Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Evaluate my 'folio?
Old 01-13-2015, 03:54 PM   #1
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 26
Evaluate my 'folio?

Greetings,

26 yr old military guy here. Recently moved from American Funds to Vanguard for the low costs. My American Funds investments were set up by an investment advisor and I tried my best to mirror them when I moved to Vanguard. I haven't been very impressed with my performance over the past 6 months and wondered if anyone could offer illumination.

Non-retirement
Van. Total Stock Market (VTSAX) - $14,500 (15% of investments)
Van. Intl. Explorer Fund (VINEX) - $2,700 (3%)
Van. Small-Cap Index (NAESX) - $3,000 (3%)
Van. Long-Term Bond (VBLTX) - $6,700 (7%)
Van. Inflation-Protected Securities (VIPSX) - $6,000 (6%)
Total: $32,900

Retirement
Van. Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX) - $47,000 (49%)
Thrift Savings Plan (Govt 401k) - $16,700 (17%)
Total: $63,700

Stocks - 77%
Bonds - 23%

Cash
Savings Account - $21,500
Checking - $1,000
Total: $22,500

Debt
Car (2.25%) - $17,000
Loan (0.5%) - $12,000
Total: $29,000

Assets: $119,000
Net Worth: $90,000


I can elaborate allocations if need be.

Thanks in advance for any help!
__________________

__________________
To ER is human.
navydavey is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-13-2015, 04:25 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
David1961's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,074
At a top level, I think your AA is pretty good. (A rule of thumb I have heard is that your stock AA should be about 110 minus your age). Depending on how aggressive you want to be with your investments, you could put a little more into stocks. I'd recommend a short term bond fund instead of the long term bond fund, at least until rates go up. And not sure if I would recommend the inflation-protected securities fund at your young age.

But really, a lot depends on your tolerance for volatility.
__________________

__________________
David1961 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 04:29 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Dash man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Limerick
Posts: 1,668
I realize your debt interest rates are low, but don't let your debt levels get out of control. Try to get out of debt if you can and learn to pay cash. Interest rates won't always be so low.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
Dash man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 04:43 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
dtbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Madison
Posts: 752
6 months? I'm a Navy vet myself (22 years) but investing is a decades long thing, not 6 months or even 5 years. Your portfolio seems fine but it will take time. The first decade, things don't look all that great. The second decade it looks like things are starting to gel. Its the 3rd and 4th decade where the portfolio takes off.

Patience grasshopper, patience. . .
__________________
Wild Bill shoulda taken more out of his IRA when he could have. . . .
dtbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 05:54 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,424
Way too much bonds for your age IMO. I would restructure so overall AA is similar to Vanguard 2045 fund - essentially 90/10 stocks/bonds and use the TSP for the fixed income component.

Actually, even 100% stocks would not be bad since you are so young, but a smidgen of fixed income adds a bit of stability.

Slow and steady wins the race.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 07:48 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Way too much bonds for your age IMO. I would restructure so overall AA is similar to Vanguard 2045 fund - essentially 90/10 stocks/bonds and use the TSP for the fixed income component.

Actually, even 100% stocks would not be bad since you are so young, but a smidgen of fixed income adds a bit of stability.
Agree 100% with this, and I'll add to it...

Based on what you have where you have it, you're not maxing your TSP every year which is a mistake IMO. Even if you can't reach the $18,000 limit, IMO your savings should be focused there first: 1) lowest ERs anywhere; 2) enough funds to do what you're already doing with that overly-complex mix of Vanguard Funds; 3) reduced tax burden now ($18,000 into TSP is $18,000 deducted from your MAGI).; 4) more in now means more to use with the G fund for your fixed income portion as your portfolio grows.

To simulate your present AA using the TSP funds available, I would:

- Either dump everything into 2040 or 2050 target fund inside TSP, or;
- Allocate your stocks and bonds as desired, then put 60% of your stock allocation in C, 10% in S and 30% in I; use the G fund for your bond allocation.

Now, that's just what I would do, but the stock allocation sets up a 70/30 domestic/international split, and inside that domestic split you're roughly simulating VTSAX (Total Stock Market).

I'd simplify your VG by putting most or all of it into a mix of VTSAX and Vanguard Total International at whatever allocation you like (I do 70/30) or use the target fund of your choosing.

