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Simplfly Portfolio

Started by surpass, September 15, 2018, 07:52:29 AM

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I'm getting tired of trying to pick winners and losers and want to simplify my portfolio.  I'm in my mid 40's and have a mix of individual stocks and ETF's.  About 30 positions scattered throughout my individual and retirement accounts.

I typically like to buy and hold for the long term and love dividend paying stocks.  However, I'm just finding that its too much work keeping up with the news or getting hammered on something I just bought. 

Have some of you just bought a target date fund let say in your Roth/401k to keep it simple? Or just a handful of funds like a total market etf/international/bond fund, and not try to beat the market?  How many positions in your portfolio?



I am much younger than you are and I am all about the simple route. I fill my portfolio with low cost index funds that keep my tax liability low and where the growth is good. I also allocate a percentage to very low-risk cash funds or bonds to take advantage of dropping stocks and real estate when the market hits a downturn.
Very Respectfully,

Young And The Invested

Betterment will set you free.  Passive, automated investing that provides benefits to offset their 0.25% annual fee through tax-loss harvesting.  Once I found it, I can't recommend it enough. 

Some thought robo-advisors would be the end of traditional investing, but I don't believe it to be the case.  Some people work against their own best interests and think they can beat the market.  Usually, the market ends up beating you.  Just look at the 2/3s of active managers who underperform the market.  So why fight the market?  If you can't beat it, join it.  Save yourself the hassle of stock picking and set it and forget it.

Clearly just a suggestion based on what's worked for me.  You'll have to evaluate what works best for you and carefully consider the risks of any investment.


I've got my Roth with Wealthfront for exactly that reason.  I've been very happy with how it's been working out.
All the best,


In my 401k I just went with a target date fund.  I looked at some of the robo advisors at one point, but figured I can pay lower fees with ETFs and individual stocks.  I believe the .25% annual fee is in addition to the expense of the funds that have you in.  I'm going to look into it again as it may work better for me as long as I'm able to relinquish control.

Jon Sharpe

Unless you are really into stock picking, I would get down to just 3-4 funds index funds max to make your life easy. I've got a domestic total market stock fund, an international stock fund, a domestic bond fund and a REIT fund for fun. All are index funds and it is very easy to manage. I like to have more control than the target-date fund route, but that works too. I honestly believe that keeping costs low and re-allocating once a year will maximize returns over the long run and also let you spend time doing other things! Good luck.


My strategy right off the bat coming out of college has been index funds in my 401k and general brokerage account and then pick a few high ceiling growth stocks in my tax shielded roth IRA. That way, if I do manage to hit it big on a stock then I don't have to pay any capital gain taxes. I think that'll be my strategy going forward for the foreseeable future.

As far as target date funds go, I've noticed they generally have higher expense ratios than I'm comfortable paying for. I'd rather build my own mini target date fund with low expense ratios and adjust occasionally as needed. I would do some research on expense ratios for your various fund options and do some math on the amount of money you'd be saving by doing it yourself. Even 5 or 10 basis points can be a six figure difference when compounded over 30+ years.


Yes, I could just breakout the funds from the target date fund and keep it to a small handful of index funds.  I was doing that in my 401k, but it became difficult to balance everything with my roth and individual account, so i switched it to a target date fund.  The account is with fidelity and since its their institutional class fund the expense ratio is .14 so for simplicity I think that's good. 

I have some losers in my roth right now, (international) so that has been dragging things down.  I put positions in there that I thought would be high growth, but now I can't even take a capital loss.  In my individual account I don't want to sell certain positions that i've been long on for 5-7 years and take capital gains just yet.   

So i think i'll keep the target date fund in my 401k and in my roth I'll keep it to a total domestic/international/bond index fund.  In my individual I'll do the same as I slowly sell off individual stocks.  I keep cash on hand for emergencies in an online savings account and a CD too. 


I'm all for Target Date funds as they are really the simplest solutions.  However, as mentioned, the expense ratios and asset allocation mix can be a deterrant.

I too am a fan of simplicity.  3 funds: Total Stock, Total Bond, International, (4th being a REIT if interested) is really all you need.  Extremely low expense ratios at the big brokerage houses and extremely easy to manage.