Three-fund portfolio

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Multifactor Index WisdomTree U. Sign up now to receive our weekly newsletters: One could, of course, use ETFs rather than mutual funds. Vanguard fans would suggest that Vanguard has the best and most complete lineup of such funds, and that the most convenient place to hold Vanguard mutual funds is directly at Vanguard.

Thus, the Bogleheads forum and Wiki tends to be Vanguard-oriented. But investing according to the Boglehead philosophy certainly does not require you to invest at Vanguard or use Vanguard products. Here are some suggestions on how to do it with other funds. Refer to the associated wiki article for additional information. The relative percentage of domestic and international stocks is a subject of intense discussion in the forum. One sensible option is to hold domestic and international stocks in the same proportions as they represent in the total world economy.

This option is recommended by Burton Malkiel and Charles Ellis, both of whom have longstanding ties to Vanguard, in their book The Elements of Investing. If your own preference is for a "total world" weighting, then the portfolio can obviously be simplified using Vanguard's Total World Stock Index fund, which is exactly what Malkiel and Ellis suggest.

Such a two-fund portfolio would use these funds:. By adding an international stock fund, one could create a three-fund portfolio with two funds. One Marketwatch article [4] quotes various non -Boglehead commentators as saying such things as "You can make it really simple, be well-diversified, and do better than two-thirds of investors" and "That three-pronged approach is going to beat the vast majority of the individual stock and bond portfolios that most people have at brokerage firms Dogu describes this approach and comments "With only these three funds Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund, Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index fund, and the Vanguard Total Bond Market fund , investors can create a low cost, broadly diversified portfolio that is very easy to manage and rebalance Some investors may be uncomfortable with holding only three funds and will question whether they are truly diversified.

With these three holdings the answer on diversification is a resounding 'YES'. In a article, "The only funds you need in your portfolio now" , Walter Updegreave commented: But the more complicated your portfolio is, the more expensive and more prone to blow-ups it's likely to be -- which also increases the odds that it will generate subpar returns," and suggested a "three-fund diversified portfolio: S bond market fund.

Some would argue that a three-fund portfolio is good enough and that there is no real proof that more complicated portfolios are any better. Others would argue that the evidence for superiority of slice and dice , " small value tilting ," and inclusion of classes like REITs is too strong to ignore.

As of when this is being written, bond interest rates are near historic lows and there is a good deal of buzz to the effect that the "thirty-year bull market in bonds has ended" and that investing strategies that have worked for decades should be changed to reflect new realities. Should the three-fund portfolio be modified? No definitive answer can be given to this controversial question, but we can sketch out some of the prevalent and conflicting opinions on the matter.

There are single, all-in-one, "funds of funds" that are intended to be used as an investor's whole portfolio. Vanguard funds in this category include the Target Retirement funds, the LifeStrategy funds; perhaps the actively-managed Wellington and Wellesley funds would qualify, too. On the one hand, a three-fund portfolio involves a do-it-yourself aspect that makes it more complicated than using an all-in-one fund.

For example, because different assets grow at different rates, any investor who chooses a do-it-yourself approach needs to " rebalance " occasionally — perhaps annually — in order to maintain the desired percentage mix. On the other hand, three-fund portfolios are simpler than the genres called "Coffeehouse portfolios" William Schultheis's term , "couch potato" portfolios, or " lazy portfolios ," which are intended to be easy for do-it-yourselfers but are nevertheless slice-and-dice portfolios using six or more funds.

Some see advantages in holding a do-it-yourself four-fund portfolio rather than a LifeStrategy fund or Target Retirement fund, even if the same four funds are used. The advantages are small but meaningful to some, and include:. Farrell, who writes MarketWatch columns about various simple portfolios. A three-fund combination can serve as the core of a more complex portfolio, where you add a small play money allocation or a tilt to some corner of the market that interests you.

Vanguard four fund portfolio. The International Index tracking the EAFE index does not include emerging market stocks, Canadian stocks, and has minimal exposure to international small cap stocks. This implementation creates a six-fund portfolio.

Note that the international indexes being tracked by the funds do not include Canadian stocks nor market weightings of small cap stocks. Rowe Price International Index Fund is a developed market international index fund. The fund does not include emerging market stocks or Canadian stocks. Small cap international stocks make up only a minimal part of the portfolio.

In addition, index purists should take note that the US Bond Enhanced Index Fund utilizes an active management component. The investment manager has the authority to adjust certain holdings versus the benchmark index, which could result in the fund being marginally underweight or overweight in certain sectors, or result in the portfolio having a duration or interest rate exposure that differs slightly from those of the index. Also, the I fund tracking the EAFE index does not invest in emerging market stocks or Canadian stocks, and has minimal exposure to small cap international stocks.

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