I'd continue to transfer money or direct TSP allocations into G fund until your overall Stock/Bond allocation is where you want it to be. I'm 37 and use 85/15 which I intend to stick with for a loooong time (with military pension coming in ~5 years). I was 100% stock at your age, but to each his own!

In short, you've got a lot of funds that are doing similar things. The American Funds folks no doubt sold you a bunch of different stuff because that's part of how they make money. No need for that level of complexity, IMO.

I own two funds at VG (VTSAX and Vanguard Total Int'l (Adm shares) among three accounts (two IRAs and taxable). I have TSP focusing on G fund for my 15% bond allocation with the rest split as I described the stock portion above.

Seems complex to read it, but in the end I own a total of two funds and then what's inside TSP. (Note: I have relatively small allocations of another fund and another stock that I won't sell for tax reasons at this point. You should consider weighing paying any taxes now vs. the benefits of reduced fees and simplification for the next 30+ years.)

That's my $0.35...
__________________
"So we beat to our own drummer in the sun;
We ask for nobody's permission to run.
I just wanna live in a world like that;
Now I'm gonna live in a world like that!" - World Like That, O.A.R.
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 08:06 PM   #7
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 26
Dash: I took the debt because it was cheap. I could have paid cash for the car but opted not to because of the low interest rate. As soon as I pay off my .5% loan I'm going to commit that payment to the car and I'll be debt free in about a year and a half.

dtbach: I understand that investing is a long term event. I say "6 months" because that's the entirety of my time with Vanguard.

pb4uski/nash031: I was actually surprised to hear that you think I'm too heavy in bonds. I've generally heard 100 minus your age as a rule of thumb which puts me light on bonds.

nash031: I'm kind of hesitant to commit to the TSP. As I understand it, if I don't do a full 20 year career then I won't be able to get to the money until 59 1/2 or whatever that number is these days. I'm just nervous to potentially tie up all my retirement money until that age if the goal is to retire sooner. I've been using the ROTH option but may change that this year as I'll probably push further into the 25% bracket. I'll look into simplifying. Would certainly make things a little easier. Thanks for the 35 cents!
__________________
To ER is human.
navydavey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 08:32 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by navydavey View Post
pb4uski/nash031: I was actually surprised to hear that you think I'm too heavy in bonds. I've generally heard 100 minus your age as a rule of thumb which puts me light on bonds.

nash031: I'm kind of hesitant to commit to the TSP. As I understand it, if I don't do a full 20 year career then I won't be able to get to the money until 59 1/2 or whatever that number is these days. I'm just nervous to potentially tie up all my retirement money until that age if the goal is to retire sooner. I've been using the ROTH option but may change that this year as I'll probably push further into the 25% bracket. I'll look into simplifying. Would certainly make things a little easier. Thanks for the 35 cents!
You can roll your TSP into an IRA if you so choose. I wouldn't forgo the benefits of the TSP by doing so, but... If you do roll into an IRA after separation, you can access the funds using a 72t (SEPP) withdrawal plan before 59 1/2. In any event, in order to retire before 59 1/2 you'll likely need sizable taxable funds, but that by no means means you should forgo IRAs and TSP. You're just burning money every year by doing so, especially in a Roth IRA where you can let money grow for the next 33 years tax free. That's huge.

I personally have a Roth IRA and traditional TSP. That allows me flexibility in the future when it comes withdrawal time. The Roth is 100% stocks, which I expect to grow more rapidly than the TSP, thus the Roth tax benefit will be more valuable than if I used it for TSP and fixed income. You can certainly go 100% stock in TSP for the same benefit, but as you mentioned you're giving away an $18,000 deduction at a time when you're earning quite a bit in favor of reducing your tax burden later, when many people are in a lower tax bracket. JMO, and YMMV of course.

I'd really encourage you to consider using tax-advantaged retirement accounts (IRA and TSP) to their fullest extent, regardless of which you go traditional and which you go Roth.

As to your bonds, there are a few things that go into that:

1) what's your investment horizon? When do you need the money? If you're using it in the next few years, yeah, have some bonds or even cash. If you're not planning to retire until you're 50 or older, you shouldn't care about the short term gyrations of stocks and should focus on the long term growth. By allocating 25% to bonds at your age, you're giving up an awful lot of growth in order to preserve capital in the short term that you don't (presumably) intend to use.

2) If you're going to stay in the military for 20, you already have a fixed income. For me, an equivalent annuity will be ~$2.4 million dollars in order to pay what the pension will starting in five years. That money is fixed and barring the apocalypse or serious political upheaval, it's not going anywhere. Many (including me) will tell you that that further reduces your need for a big fixed income portfolio, hence why I am 85/15 even though I may be just five years from using my money.

