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Personal Finance Advice and Education!

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34 minutes ago, FUBAR said:

expense ratios. 

tell me where my logic, understanding or math fail - the ETFs I'm in range from 0.05% for a total index to 0.19% for an international small cap ETF.  Similar mutual funds at my brokerage and bank are 0.17% to around 1.1%  Just to use round numbers here, if I have $10,000 in VTI vs. $10,000 in the cheapest mutual fund, there's a difference of $12 per year in expenses, in the cheapest fund.  The more pricey accounts - usually international, become closer to $100 difference each year.  Granted, that's only for the holdings which are over $10k, which about half of my holdings are currently.  It would seem to make sense to buy mutual funds for lesser holdings.

Is your brokerage account at Vanguard?  I don't remember the ETF and mutual fund expense ratios differing much, if at all there. Since you apparently like the Vanguard ETFs, switching might make sense (if not already there). 

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16 minutes ago, thecatch said:

Is your brokerage account at Vanguard?  I don't remember the ETF and mutual fund expense ratios differing much, if at all there. Since you apparently like the Vanguard ETFs, switching might make sense (if not already there). 

pretty much my entire financial life is through USAA.  I might consider changing to Vanguard but the simplicity of having everything in one place is nice.

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USAA is about the undergo pretty substantial changes from what I've heard due to the changing DOT laws, have they informed you of anything?

 

I don't mind the $7 trades if it's less than 1%, just part of it. I would also highly consider Fidelity or Vanguard. You can still use ETFs and mix in some nice mutual funds to because in some sectors they'll outperform ETFs. 

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7 hours ago, Vincesanity said:

USAA is about the undergo pretty substantial changes from what I've heard due to the changing DOT laws, have they informed you of anything?

 

I don't mind the $7 trades if it's less than 1%, just part of it. I would also highly consider Fidelity or Vanguard. You can still use ETFs and mix in some nice mutual funds to because in some sectors they'll outperform ETFs. 

Transferring accounts is a pain.  I did it from buyandhold.com about 15 years ago and from sharebuilder maybe 10. But it does seem the smart move. I have been considering making that move before anyway, so maybe now is the time. 

And no, I haven't heard about any significant upcoming changes. I don't use their advisory services anyway.  Thinking about it, the only reason I use them for investments is convenience and that just isn't a good enough reason at this point. 

Edited by FUBAR

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On 7/21/2016 at 9:36 PM, Vincesanity said:

USAA is about the undergo pretty substantial changes from what I've heard due to the changing DOT laws, have they informed you of anything?

 

I don't mind the $7 trades if it's less than 1%, just part of it. I would also highly consider Fidelity or Vanguard. You can still use ETFs and mix in some nice mutual funds to because in some sectors they'll outperform ETFs. 

I have everything with USAA too (although I have IRAs that I contribute to every month at Vanguard). What changes are you talking about?

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They're doing away with the advisers and moving everything to the call center. If you handle things yourself it shouldn't effect you. Idk if that's the first step and later on they get out of investments, wouldn't surprise me. State Farm or Farmers is doing this as well, doubt anyone on here as accounts with them.

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On July 21, 2016 at 1:05 PM, FUBAR said:

another question. 

As I stated before, I've balanced our portfolio in the past considering everything in one basket - college, retirement and short term needs.  I've reconsidered that and am in the process of making changes - just sold a bunch of emerging international ETF (VWO) and bought into a corporate bond fund (VSLT).  But that move costs $7 to sell and $7 to buy.  While that isn't huge money, it's enough to make me not want to rebalance everything quickly.  I'm not all that interested in changing brokerages, although I might be convinced... but what do you all do when you rebalance?  Just cough up the transaction fees and knock it out, wait and just put more money into the areas you're below target? 

I'm tempted to not worry so much about international stock vs. US stock in each basket and focus on stocks vs. bonds in each - more heavily in bonds in the college funds of course, I'm still at ~3% in bonds in our retirement account, moving towards 33% in the college accounts.

