of allocation than to buy a friken JP Morgan Research Market Neutral Fund JPMNX, this came as a bit of a shock
Two thoughts - if you have enough outside assets to fund you for 60 years, who cares where you put your portfolio money? Hell just dump 100% into something like Vanguard Total World Stock Index and be done with it. Live with the ups and downs and reap the returns, it's all play money anyway.

Second, if you are/were a well-read investor we wouldn't be in this thread in the first place because you would have already seen a lot of threads here, been directed to most of the wiki info at bogleheads.org, and would have no need to ask us whether an FA is worth the money. I don't think you're as well-read as you claim to be, in other words. But you've gotten quite an education here methinks.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:30 AM   #39
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The thing that strikes me most about this whole thread is the continued reflection and focus on YTD/1-yr/30-day returns. Whoever said "stop chasing performance" hit the nail on the head, IMO. You'll never catch it. You've managed to have a really nice NW in spite of what appears to be speculation. Time to start investing. 3-fund and forget it.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:31 AM   #40
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We have an investment manager. It took me a few months to find the right one. We are very pleased. Reasonable fees, good returns, and professional management.

Don't want to do it myself AND I wanted an arrangement and an advisor that my spouse would be comfortable with if I got hit by a bus.
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