3) What's your tolerance for market risk and volatility? Would you be likely to sell off in the event of a market decline? If so, bonds can help temper your losses in those times and be a good hedge against selling low. I personally do not worry about it, so I have a pretty high tolerance for volatility and market risk, thus I have what some would call a relatively high stock allocation for my age, and sticking with it.

Beware of "rules of thumb" as they rarely apply to any individual. Consider your circumstances. A great book to read, IMO, is The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham, particularly the first ten chapters or so that talk about asset classes, allocations, and what's important.

Another $0.12 for you...
__________________
"So we beat to our own drummer in the sun;
We ask for nobody's permission to run.
I just wanna live in a world like that;
Now I'm gonna live in a world like that!" - World Like That, O.A.R.
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 09:19 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
heeyy_joe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Madeira Beach Fl
Posts: 1,403
Personally, I think you should have a 10% cash position in your retirement funds.
__________________
_______________________________________________
"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do" --Bob Dylan.
heeyy_joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 10:22 PM   #10
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 26
Nash,

As I understand it, you're invested as such:

Roth IRA (100% stock VTSAX/VTIAX)
Traditional TSP (G fund to account for 15% of investments + leftover stock)
Taxable (100% stock VTSAX/VTIAX)

So if you are invested as such, then you plan to live on a combination of military pension and taxable account withdrawals until 59 1/2?

Just trying to get a big picture idea of where you're headed to understand how you're getting there.
__________________
To ER is human.
navydavey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 10:46 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,424
Quote:
Originally Posted by navydavey View Post
....pb4uski/nash031: I was actually surprised to hear that you think I'm too heavy in bonds. I've generally heard 100 minus your age as a rule of thumb which puts me light on bonds.....
I can see that rule of thumb later in life, but not for someone in their mid 20s. Take your AA cue from the AA of target date funds rather than some silly rule of thumb. Until you get into your 40s I think 90-100% equities is the way to go. I was 100% equities well into my 40s and then put new money into fixed income as I got nearer to retirement.

I'm 59 and am still 60/40 and have no plans to change....
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 10:47 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,424
Quote:
Originally Posted by heeyy_joe View Post
Personally, I think you should have a 10% cash position in your retirement funds.
For a 26 year old? That is one of the silliest things I have ever heard.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 10:53 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by navydavey View Post
Nash,

As I understand it, you're invested as such:

Roth IRA (100% stock VTSAX/VTIAX)
Traditional TSP (G fund to account for 15% of investments + leftover stock)
Taxable (100% stock VTSAX/VTIAX)

So if you are invested as such, then you plan to live on a combination of military pension and taxable account withdrawals until 59 1/2?

Just trying to get a big picture idea of where you're headed to understand how you're getting there.
That's pretty much exactly right, one minor tweak because my wife has a fixed retirement fund that also has some bonds, but that's about 95% correct. If needed, I can fall back onto a 72t withdrawal from IRAs, but shouldn't need to.
__________________
"So we beat to our own drummer in the sun;
We ask for nobody's permission to run.
I just wanna live in a world like that;
Now I'm gonna live in a world like that!" - World Like That, O.A.R.
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2015, 11:11 PM   #14
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 26
Would you be able to edify the thought process behind using a Roth IRA and TSP simultaneously? It seems to me that you're opting to pay taxes now AND later rather than maximizing the benefit of one or the other.
__________________
To ER is human.
navydavey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2015, 08:09 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by navydavey View Post
Would you be able to edify the thought process behind using a Roth IRA and TSP simultaneously? It seems to me that you're opting to pay taxes now AND later rather than maximizing the benefit of one or the other.
One thought I had reading through the posts of your interesting topic is that one should consider the tax bracket now. For example, if you are in the 15% bracket, some would say the Roth is best. You'd pay something like 10% tax now, and see your fortune grow for many years, and not pay taxes when you get to the 50% bracket in 2050. Some of that was in jest, but you get the point.

I didn't always follow that advice. For example, when my kids were in their teens and making money, I could wipe out most Fed tax they paid, and get it all back for them by throwing a few $ into their IRAs.

I've also thought about your allocation. I think you're being too conservative. That will certainly help when the bear gets here, but in a very good year for large stocks, you're tempering some of the gain with bonds.