How far are you off target. I personally don't bother until I'm 5% off (e.g., 60% target so 65% or 55%).  If that's too much for you, just change where the deposits are going to "rebalance" once you get a percent or so off. If you have to trade, if the commission is <1%, I'd be comfortable. 

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What you guys got for mobile budget and financial tracking that merges a bunch of accounts to one place?

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14 hours ago, culdeus said:

What you guys got for mobile budget and financial tracking that merges a bunch of accounts to one place?

Mint.com

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15 hours ago, culdeus said:

What you guys got for mobile budget and financial tracking that merges a bunch of accounts to one place?

i use mvelopes.com for budget/tracking

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16 hours ago, culdeus said:

What you guys got for mobile budget and financial tracking that merges a bunch of accounts to one place?

Personalcapital.com

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Wife is leaving her current job to be a substitute teachers aide. No benefits/retirement until hired full time. So we need to move her ~$8k 401k.

Does the Roth IRA contribution limit apply to transfers?

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10 minutes ago, BigJohn said:

Wife is leaving her current job to be a substitute teachers aide. No benefits/retirement until hired full time. So we need to move her ~$8k 401k.

Does the Roth IRA contribution limit apply to transfers?

No.

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16 minutes ago, BigJohn said:

Wife is leaving her current job to be a substitute teachers aide. No benefits/retirement until hired full time. So we need to move her ~$8k 401k.

Does the Roth IRA contribution limit apply to transfers?

You can't just roll a 401k to a Roth.  There are tax consequences there.  You'd want to roll it over to a traditional IRA to keep it in the tax deferred space.  But to answer that question a rollover to a tIRA doesn't count toward the yearly contribution limits.

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52 minutes ago, Sand said:

You can't just roll a 401k to a Roth.  There are tax consequences there.  You'd want to roll it over to a traditional IRA to keep it in the tax deferred space.  But to answer that question a rollover to a tIRA doesn't count toward the yearly contribution limits.

 

I have an old 401k with 58k. I haven't worked in the job for 10 year and can't contribute.  Should I move this to an IRA or does it not really matter? 

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2 minutes ago, Wooderson said:

 

I have an old 401k with 58k. I haven't worked in the job for 10 year and can't contribute.  Should I move this to an IRA or does it not really matter? 

Check the fees.  

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1 minute ago, Wooderson said:

 

I have an old 401k with 58k. I haven't worked in the job for 10 year and can't contribute.  Should I move this to an IRA or does it not really matter? 

That depends.  I have a sizeable chunk in an old 401k with a great fund lineup - lots of options, institutional share class expense ratios and a wide variety of index funds.  Plus the company pays all the expenses.  There is no impetus for me to move it.  If you don't have that, especially cheap share classes and/or you have to pay the plan expenses, I'd roll it out to somewhere like Vanguard.  

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Just now, matuski said:

Check the fees.  

Yeah good idea. It's with TIAA and I think the fees might be higher with them then other companies. 

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55 minutes ago, Wooderson said:

Yeah good idea. It's with TIAA and I think the fees might be higher with them then other companies. 

Yep - Matsuki nailed it.  Moving this and getting into ETFs/funds with .1% fees instead of 1% fees is a really good thing.  

I have TIAA and I hate it.  We just got an update on ours where they are saving us money by moving us from share classes at 1% to share classes at .85%. Whee  :towelwave:.  That and their reps suck.

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Do expense ratios lower than the  .05% I get at vanguard even exist?  I know my 401k is at least .1% higher than that.   If not, I can't see why you wouldn't want to rollover no matter how small the savings.  The only reason I can think of is that if you do a backdoor roth, you don't want to have to pay taxes now that you'll have tax deductible dollars in your ira.

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17 minutes ago, NutterButter said:

Do expense ratios lower than the  .05% I get at vanguard even exist?  I know my 401k is at least .1% higher than that.   If not, I can't see why you wouldn't want to rollover no matter how small the savings.  The only reason I can think of is that if you do a backdoor roth, you don't want to have to pay taxes now that you'll have tax deductible dollars in your ira.

