How many funds in your portfolio?

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jay22
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How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by jay22 »

I firmly believe anything over 8-10 funds is an overkill - anything less than 5-7% of your portfolio will have negligible effect on the long term returns, but will introduce unnecessary complexity in it.

Curious to know how many funds BHs have in their portfolio? We have 7 funds in our portfolio - 4 US, and 3 International.
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William4u
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by William4u »

5

VTI
VBR
VSS
VWO
VXUS
livesoft
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by livesoft »

Do IVV and VFIAX count as one fund or two funds? The reason I ask is because both are S&P500 index funds but in different accounts.

And folks who have done tax-loss harvesting need shares in replacement funds, so maybe if one sells VFIAX, they need VLCAX. Does that mean holding VFIAX and VLCAX are two funds. I think so.

I have BND, AGG, VBTLX, VBMFX, and FBIDX which are all Total US Bond Market Index fund in different accounts. Is that 5 funds or one fund?
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gas_balloon
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by gas_balloon »

6 --
Total Bonds (VBTIX in 401k)
REIT (VGSLX in Roth IRA, FSRVX in 401k)
Total U.S. Stocks (VTSAX in taxable, FUSVX and FSEVX in 401k)
U.S. Small-cap Value (VSIAX in taxable, no good options in 401k)
Total International (VTIAX in taxable, VTSNX in 401k)
Emerging Markets (VEMAX in taxable, VEIEX in Roth IRA, no good options in 401k)

I may add more bond funds down the line once my bond allocation is high enough... and my consolidate total international and emerging when the stocks allocation goes under 50%, since emerging would be a very small allocation at that point. Currently I am at 85/15, and decades away from making those changes :-)
Last edited by gas_balloon on Tue May 03, 2016 10:35 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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jay22
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by jay22 »

livesoft wrote:Do IVV and VFIAX count as one fund or two funds? The reason I ask is because both are S&P500 index funds but in different accounts.

And folks who have done tax-loss harvesting need shares in replacement funds, so maybe if one sells VFIAX, they need VLCAX. Does that mean holding VFIAX and VLCAX are two funds. I think so.

I have BND, AGG, VBTLX, VBMFX, and FBIDX which are all Total US Bond Market Index fund in different accounts. Is that 5 funds or one fund?
I would count them as one fund for simplicity sake. My 401(k) has BlackRock S&P 500 Index Fund, while in my taxable account, I invest in VTSMX and VLCAX (because of TLH). To me, these funds are interchangeable.
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by livesoft »

So you have 4 US funds, but one of those funds is made up of 3 different funds: S&P500, Total US Stock Market Index and Large-cap Index?

So going by that, I have 3 US funds:

1. VTI, VV, IVV, VFIAX, VLCAX
2. VXF, VBR
3. VNQ

and 3 Foreign funds:
1. VEU, VEA
2. VSS
3. DGS, EWX

:)
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in_reality
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by in_reality »

jay22 wrote:... anything less than 5-7% of your portfolio will have negligible effect on the long term returns, but will introduce unnecessary complexity in it.
I don't think the 5-7% rules necessarily applies and that people shouldn't necessarily make it a criteria to follow it.

Take a 90% stock 10% bond portfolio with a 30% allocation to stocks. Market Cap. weighing with Schwab ETFs is:

SCHB 63.0% US Broad Market
SCHF 20.4% Int'l Large (87.5% of Market)
SCHC 2.9% Int'l Small (12.5% of Market)
SCHE 3.7% Emerging (87.5% of Market)
SCHZ 10.00% Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (same as Vanguard Total Bond)

Vanguard Total International obviously combines the three international holdings (easier but not as many tax harvesting opportunities).

So really the international allocation is in total a very meaningful 27%.

SCHC and SCHE are both more volatile and less correlated with US equities than international large caps so for convenience perhaps they could be combined. As the dollar amounts grow, I'd want to hold both.
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goingup
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by goingup »

jay22 wrote:
livesoft wrote:Do IVV and VFIAX count as one fund or two funds? The reason I ask is because both are S&P500 index funds but in different accounts.

And folks who have done tax-loss harvesting need shares in replacement funds, so maybe if one sells VFIAX, they need VLCAX. Does that mean holding VFIAX and VLCAX are two funds. I think so.

