Really need your advice- $20K to invest, Munis, ETFs,REITS, or Index Funds


Dryer sheet aficionado
Nov 22, 2005
If you had $20,000 to invest with a balanced portfolio already in place for retirment (portfolio has only 5% bonds), what would you invest in? The parameters are income over $250K, all tax-deferred options taken advantage of, owe zero to anyone including mortgage paid, and in a tax bracket of 33%.

not nearly enough information given, but if i had to invest it, it would be going into low e.r. index fund(s) ... or a PenFed cd!
Do you have commodities and non-USD bond exposure? If not, I would add some via DJP or BEGBX.
I have $400K in balanced 401K plans, Wife has IRA w/ $100K,house worth $700K (will need $300K of it to build Retirement home).
Retirement 5-10 years away.
You could always just come up with an asset allocation plan, and rebalance to it every year or two.

Here's a sample plan:

(May make sense to use the Admiral or ETF versions of these funds, and to split up the foreign into regions or use the upcoming fund from Vanguard which passes on the foreign tax credit. And, the 6.25% Penfed CD could replace the "Government Bonds" section. Some people feel that 20% in REITs may be high.)

* Domestic Equity (30 percent): Refers to stocks in U.S.-based companies listed on U.S. exchanges.
* Emerging Market Equity (5 percent): Refers to stocks from emerging markets around the world, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.
* Foreign Developed Equity (15 percent): Refers to stocks listed on major foreign markets in developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan.
* Real Estate Investment Trusts (20 percent): Refers to stocks of companies that invest directly in real estate through ownership of property.
* U.S. Treasury Notes and Bonds (15 percent): These are fixed-interest U.S. government debt securities that mature in more than one year. Notes and bonds pay interest semi-annually. The income is only taxed at the federal level.
* U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protection Securities, or TIPS (15 percent): These are special types of Treasury notes that offer protection from inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. They pay interest every six months and the principal when the security matures.

Want More Details?

Vanguard is one of the few major nonprofit mutual-fund families. To help people understand exactly what he's suggesting, Swensen picked a few Vanguard funds to consider. Swensen is in no way affiliated with Vanguard.

* Domestic Equity: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
* Foreign Equity: Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX)
* Emerging Markets: Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund (VEIEX)
* REITs: Vanguard REIT Index Fund (VGSIX)

* Government Bonds:

-- Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Fund (VFISX)
-- Vanguard Intermediate-Term Treasury Fund (VFITX)
-- Vanguard Long-Term Treasury Fund (VUSTX)

* TIPs:

-- Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund (VIPSX)

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