Fidelity says they're lower, but really at that point the gains are tiny.  Expense ratios in my 401k are at least .5% higher than that.

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Just now, Sand said:

Fidelity says they're lower, but really at that point the gains are tiny.  Expense ratios in my 401k are at least .5% higher than that.

Christ you're right.  I have an old 401k with fidelity and I pay .045% for one of my index funds; .07% for the other.

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On 7/15/2016 at 6:01 AM, FUBAR said:

Thanks! 

Why is it higher than most mortgages seem to be right now?  

Higher risk. 

You don't finish and default then they are foreclosing on property with construction on it not valued nearly at what they loaned at.

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On 8/3/2016 at 8:53 PM, NutterButter said:

Christ you're right.  I have an old 401k with fidelity and I pay .045% for one of my index funds; .07% for the other.

Feex.com is your friend

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Looking for FBG to point me in the right direction.

2017 has come and traditionally I dump 5.5k into my ROTH IRA account as soon as I can.

However, in 2016 my gross income was just below the limit of $117k so with scheduled raises in 2017 I should earn enough that I will surpass the $118k limit for single filers (though I haven't actually calculated my AGI), but I think I'll still be under the 132k phase out of a ROTH IRA. 

So what's the correct play? Do I still dump 5.5k into my ROTH IRA right now? Do I hold off because I might need to do a backdoor ROTH? If I start contributing to my employers 457 plan (similar to a 401k) will the tax deduction help lower my income limit for ROTH IRAs?

Thanks in advanced.

Edited by Charlie Harper

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8 hours ago, Charlie Harper said:

Looking for FBG to point me in the right direction.

2017 has come and traditionally I dump 5.5k into my ROTH IRA account as soon as I can.

However, in 2016 my gross income was just below the limit of $117k so with scheduled raises in 2017 I should earn enough that I will surpass the $118k limit for single filers (though I haven't actually calculated my AGI), but I think I'll still be under the 132k phase out of a ROTH IRA. 

So what's the correct play? Do I still dump 5.5k into my ROTH IRA right now? Do I hold off because I might need to do a backdoor ROTH? If I start contributing to my employers 457 plan (similar to a 401k) will the tax deduction help lower my income limit for ROTH IRAs?

Thanks in advanced.

You could just marry your maid. 

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8 hours ago, Charlie Harper said:

Looking for FBG to point me in the right direction.

2017 has come and traditionally I dump 5.5k into my ROTH IRA account as soon as I can.

However, in 2016 my gross income was just below the limit of $117k so with scheduled raises in 2017 I should earn enough that I will surpass the $118k limit for single filers (though I haven't actually calculated my AGI), but I think I'll still be under the 132k phase out of a ROTH IRA. 

So what's the correct play? Do I still dump 5.5k into my ROTH IRA right now? Do I hold off because I might need to do a backdoor ROTH? If I start contributing to my employers 457 plan (similar to a 401k) will the tax deduction help lower my income limit for ROTH IRAs?

Thanks in advanced.

401k and related contributions reduce your AGI. I am in a similar situation where my bonus can move me beyond AGI limits for a Roth. So I just heavily contribute to my 401k until bonuses are paid mid-year, then decide if I can make a Roth contribution or do the backdoor. 

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This may be a dumb question, but is there a point of income where a traditional or Roth IRA doesnt make any sense?  I dont have either set up (just max my 401k) but I would like another vehicle to save in.  Is an IRA still the next best thing to do if you are over their limits?

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37 minutes ago, ditka...mike ditka said:

This may be a dumb question, but is there a point of income where a traditional or Roth IRA doesnt make any sense?  I dont have either set up (just max my 401k) but I would like another vehicle to save in.  Is an IRA still the next best thing to do if you are over their limits?

If you're comparing a traditional and a Roth IRA, your current tax bracket along with your projected retirement tax bracket are more important than your income.  However, the income needs to be watched in regards to what you able to do. Some people can only do certain contributions based on the income limits.

