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Analysis paralysis - meeting with a FA tomorrow
Old 04-29-2021, 03:55 PM   #1
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Analysis paralysis - meeting with a FA tomorrow

Hi everyone -

I've been a hands off investor for likely too long and only recently have I sat down and taken a hard look at my AA and here's where I am:

In tax deferred accounts (IRA, SEPP, 401(k), etc.)

$1,200,000 - 50% stock funds / ETFs (36% US & 14% INTL)
- 28% cash
- 18% Bonds / Fixed Income
- 4% Alternatives -

In taxable accounts

$200,000 in index funds

Cash - not including the $300K plus sitting in my SEP

$1,100,000

$520K in real estate between rental and residence

No debts

55 w/income of approx. $275k - Looking to retire in next five (sooner I hope) years.

Risk tolerance - conservative (obviously looking at the amount of cash)

Moved my account to Schwab from a regional bank FA who likely had his best interest and not mine in mind when he constructed my portfolio.

Meeting with a Schwab FA tomorrow to discuss options.

Hate the ideal of putting 1m plus into this market with indexes at all-time highs but understand I need this cash to earn more than the 1/2 percent I'm getting now.

Been thinking about this for awhile but can't pull the trigger and my gut tells me doing nothing is not the answer.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2021, 04:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas3857 View Post
....Meeting with a Schwab FA tomorrow to discuss options.

...Thoughts?
You should have started this thread yesterday.
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Old 04-29-2021, 04:10 PM   #3
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You should have started this thread yesterday.
or three months ago! I'm not pulling in triggers tomorrow only getting some ideas. I'm anything but an impulse buyer.
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Old 04-29-2021, 04:24 PM   #4
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Seriously, if I'm looking at your OP correctly you have about 20% in stocks?

($1,200*50%)/($1,200+$200+$1,100+$300+ 1/2 of $520)

That's a little low but not outrageously so. Note the graph below of success ratios at different AAs. The success ratios from 40/60 to 90/10 are all pretty similar (but the terminal values are very different... higher for higher equity AAs).

I too would be nervous about investing in stocks at these levels. I was 60% equities but bailed out last year and no regrets... I think the stock market is a bit crazy right now and I have no interest in investing at these valuation levels.

What I have got into recently is preferred stocks. Over the last year and a half I put together a portfolio of about 40 preferreds, mostly investment grade but some below investment grade with little call risk, that yield about 5.5%. You may want to see what they could recommend in that space. We have a preferred stock thread that you may want to check out. https://www.early-retirement.org/for...-a-107188.html
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Old 04-29-2021, 04:52 PM   #5
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Seriously, if I'm looking at your OP correctly you have about 20% in stocks?

($1,200*50%)/($1,200+$200+$1,100+$300+ 1/2 of $520)

That's a little low but not outrageously so. Note the graph below of success ratios at different AAs. The success ratios from 40/60 to 90/10 are all pretty similar (but the terminal values are very different... higher for higher equity AAs).

I too would be nervous about investing in stocks at these levels. I was 60% equities but bailed out last year and no regrets... I think the stock market is a bit crazy right now and I have no interest in investing at these valuation levels.

What I have got into recently is preferred stocks. Over the last year and a half I put together a portfolio of about 40 preferreds, mostly investment grade but some below investment grade with little call risk, that yield about 5.5%. You may want to see what they could recommend in that space. We have a preferred stock thread that you may want to check out. https://www.early-retirement.org/for...-a-107188.html
Thanks! I may have misrep the % of cash. Of my approx 2.5 m investable about 1/2 in cash.
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:06 PM   #6
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I would discuss with the advisor about risk tolerance and where you fit on the scale. Set an AA that fits your risk tolerance. Just invest at that AA and make periodic adjustments (my suggestion is 2x/year). My thoughts are wide diversified funds with low fees as your invested choices.

I would not be in such heavy cash myself. You are effectively losing money on that due to inflation.

Not that you asked, but rough numbers it seems you are pretty good shape for retirement? Do you need or want to work 5 more years?
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:11 PM   #7
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How far is up? Where's the top? Anybody that tells you they know are either lying or ignorant.

There's about two ways to put your cash to work: big bang or dca. Pick your AA and method and go.

I feel I'm pretty conservative with my investments. I feel good with a 50/50 AA and enough cash equalivents for a few years. Most recessions will be long gone in that time.
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:33 PM   #8
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I cannot help you, but maybe reading Morgan Housel's "The Psychology of Money" would be helpful to you? It is a quick read, but I doubt you can get through it by the time you meet with the sales rep from Schwab unless you buy a digital version today.
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:51 PM   #9
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I wouldn’t make any sudden moves. Come to an AA that meets your needs and you are comfortable with. You need to understand that there will be up years and down years. If you are not comfortable with establishing and maintaining an AA I would educate myself before any actions. This is a great place to get several different ideas on what AA is OK and what works for you.
Use tomorrow as a starting point. Having a FA isn’t a bad thing but you must be in charge and make the decisions. I always am in a position that I can ditch any advisor and either go it alone or find another.
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Old 04-29-2021, 07:09 PM   #10
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I would discuss with the advisor about risk tolerance and where you fit on the scale. Set an AA that fits your risk tolerance. Just invest at that AA and make periodic adjustments (my suggestion is 2x/year). My thoughts are wide diversified funds with low fees as your invested choices.

I would not be in such heavy cash myself. You are effectively losing money on that due to inflation.

Not that you asked, but rough numbers it seems you are pretty good shape for retirement? Do you need or want to work 5 more years?
The numbers on Firecalc say I can pull the trigger but I've got one still in college and trying to get her set up first. Counting the days!
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:28 PM   #11
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if I'm looking at your OP correctly you have about 20% in stocks?
Wait, isn't it more like 30%?