I have BND, AGG, VBTLX, VBMFX, and FBIDX which are all Total US Bond Market Index fund in different accounts. Is that 5 funds or one fund?
I would count them as one fund for simplicity sake. My 401(k) has BlackRock S&P 500 Index Fund, while in my taxable account, I invest in VTSMX and VLCAX (because of TLH). To me, these funds are interchangeable.
Wait...You have 3 different funds that you are counting as 1 fund? You count way differently than I do! Are your 3 aforementioned funds 3 of your total 4 US funds?
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by whaleknives »

Four: VTSAX 41%, VBTLX 40%, VTIAX 18%, VGHCX 1%.
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jay22
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by jay22 »

When I say I count them as one fund, I mean they're similar kinds of funds. Of course, given a choice, I would rather just invest in VTSMX, but lack of choices in my 401 makes it impossible.
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gas_balloon
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by gas_balloon »

William4u wrote:5

VTI
VBR
VSS
VWO
VXUS
No Bonds?
VAslim16
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by VAslim16 »

2 for me. VTI and VXUS
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timboktoo
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by timboktoo »

Three :)

- Tim
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by Alchemist »

I have two. FUSVX in my Roth. VTSAX in Taxable.

That's it, and the simplicity is wonderful. I do not worry about re-balancing, I don't slice and dice, and I do not re-allocate. I keep my emergency fund at 12 months expenses and throw my savings every month into the above two funds and don't worry about a thing. I will eventually add a bond fund but not for a decade or so (currently 29).
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oldzey
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by oldzey »

4 funds:
VTSAX (in Roth and taxable accounts)
TIEIX (403b)
QREARX (403b)
TIAA Traditional (403b RA and 403b GSRA)

AA:
55% Equities
25% Fixed Income
20% Real Estate
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ofcmetz
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by ofcmetz »

Let's see.

We have money in:

S&P 500
Total Stock Market US
Total International Stock Market
Small Cap Index
Intermediate Term Bond Index
TIAA Real Estate
TIAA Traditional

So the answer is 7.
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goingup
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by goingup »

jay22 wrote:When I say I count them as one fund, I mean they're similar kinds of funds. Of course, given a choice, I would rather just invest in VTSMX, but lack of choices in my 401 makes it impossible.
I guess I think what you are describing is asset classes. To me "funds" are specific tickers. We have:

1 Total Stock Market fund
1 US Small Cap fund
2 Balanced funds
1 REIT fund
2 International funds (due to TLH)
2 Muni funds (short & interm)
1 Total Bond fund
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unclescrooge
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by unclescrooge »

16.

I'm a slice and dicer.
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by SpaceCowboy »

Let's see how much blowback I get for my complex portfolio

On the fixed income side:
Total bond
3 stable value - 2 401k and 1 529
5 CDs with different banks direct
2 individual TIPS
TIPS fund
IBonds
Cash

Alternatives:
AQR STyle Premia
REIT US
REIT Int'l
130/30 for part of S&P 500 (yes Nisi some still do exist - CSM in my case)

Equities:
Total Stock
Small cap value
S&P 500
6 Fidelity Sector funds for my sector rotation strategy
Total international
International small cap value
Emerging markets

Also these are held in multiple families, Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard. My TD accounts mostly use Vanguard or iShares, whereas the Fidelity and Schwab accounts tend to use their products.

You might ask how I got here and the base answer is taxes. You open an account for every tax advantage - 401k, Ira, Roth, coverdell, UTGMA, 529 etc.
Then you also diversify among custodians. Then when you need money, you look at the tax basis to decide what to sell. Also you TLH. Don't want to incur the cap gains taxes to reduce the number of tickers. Haven't actually counted the number of different tickers, but it is about 20 different accounts. That's one of the reasons I like the Personal Capital aggregation app.
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by rixer »

One.VSCGX
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FreeAtLast
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by FreeAtLast »

Seven Vanguard funds. Four stocks, three bonds. One of the stock funds is international. Except for one of the bond funds, all are index funds.
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by Ari »

One Swedish stocks
One International stocks
One EM stocks (actually Asia Ex-Japan)

Plus one emergency funds Money Market fund.