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47 minutes ago, eoMMan said:

If you're comparing a traditional and a Roth IRA, your current tax bracket along with your projected retirement tax bracket are more important than your income.  However, the income needs to be watched in regards to what you able to do. Some people can only do certain contributions based on the income limits.

Thanks.  I expect my tax bracket to be lower in retirement and I make over the amount allowable to contribute to a Roth.  So does it make sense to contribute to a traditional?  Its my understanding at a certain income level you lose the tax benefits for the traditional IRA as well.  Is that correct?

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1 hour ago, ditka...mike ditka said:

This may be a dumb question, but is there a point of income where a traditional or Roth IRA doesnt make any sense?  I dont have either set up (just max my 401k) but I would like another vehicle to save in.  Is an IRA still the next best thing to do if you are over their limits?

If you contribute to a 401k, I don't believe you can contribute to a deductible traditional.  You can contribute to a non-deductible traditional.   So you're best option is to contribute to the non-deductible traditional and then back door it into the roth.

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12 hours ago, Charlie Harper said:

Looking for FBG to point me in the right direction.

2017 has come and traditionally I dump 5.5k into my ROTH IRA account as soon as I can.

However, in 2016 my gross income was just below the limit of $117k so with scheduled raises in 2017 I should earn enough that I will surpass the $118k limit for single filers (though I haven't actually calculated my AGI), but I think I'll still be under the 132k phase out of a ROTH IRA. 

So what's the correct play? Do I still dump 5.5k into my ROTH IRA right now? Do I hold off because I might need to do a backdoor ROTH? If I start contributing to my employers 457 plan (similar to a 401k) will the tax deduction help lower my income limit for ROTH IRAs?

Thanks in advanced.

When I was close I'd just wait until the following year to see how all my taxes shook out.   YOu can contribute for 2017 until april of 2018,  just hang tight

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43 minutes ago, NutterButter said:

If you contribute to a 401k, I don't believe you can contribute to a deductible traditional.  You can contribute to a non-deductible traditional.   So you're best option is to contribute to the non-deductible traditional and then back door it into the roth.

It depends on your income.  If married and you file jointly if you are under $100k you can contribute to your 401k and also make a deductible IRA contribution.  If single, income must be under $62k.

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It's possible to have your brokerage recharacterize the nature of contributions after the fact.  Not uncommon for someone to make a Roth contribution and then discover when filing their taxes next year that they're over the AGI limits.  Any reputable brokerage should be able to recharacterize (note the terminology - NOT rollover) the initial contribution to a traditional IRA contribution and then you can backdoor Roth immediately as soon as the recharacterization goes through.  You'll get taxed on the earnings but if you really want your 2017 IRA money in the market now as opposed to ~12-15 months from now it's not an awful option.

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2 hours ago, ditka...mike ditka said:

Thanks.  I expect my tax bracket to be lower in retirement and I make over the amount allowable to contribute to a Roth.  So does it make sense to contribute to a traditional?  Its my understanding at a certain income level you lose the tax benefits for the traditional IRA as well.  Is that correct?

If you are over the limits, do a backdoor Roth.  Your earnings would not be taxable and you don't have to do required minimum distributions. 

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On 1/4/2017 at 8:11 AM, Steve Tasker said:

It's possible to have your brokerage recharacterize the nature of contributions after the fact.  Not uncommon for someone to make a Roth contribution and then discover when filing their taxes next year that they're over the AGI limits.  Any reputable brokerage should be able to recharacterize (note the terminology - NOT rollover) the initial contribution to a traditional IRA contribution and then you can backdoor Roth immediately as soon as the recharacterization goes through.  You'll get taxed on the earnings but if you really want your 2017 IRA money in the market now as opposed to ~12-15 months from now it's not an awful option.

Does it makes sense to do this vs starting a 457 plan to decrease my AGI? 

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On 1/4/2017 at 7:08 AM, ditka...mike ditka said:

This may be a dumb question, but is there a point of income where a traditional or Roth IRA doesnt make any sense?  I dont have either set up (just max my 401k) but I would like another vehicle to save in.  Is an IRA still the next best thing to do if you are over their limits?