The BIG question is what kind of investor are you? Only you can say. From that answer you can dial up an allocation. Or maybe you have...
__________________
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2015, 08:14 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
For a 26 year old? That is one of the silliest things I have ever heard.
Agree. 10% overall in cash in all accounts makes sense. That would include checking, saving, emergency.

But it might be that a 10% allocation to something fixed would be ok for an average 26-year old.
__________________
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2015, 08:45 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,424
I guess I think of it a bit differently for someone that age. I think of it as 6-12 months of net pay in savings as an emergency fund (if desired) as all the cash that is needed.

To be honest, I didn't even carry that much cash when I was under 40 and was fully invested but I had stable and secure jobs. My credit cards would have been a temporary emergency fund and then I woudl have liquidated investments to pay off the credit cards.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2015, 08:55 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by navydavey View Post
Would you be able to edify the thought process behind using a Roth IRA and TSP simultaneously? It seems to me that you're opting to pay taxes now AND later rather than maximizing the benefit of one or the other.
My personal view on it was this:

- I chose a Roth IRA along with Traditional TSP because the IRA was only going to get me a $5500 deduction, but TSP would get me $18,000, which would help me stay in a lower bracket longer.
- For the past few years, I've been in "non-deductible contribution land" in terms of income, meaning that there's literally no reason for me to have a traditional IRA. I no longer qualify for the tax deferral in that type of account, but I do qualify for one for TSP.
- Roth IRA has wide open options, so I could be as aggressive as I wanted and earn as much tax free growth. TSP is limited (in the end I can do most everything I want in there, but that wasn't the case back when I picked traditional.)
- In retirement, there are distribution requirements for certain types of accounts, and obvious taxes are treated differently. By having both types, I have the ability to manipulate my income as desired in order to minimize taxes. With a pension, I'm always going to be a little bit higher in tax bracket than some ER folks who can draw everything out in one year, and then sit around and pay nothing for others. At least by having a nice Roth and Traditional balance, I can balance withdrawals to ease my tax burden as needed.

Our TSP/403(b) contributions amounting to $35,000 kept us in the 25% bracket this year, saving us a few thousand in taxes.

Hope that helps. Obviously no one can tell you what to do, but I've been very happy with my split. Some would tell you to go Roth/Roth in both and there's some validity to that if you plan on being uber-rich.
__________________
"So we beat to our own drummer in the sun;
We ask for nobody's permission to run.
I just wanna live in a world like that;
Now I'm gonna live in a world like that!" - World Like That, O.A.R.
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2015, 08:57 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I guess I think of it a bit differently for someone that age. I think of it as 6-12 months of net pay in savings as an emergency fund (if desired) as all the cash that is needed.
Agree with this. With a Roth IRA, you can always fall back on your contributions if required. With a stable job like the military (for the most part), this is what we do right now. Keep a couple thousand in cash, but know we've got quite a bit more in an account we could use in a major emergency.

10% cash at 26 seems like quite an anchor to me.
__________________
"So we beat to our own drummer in the sun;
We ask for nobody's permission to run.
I just wanna live in a world like that;
Now I'm gonna live in a world like that!" - World Like That, O.A.R.
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2015, 11:32 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
38Chevy454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,584
I tend to agree, 10% max in bonds at your age. You have a lot for years to let it ride mostly up and sometimes down the stock market volatility path. Just buy and hold, don't panic and sell on the dips.

My bigger suggestion is to max out your savings now. Whether the $18K pre-tax and the $6K IRA, or other savings tools. Just save as much as you can so you can let it grow and compound as long as possible.

Overall, great start you have being only 26, Keep up the good work and with added savings you will be on your way to a nice retirement.
__________________

__________________
After Monday & Tuesday even the calendar says, W-T-F...

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now [4/24/16 changed to 80%]
Retired Aug 2, 2017; age 53
38Chevy454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Folio fn Pete FIRE and Money 2 07-31-2008 10:01 PM
Evaluate my portfolio soupcxan FIRE and Money 28 01-31-2007 09:50 AM
Wharton MBAs & Harvard undergrads can't evaluate cheap index funds Nords FIRE and Money 38 06-05-2006 11:04 AM
How to Evaluate Offers Canadian FIRE Young Dreamers 10 05-23-2006 07:37 PM
Evaluate & critique my situation! *: ) Tommy_Dolitte Young Dreamers 11 09-03-2004 09:10 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:09 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.