So three funds, if you don't count the emergency funds (which I don't really count as my "portfolio").
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by APB »

3, 100% equities (age mid 20s)

VTSAX (USA)
VTMGX (Developed ex-USA)
VEMAX (Emerging Markets)

I just rebalance whenever I buy more. :)
My posts represent my own opinion and do not constitute financial advice. I am simply a hobbyist. :)
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stemikger
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by stemikger »

3

401K - Vanguard Institutional Index Fund and Blackrock U.S. Debt Index Fund (65/35 AA)

IRA - Vanguard Balanced Index Fund (Admiral Shares)
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digarei
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by digarei »

25 funds

4 accounts

Easy to rebalance

(Hint - use a spreadsheet)

I don't sell from taxable.
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William4u
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by William4u »

walletless wrote:
William4u wrote:5

VTI
VBR
VSS
VWO
VXUS
No Bonds?
No bonds.
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by longinvest »

3

VCN (Domestic Stocks, Canada, 25%)
VXC (International Stocks, ex Canada, 25%)
VAB (Domestic Bonds, Canada, 50%)
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stemikger
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by stemikger »

Not to go off topic, but I have a quick question to the folks who have more than 8 funds. Are you married? If so does your significant other show interest? If not, do you worry about them not being able to handle this type of portfolio in the event you predecease them?

My wife shows very little interest which is one reason, when I retire I might just put it all in the Vanguard Balanced Index Fund. The only thing she will have to worry about is withdrawals. In retirement I was never planning to go lower than 50/50, so 60/40 would be just as good.

Jack Bogle puts money away every year for his Grandchildren and he puts it all in the Vanguard Balanced Index because he does not want to think or worry about it and he doesn't want them to worry about it either. Hear him say it himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_tHhGtX-lA
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William4u
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by William4u »

stemikger wrote:Not to go off topic, but I have a quick question to the folks who have more than 8 funds. Are you married? If so does your significant other show interest? If not, do you worry about them not being able to handle this type of portfolio in the event you predecease them?

My wife shows very little interest which is one reason, when I retire I might just put it all in the Vanguard Balanced Index Fund. The only thing she will have to worry about is withdrawals. In retirement I was never planning to go lower than 50/50, so 60/40 would be just as good.

Jack Bogle puts money away every year for his Grandchildren and he puts it all in the Vanguard Balanced Index because he does not want to think or worry about it and he doesn't want them to worry about it either. Hear him say it himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_tHhGtX-lA
This is important. Many men manage the investments (although many women do too), and their spouse gets bored even talking about it. Mine does.

Men usually die well before their female spouses. If the investments are too complicated, it can bring problems for the widow.

My wife has read and understands our IPS. She knows she can leave the investments as is. She knows that she should keep the balance roughly the same over time with the relevant withdrawals. She also knows she can go to a simple 3 fund portfolio easily, and that this is a good idea for simplicity.

If I know I am dying, I will move her into a simple 3 fund portfolio, and she knows this. She knows not to go to Edward Jones or somesuch place.

Most importantly, she knows she can ask for help here after I am gone.
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by nisiprius »

stemikger wrote:Not to go off topic, but I have a quick question to the folks who have more than 8 funds. Are you married? If so does your significant other show interest? If not, do you worry about them not being able to handle this type of portfolio in the event you predecease them?

My wife shows very little interest which is one reason, when I retire I might just put it all in the Vanguard Balanced Index Fund. The only thing she will have to worry about is withdrawals. In retirement I was never planning to go lower than 50/50, so 60/40 would be just as good...
I never quite know how to count, but a practical problem is that at my venerable age my wife and I have accumulated a collection of accounts in "brokerage-like" places and it's very hard to clean them up. I think I am down to something close to the irreducible minimum. Not counting banks and income annuities (which require no attention), we are now down to: My Vanguard taxable (well, the RMDs have to go somewhere; my Vanguard rollover; my Vanguard Roth; and her Vanguard Roth. Because of silly vacillation as Prime Money Market interest rates dropped to lower-than-bank-account levels, I have an untidy collection of short-term bond stuff in those accounts. I feel that "morally" we "really" only have four--Total Stock, Total International, Total Bond, and Inflation-Protected Securities--but if we include money market itself (which accumulates money crumbs) and short-term "instead-of-money-market" funds we have more than eight fund names.

