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Old 09-27-2013, 02:42 PM   #21
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I just revisited this post and reading your reply it hits the nail on the head. I ask, "why am I still battling this question a year later.." Because my arms are still strong enough to swing a sword...though they get tired a little easier at 48...

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Old 09-27-2013, 06:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by hotwired View Post
Uncle Mick!
Just coming back and reading your post I got an "A ha" which explains why I get this horrible "death like" feeling every time I consider moving all my $ to a simple 3-4 fund allocation. I feel like I'm putting my sword away ...... ah, yes, well, I'll just have to fiddle and fumble as intelligently as I can muster!! Thanks for a great post.

Uncle Mick sage counsel is spot on it is a guy thing, don't sweat it. Embrace it to some extent.

When I was in my 20s I found mutual funds boring and index funds even more boring. On the other I enjoyed picking stocks. For me I got more enjoyment buying Stocks than Stuff > managed mutual fund > index funds.
So instead of buying stocks and dabbling options , I would have bought more electronic gizmos and no matter how bad my stock picking skills, they all outperformed, cars, TVs, and computers.
Now in my 50 older and somewhat wiser, I have even less desire for most stuff my preference is stocks > index funds > stuff > managed mutual funds.

So I get some enjoyment from keeping track of an making a few trades a month in my portfolio of 40 stocks, 1/2 index dozen funds/ETFs, and writing a 1/2 dozen options. Schwab has portfolio performance tool which tells me that over the last 3 year, my portfolio has out performed my benchmark of a moderately aggressive portfolio by .67% per year. It even has had lower risk. Now truth be total even if I was minus .67%/year I'd still get enough enjoyment that I'd be an active manager.

So my advice is stay the course as long as you enjoy it. Do track your performance and have a number in mind that will cause you to bail and got a 3 or 4 fund index approach. In my case if I ever trail my benchmark by more than 5% total (1.67%/year) over a 3 year total I'll move more money into index funds.

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Old 09-28-2013, 04:02 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Animorph View Post
I've got everything in Quicken, but I use an Excel spreadsheet which automatically downloads web pages to get the prices and calculate the AA imbalances. Pretty easy once it is set up. It can be a real PITA when Yahoo changes page formats and I have to grab the prices from a different column or reformat to remove extra arrows or other weird characters. But their last change was free real-time prices, which was nice for when I'm looking for a specific price target.

I have about 35 funds and use Quicken, like you. Quicken exports to Excel, where I have fund type information, so I use a pivot table to arrange into Morningstar categories and check my AA, about twice a year. I rebalance when a category goes 5% over its target percentage, unless it is a small % (then it is 3%). I'm about to rebalance Fidelity Biotech, but I'm waiting for it to hit 40k, if it does. I already rebalanced it last year and in 2011 and stopped making contributions to it 3 years ago. It is 8% of gains this year, despite being 2.4% of the portfolio, so I don't agree with Midpack, although her point is often correct. Small growth funds or EM or undervalued areas can make a big contribution, over a 2-3 year period. This is the second time biotech has made a huge contribution (the last was about 10 years ago). Fidelity Europe and China did the same from 2001-2007 (or so).
The other reason for the number of funds is that I have two retirement accounts at work (one an extra TDA) and my wife has two roll-overs in addition to her 401K. I try to achieve some diversification within these accounts, since DW tends to freak a bit when one account goes down. She worked for Dynegy when it matched employee contributions in stock, so there is some reason for that. I see it all as a piece of a the whole portfolio.

All that said, I tend to try to simplify to 25 funds.

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