It's 1/2 of the $1.2M so 600K plus the 200K in index funds (assuming they are stock funds) so total of 800K in stocks out of $2.5M. That's 32%.
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Old 04-29-2021, 09:34 PM   #12
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That is a lot of money to have in cash. I have some friends who pulled out of the market a few years ago because they thought the market was about to crash. They have missed several years of gains and still have no idea when to get back in.

I can’t tell you what to do with all of that cash because I don’t have a crystal ball to predict what direction the market is heading. What I do know is the FA you will be meeting with does not have a crystal ball either. So even if he gives you advice that sounds decisive, he is working with the same information that all of us have. You have to be the one to make the final decision based on your comfort level with risk.

My recommendation would be to take some time to read a book about investment theory before you make any decisions on what to invest in and whether to use an advisor. The more you know the more comfortable you will be with whatever decision you make.
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Analysis paralysis - meeting with a FA tomorrow
Old 04-29-2021, 10:32 PM   #13
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Analysis paralysis - meeting with a FA tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas3857 View Post
Hate the ideal of putting 1m plus into this market with indexes at all-time highs but understand I need this cash to earn more than the 1/2 percent I'm getting now.



Don’t worry. The FA is going to advise you based on your risk tolerance, which is obviously “conservative.” I doubt they will suggest you pile more into the stock market above your current 50% allocation. Rather, I bet they’ll suggest you put the cash to work, probably on the bond side.
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Old 04-30-2021, 06:12 PM   #14
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To follow up and as expected FA suggested a conservative approach and simply rebalance the existing portfolio with a 50/40/10 AA which I will likely do but I'm going to keep a good chunk of the cash on the sidelines because I think this bubble is about to pop. Thanks for everyone's input. It helped quite a bit.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:04 PM   #15
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You didn't mention your time frame and that really is the most important factor when considering an appropriate asset allocation. That, as well as cash flow needs and your own tolerance for volatility.



That said, historically speaking ,shying way from heavy stock exposure for fear of "investing at all time highs" can really hurt you over years and decades. The numbers prove that. People tend to "do what feels comfortable" , but that doesn't equate to it being the right investment decision.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:15 PM   #16
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First, congrats on having savings and strong compensation. Now the tough love... Time in the market beats trying to time the market. What have you missed out on with that much cash on sidelines. How long you planning to live? If more than 5 years, I think it is reasonable to suggest you should get to 50% stock market.

Look at historical crashes. They recover on average within 3 years. The last one recovered in 6 months. Hence, if you don’t need money within 5 years why not put it to work and invest it.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas3857 View Post
Hi everyone -

I've been a hands off investor for likely too long and only recently have I sat down and taken a hard look at my AA and here's where I am:

In tax deferred accounts (IRA, SEPP, 401(k), etc.)

$1,200,000 - 50% stock funds / ETFs (36% US & 14% INTL)
- 28% cash
- 18% Bonds / Fixed Income
- 4% Alternatives -

In taxable accounts

$200,000 in index funds

Cash - not including the $300K plus sitting in my SEP

$1,100,000

$520K in real estate between rental and residence

No debts

55 w/income of approx. $275k - Looking to retire in next five (sooner I hope) years.

Risk tolerance - conservative (obviously looking at the amount of cash)

Moved my account to Schwab from a regional bank FA who likely had his best interest and not mine in mind when he constructed my portfolio.

Meeting with a Schwab FA tomorrow to discuss options.

Hate the ideal of putting 1m plus into this market with indexes at all-time highs but understand I need this cash to earn more than the 1/2 percent I'm getting now.

Been thinking about this for awhile but can't pull the trigger and my gut tells me doing nothing is not the answer.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
while i am not sitting on as much cash as you are , i have the same ( gut ) feeling , HOWEVER there is an old paradigm about ' sell in May , and go away , come back on St. Leger Day '

so May selling MIGHT present you with some cheaper entry prices , but goodness me , there is a LOT of stuff currently over-valued ( if you compare it to investment current investment returns )

how about WATCHFULLY waiting , i am doing so very carefully , i see a lot of debt commitments out there and lenders MIGHT get very nervous , and that MIGHT present a good opportunity for you ( could be in real estate stocks or corporate debt )

good luck
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Old 05-01-2021, 04:42 AM   #18
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What I have finally got into my think skull is that to time the market is really hard even for the professionals. Certainly the market is not cheap right now but how long will the bull market last and when will X happen isn't something we can know.

I would suggest if you need to move more of your funds out of cash to either bonds or stocks then you can move in one shot or you can dollar cost average. something like move 1/4 every quarter and you can get it done in a year or you can do 1/10 each month. Good luck with managing your funds,
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:23 AM   #19
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What I have finally got into my think skull is that to time the market is really hard even for the professionals.,

Me too but even more so. “Hard” to do implies there is some skill involved that can be learned if only one works diligently at it. However, academic study after study shows that monkeys throwing darts do better than the vast majority of professionals. The vast majority of active fund managers underperform their indices every year, and virtually none out perform over 5+ years. Buffett challenged a hedge fund manager to beat the S&P 500 over ten years, and easily won the bet. The best performing accounts at Fidelity, etc. are owned by people who either forgot about them or DIED.

How much proof do we need that market timing is a fool’s errand?
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:59 PM   #20
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... The best performing accounts at Fidelity, etc. are owned by people who either forgot about them or DIED.
That's an old myth that we really need to stop perpetuating or at least change to something factual such as:

"An old joke is that the best performing accounts at Fidelity, etc. are owned by people who either forgot about them or DIED."
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