My wife is numerate and understands budgeting, shopping for CD rates at banks, and she and I make similar judgements about spending and what we can "afford." She also finds everything about investing (i.e. in securities) to be a) boring and b) anxiety-provoking. However, I believe she is convinced--from her own intuition, although I reinforce it--that if I die first she should just trust herself to manage everything, get advice from our daughter-in-law and one trusted friend, and avoid advisors. (To any financial planners reading this: we're mass affluent, can't afford you, and don't have the kind of complicated situation--small business, big taxable account, etc.--that would need a financial planner).

But, yes, for the past ten years! I have been trying to gradually simplify and simplify and simplify. I ask her to recite by heart the name of every financial institution we use. I need to nudge her again because maybe once a year I will ask her to take $100 out of our Vanguard account (just to rehearse how the website works). When she is in a good mood I will ask her to look at our Vanguard statement when it comes in.

It was a really big wrench a couple of years ago when I decided to let go of my portfolio of over twenty individual TIPS issues. I really didn't want to do that. I had really planned to hold them to maturity. But I realized--when my wife first looked at a Vanguard statement that listed them--that it simply wasn't prudent if I ever expected her to need to manage the account. So I closed my eyes and liquidated them (and bought VIPSX). Didn't ask about bid-asked spread. It's my honest belief that using VIPSX is a) slightly b) sub-optimal, but I decided I should focus on the "slightly" part.
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arf30
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by arf30 »

75% VTSAX
15% VTIAX
10% VWIUX

And a target fund in my retirement account, pretty boring.
Dandy
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by Dandy »

I have 11 Funds

Tax Advantaged - Balanced Index, Wellesley Income, Value Index, TIPS, Short Term Index, Short Term Inv. Grade
Taxable - Total Stock, FTSE International, Small Cap Index, Intermediate Tax Free, Ltd Term Tax Free.

Some of the "complexity" is due to wanting an overall 40% equity allocation and having a taxable account heavy in equities. Add to that I don't care for VG TD or Life Strategy funds so Balanced index is too aggressive. That is offset by Wellesley, and several fixed income funds. I also use my tax advantaged funds to keep my overall allocation in balance. I have never sold taxable investments to rebalance.

Finally, my first objective is to have enough "safe" products to fund my current retirement drawdown until age 90. Thus the short term funds.

I do worry a bit about my spouse/heirs dealing with a bit of complexity. SS, pension and RMDs automatically sent to checking (in 2 years) should provide enough income for living expenses. So any other moves can be done with less urgency.
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David Jay
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by David Jay »

9

I have a Coffeehouse portfolio (normally 7 funds) but I split international and bonds - two funds each.

Thinking about moving to the PecanPie portfolio.
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by BahamaMan »

1

VTINX
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ruralavalon
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by ruralavalon »

Six funds.

50/50 asset allocation.

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral (VTSAX) in rollover IRA
Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index Fund Admiral (VTIAX) in taxable + rollover IRA
Vanguard Small-cap Value Index Fund Admiral (VSIAX) in Roth IRAs
Vanguard REIT Index Fund Admiral (VGSLX) in rollover IRA
Vanguard Intermediate-term Investment Grade Bond Fund Admiral (VFIDX) in rollover IRA
Vanguard Intermediate-term Bond Index Fund Admiral (VBILX) in rollover IRA
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k66
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by k66 »

4 currently (VAB, VCN, VTI, VXUS), but looking to get it down to 3 or less.
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mhc
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by mhc »

401k - Large Cap, Small Cap, Bonds (Fidelity)
HSA - Intl small, TSM (Fidelity)
Taxable - TSM, S&P500, TISM, Developed Intl (Vanguard)
Roth's - TSM, TISM (Vanguard)


With different accounts at different brokerages, it's easy to get many different funds. Also, TLH can leave multiple funds. Left over funds from pre-BH days with large gains can produce extra funds.

I have 9 different funds even though I follow a 3 fund philosophy. My 401k does not have a TSM or TISM. The S&P500 is from pre-BH days. It is what I donate to my DAF. I TLH to Developed/Emerging once. It had no small cap, so I bought small cap Intl in the HSA.

Do I want 9 funds, no, but it is easy to get there. BTW, the number of funds is easy to manage. What I don't like is all the accounts:
401k
HSA
Taxable
3 529's
3 Coverdells
2 Roth
2 IRA (only used for backdoor roth)
checking account
savings account
DAF
deferred comp

17 accounts where I store money.
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jimgour
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by jimgour »

The classic three:

50% Total Stock Market Index
25% Total International Index
25% Total Bond Fund
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packet
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by packet »

9 funds in 5 classes across 6 accounts.