Not a dumb question at all.  If you're on the very low end of the income scale and don't see that you'll be at a higher rate in retirement, then maybe (even then a tax sheltered account avoid cap gains taxes if your income grows to the point you get assessed those).  This higher in income you are the more effective tax sheltered accounts are.  In fact, you're significantly better off investing in a 401k and then paying the 10% penalty to take it out then just leaving it in taxable.  If you include the possibility of FIRE and at that point shifting monies from an rollover IRA to a Roth IRA at very low tax rates it makes huge sense to pack the 401k/IRA full now.

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401k allocation question.  I am currently 38 and have had the same allocation for many years:

20% Growth

10% Growth-and-income

15% Equity Income

30% Balanced

25% Bond

I am wondering if I should be more aggressive with this?  Thoughts?

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5 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

401k allocation question.  I am currently 38 and have had the same allocation for many years:

20% Growth

10% Growth-and-income

15% Equity Income

30% Balanced

25% Bond

I am wondering if I should be more aggressive with this?  Thoughts?

I'm 36 and am 100% in an S&P index.  With 20-25+ years until retirement, I see no reason to be in bonds.

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11 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

401k allocation question.  I am currently 38 and have had the same allocation for many years:

20% Growth

10% Growth-and-income

15% Equity Income

30% Balanced

25% Bond

I am wondering if I should be more aggressive with this?  Thoughts?

 
 

Oh #### yeah.  At your age  - no bonds (or very low %).

Let me look a little more about the more detailed equity breakdown - but certainly more than 20% growth.  

ETA:  Where are your savings/401K - do they have their own risk assessment online?

Edited by Binky The Doormat

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yeah, i have to agree with this.  set up a long time ago and never thought about it.  probably bad move.  

edit: and they suggest 40% growth, 35% growth and income, 20% Equity/Balances, 5% Bond for 20+ years to retirement.  Stupid me.

Edited by Long Ball Larry

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1 hour ago, Long Ball Larry said:

yeah, i have to agree with this.  set up a long time ago and never thought about it.  probably bad move.  

edit: and they suggest 40% growth, 35% growth and income, 20% Equity/Balances, 5% Bond for 20+ years to retirement.  Stupid me.

You've done just fine with this allocation.  There is a very good reason not to be all stocks - it's nowhere near optimal.  Read this article.  In particular look at the scatter charts nearer the bottom and the spread of possibilities of returns for 100% equity portfolios.  Then have a look at specific portfolios - Total Stock Market and Merriman Ultimate, for example.  Then ask yourself - do you feel comfortable to have a run of 13 years of below zero returns?  That's been documented with TSM.  Merriman - 5 years.  And you're only giving up .4% average return per year to get that.  Diversification is your most powerful tool; there is no reason for anyone to have a 100% equity portfolio..

(There is a reason my portfolio resembles MU a lot).

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Now, wait a minute, you're telling me that when making my financial decisions I should not be listening to Binky the Doormat from the internet.

Interesting stuff on both sides.  I used to be uber-risk-averse, but as I've gotten older and thought more, I've tried to be more aware of calculated risks and obtain more benefits when possible.  I will read those links.  

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18 minutes ago, Sand said:

 

You've done just fine with this allocation.  There is a very good reason not to be all stocks - it's nowhere near optimal.  Read this article.  In particular look at the scatter charts nearer the bottom and the spread of possibilities of returns for 100% equity portfolios.  Then have a look at specific portfolios - Total Stock Market and Merriman Ultimate, for example.  Then ask yourself - do you feel comfortable to have a run of 13 years of below zero returns?  That's been documented with TSM.  Merriman - 5 years.  And you're only giving up .4% average return per year to get that.  Diversification is your most powerful tool; there is no reason for anyone to have a 100% equity portfolio..

(There is a reason my portfolio resembles MU a lot).

so from that first article, it says:

If you’re the type of investor with a rock-solid stable job, few financial commitments, and the personality to ride out both short-term and prolonged market pain without sweating your account balances, then putting all of your money in stocks is just fine. 

