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View Poll Results: How do you know your asset allocation?
Use M* Portfolio or Instant X-ray 21 21.65%
Use mostly index funds, so use the fund names 7 7.22%
Use Quicken, MSMoney, or a spreadsheet 44 45.36%
Some other way, explain if you wish 20 20.62%
I don't know my AA 5 5.15%
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How do you know your Asset Allocation?
Old 02-25-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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How do you know your Asset Allocation?

It seems to me that more folks on this forum really know their investment asset allocation than not. This poll is to help learn how we know our asset allocation and what tools we use for that. It seems to me the tools available are rather limited.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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I have a spreadsheet that takes the amount in each of my mutual funds and calculates the current AA and compares it to target. Each fund is assigned an asset class. I update this spreadsheet once a week or so. I also use it to calculate how to rebalance.

I paste into this spreadsheet from a simple Quicken report. I download market data into Quicken daily.

Occasionally I look at a M* portfolio X-ray of my portfolio (which I update about once a year on M*) to get a finer grain detail of my allocation - especially to cash and foreign equities, but I don't use that view to make my rebalancing decisions.

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Old 02-25-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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I have designed an Excel spreadsheet which does the calculations for me. I enter all my assets and liabilities and do the calculations once a year.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:23 PM   #4
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I was tracking AA with a manual spreadsheet that I updated monthly or so. Then I started keeping track with an automatic tool on the Schwab site (which goes out and gets the non-Schwab accounts as well). The error between the two is minimal so now I look at the Schwab tool calculation 2 -3 times a week and verify with my manual spreadsheet a few times a year.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:39 PM   #5
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I use a simple Excel spreadsheet that I update at the end of each month.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:53 PM   #6
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I use a simple Excel spreadsheet that I update at the end of each month.
Me too, except I update it pretty much every day! Not that I need to, but I just like entering my funds' share prices (and any dividends that have accrued) manually each day so that I stay in touch.

I run it through Morningstar X-Ray now and then, maybe once a year or so, and it agrees on the stocks:bonds AA, though it doesn't deal with cash in MM funds so that has to be done manually.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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I use a combination of spreadsheets which I've created that I update each quarter.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:00 PM   #8
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I use Quicken Mostly (for a quick look) and Morningstar X-Ray once per quarter. And I use an Excel spreadsheet to help me rebalance my portfolio.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:02 PM   #9
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Me too, except I update it pretty much every day! Not that I need to, but I just like entering my funds' share prices (and any dividends that have accrued) manually each day so that I stay in touch.

I run it through Morningstar X-Ray now and then, maybe once a year or so, and it agrees, but M* X-Ray is a total PITA for simple stocks:bonds:cash AA purposes. Since it doesn't deal with TSP funds I have to use another fund to model my portfolio, and since it doesn't include cash either I have to recompute the percentages manually.
Every day?

In my retirement folder, I have eight spreadsheets...yeah eight. I couldn't update those every day.

...of course then again, we're retired so we can do what we wanna....
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:13 PM   #10
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Every day?

In my retirement folder, I have eight spreadsheets...yeah eight. I couldn't update those every day.

...of course then again, we're retired so we can do what we wanna....
Right!! That's my attitude, too. This is something I like to do, and even liked to do during the crash, so I do it. I look forward to it every day. (I know, that's not entirely normal! ) I have 18 spreadsheets in my "Retirement" workbook, which includes my portfolio spreadsheets but also lots of other things like budget, my task calendar, an easy to find record of my salary history and tax payments, and more.

Every day I hit three "favorites" in my browser - - my Vanguard watchlist, from which I get my share prices, the TSP website, from which I get my TSP balance, and my bricks-and-mortar bank. I enter the values into Excel. Quick and easy. And (being retired) this is something I like to do.

Then the spreadsheet tells me how I am doing as far as asset allocation, and suggests what I should sell and buy more of to get my portfolio back to where it should be if I should decide to pull the trigger and rebalance.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:17 PM   #11
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These days I use the Vanguard Portfolio analyzer. Once a month I update it with the # of shares in the funds in DW's Fidelity IRA's and my 401(k), plus also update the cash values of the CD's and other non-Vanguard cash accounts such as I-bonds etc. (Next year I will roll over my 401(k) to VG)
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:27 PM   #12
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Apparently the Vanguard portfolio watch tool is flawed: Bogleheads :: View topic - Software help- allocations

I use the M* portfolio X-ray tool as described in this old thread:
Asset allocation tutorial?

That way I do not have to re-enter any of my data since it is always there whenever I log in to the TRowePrice web site.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:29 PM   #13
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I model my portfolio at M* and use XRay about once a quarter to see what the current AA is. I use the data to decide to leave it unchanged (default) or may redirect my ongoing DCA to close in on my target 40/60 AA with a maximum drift to 50/50.
I try not to fiddle with it too much.
However, if there are irresistible deals on equities, it's a no brainer to temporarily steer toward buying more equities mutual funds for the next quarter. This adaptive approach all balances out in the end.
Now that I have everything at VG, I also have their portfolio analyzer to use.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:30 PM   #14
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Apparently the Vanguard portfolio watch tool is flawed: Bogleheads :: View topic - Software help- allocations

I use the M* portfolio X-ray tool as described in this old thread:
Asset allocation tutorial?

That way I do not have to re-enter any of my data since it is always there whenever I log in to the TRowePrice web site.
Thanks for the reminder and link - I did remember seeing this somewhere.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:57 PM   #15
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I used to use the portfolio x-ray tool by morningstar via the troweprice site since it saves data. Now I am about 95% in index funds (or closet index funds like international value vtrix). So I have a simple spreadsheet that I put each fund balance into, and it spits out the current allocation and compares the allocation for each asset class to my targets. The spreadsheet has a built in "what if" column that I can play around with by plugging in proposed additions or subtractions to the various asset classes to see where the allocation percentages would end up.

This spreadsheet is updated about every month or three, and if I'm about to put in a large lump sum (a few thousand or more), I'll update the spreadsheet to see where the money should go.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:00 PM   #16
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T Rowe Price has a button called asset allocation analysis- I press that button
my 401k site has a tab for allocation
my wife's 401k has a tab for allocation
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:03 PM   #17
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I use Quicken to keep up with transaction history and IRR. Update prices at the end of each month and of course when transactions occur.

Update an allocation spreadsheet from Quicken monthly and review quarterly for any cash needs/ rebalancing.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:07 PM   #18
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I have several Excel spreadsheets that I use, and I update about once a quarter.

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Me too, except I update it pretty much every day!
Well, I have to admit that when I was still w*rking, I used to update daily. Always looking to see when I could pull the plug. One time, my co-worker (a very good friend) walked into my office and asked what I was doing. I said "figuring out when I can retire!".
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:19 PM   #19
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The last time I looked (about three years ago), I used Microsoft Money. I suppose, now that it was brought to my attention, it is time to look again... I will do that tomorrow... or maybe the next day.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:56 PM   #20
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These days I use the Vanguard Portfolio analyzer.
I use Fidelity's version. Good enough for me.
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