That's actually not too far off from me.

But I should probably be reading this when I'm not buzzed on a Saturday night ...

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Just now, Long Ball Larry said:

so from that first article, it says:

If you’re the type of investor with a rock-solid stable job, few financial commitments, and the personality to ride out both short-term and prolonged market pain without sweating your account balances, then putting all of your money in stocks is just fine. 

That's actually not too far off from me.

But I should probably be reading this when I'm not buzzed on a Saturday night ...

Don't let Sand scare you off.   He tell you something about the Japan stock market.  100% for me as well until I'm 10 years out.   

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1 minute ago, NutterButter said:

Don't let Sand scare you off.   He tell you something about the Japan stock market.  100% for me as well until I'm 10 years out.   

Nah - I was going to break out 1929...

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2 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

so from that first article, it says:

If you’re the type of investor with a rock-solid stable job, few financial commitments, and the personality to ride out both short-term and prolonged market pain without sweating your account balances, then putting all of your money in stocks is just fine. 

That's actually not too far off from me.

But I should probably be reading this when I'm not buzzed on a Saturday night ...

I keep a good size cash reserve in a CD in case of emergency then go mostly stocks as I'm a long ways out from retirement as well. Although sending a check to Binky the Doormat is also can't miss. 

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1 minute ago, NutterButter said:

What about it?

I was kidding.  

I will say most people are just fine with big dollops of risk (like now) when everything is running well.  Then they panic in 2009 when their portfolio drops like a rock because they really aren't as risk averse as they thought.  If someone truly isn't comfortable with their portfolio dropping by more than half, then they shouldn't be 100% equities.  I'm not, which is why I'm comfortable giving up .4% per year to drop 40% of the risk.

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1 hour ago, Long Ball Larry said:

Now, wait a minute, you're telling me that when making my financial decisions I should not be listening to Binky the Doormat from the internet.

Interesting stuff on both sides.  I used to be uber-risk-averse, but as I've gotten older and thought more, I've tried to be more aware of calculated risks and obtain more benefits when possible.  I will read those links.  

 
 

:lmao: agree, sounds like a bad idea.  I was serious, though I would never say that allocation was wrong, I would say that it is more about an individual's level of risk tolerance and where they in relation to when they need the money and what their goals are.  One of the first things an advisor is going to do is have to take a risk tolerance test (hopefully an in-depth one) as a part of your initial assessment.  

I have focused on saving and investing since my early 30s - and have made plenty of mistakes.  I have had several planners/advisors over the years and read lots of books - later on, I got hooked into the boglehead site and have read a lot there (including the books).  I would also suggest looking into Firecalc - a retirement planning tool that is free and allows for a number of detailed scenarios - it then runs Monte Carlo simulations based on what you have set up.  

BTW - I am retired, 58, and at a 52% equities / 41% bonds / 7% cash split across what we currently have.  If I was still working I would have a little higher in equities and lower amount in cash.   ETA:  After quite a few years with financial advisors, I have been with Vanguard since 2011.  I use their free advisor services but have not been terribly impressed - had a decent one, the replacement is a robotic C You Next Tuesday.    

Below is a paste from the Bogelhead boards that describes the historical return difference between a 100% equities & an 80%-20% equities/bonds portfolio.  

Right, someone might feel this way if volatility were measured on an annual basis, I'm arguing that if it were measured on a 10 year basis, the volatility increase of 80% vs 100% would be negligibly small. In the mean time, you are significantly sacrificing return by going from 100% equities to 80% equities. 

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insigh ... llocations 

100% Stocks has an historical return of 9.9% 

80/20 Stocks/Bonds has an historical return of 9.4% 

If you are 20 years old and plan on retiring at 65, a $10,000 investment in a Roth IRA (so neglect taxes) at 9.9% grows to $699,000. That same investment at 9.4% grows to $569,000. A $130,000 difference on only a $10,000 investment.

Edited by Binky The Doormat
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