Funds: VTSAX, VTIAX, VSIAX, VGSLX, PLFIX, VLCAX, VASGX, VBIAX, VBILX
Classes: Total US, Total International, US REITs, US Small Value, Bonds
Accounts: My rolloever tIRA, My Roth, Wife's Roth, My 403b, Our HSA, Our taxable

Even the above could be considered more complex than represented here... for example, there are international bonds in VASGX (just not enough to worry about for me).

To address stemikger's query... I do worry about this, more and more as time goes on. My wife is completely uninterested. I'm trying to develop plans now to further simplify things, perhaps all down into VBIAX once we're retired. I'm a recent convert to LastPass (Love it!) and am training her on it's use. Through the password manager we accomplish a couple things: 1. All accounts are listed in one place; 2. IDs/Passwords don't have to be remembered (or even communicated when changed). I keep the main password in a safe and have her retrieve it from time to time (she's so unconcerned with this stuff that the first few times she didn't remember her code to the safe!). We now have everything documented and a means for access to it should I perish... next step is a more formal "death book".

:beerCheers,
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JPH
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by JPH »

My spouse and I have 12 total.
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by Texanbybirth »

1, Vanguard TDF2050 Institutional :beer
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by Da5id »

jay22 wrote:I firmly believe anything over 8-10 funds is an overkill - anything less than 5-7% of your portfolio will have negligible effect on the long term returns, but will introduce unnecessary complexity in it.

Curious to know how many funds BHs have in their portfolio? We have 7 funds in our portfolio - 4 US, and 3 International.
This seems a bit simplistic to me, and depends on what you call a "fund".

The bulk of my money is in a 3 fund Vanguard portfolio (Admiral versions of total stock/international stock/total bond) in Roth/Traditional IRA. Some of my taxable is in those same funds.

I also have a 401k which offers a different and inferior fund selection. 3 different funds used there (only 3 index funds offered, S&P, midcap, smallcap), you could argue that together they are same as total stock above, but they are distinct funds.

In taxable, if you count i-bonds as a fund, and if you count cds as a "fund", and if you count savings account with 2 years expenses as cash reserves as a "fund", I have 6 funds (two Vanguard bond funds, Vanguard Admiral total stock, i bonds, cd, internet savings account). Two of them are same as in tax free, so that is 4 additional different funds. I think it is very reasonable to count all those as funds myself, they are investment vehicles.

I thus have about 10 "funds" (may be forgetting something). Doesn't seem an outrage to me.

I believe that if your investing ideas evolve over the years, you can also very reasonably have more funds to avoid realizing large capital gains though you have stopped investing in those funds.

Not really arguing with you, I am in favor of simplicity. In an ideal world I'd have about 5-6 funds. Just practical considerations can get in the way. Whenever I finish current job, mediocre 401k funds will be dropped into Vanguard and I'll own 3 fewer funds...
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Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by vested1 »

5 in descending value 60/40 total, all index

VTSAX - Total U.S. Stock
VBTLX - Total U.S. Bond
VTIAX - Total International Stock
VTABX - Total International Bond
VICSX - Intermediate Term - Corporate Bond

Plus 13.5% in a matured annuity funding SS delay
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boo-yah
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:25 am

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by boo-yah »

12, in three accounts, all tax-advantaged.

A lot is driven by the choices available in each account - e.g. in one account there are no good cheap total market funds, so I have an S&P fund and an International Developed there, and separate small/mid cap US and emerging markets in another. I can't buy ETFs in my workplace accounts, so I have a Roth with SCZ as my international small cap. I take advantage of TIAA Traditional and Real Estate in my TIAA account because I can. Total Bond is the only fund that my accounts have in common, but counts as two (TBIIX and VBTLX) Yes, I slice and dice, but thanks to the Bogleheads I have a simple worksheet to keep track of it all and optimize where my contributions go each month.
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22twain
Posts: 2714
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by 22twain »

Five.

In tax-deferred 403(b):
TIAA Traditional
CREF Stock

In taxable:
Vanguard Total Stock ETF
Vanguard Total International Stock ETF
Vanguard Total Bond ETF

I know bonds in taxable isn't tax-efficient. This summer I'll probably re-allocate some of the CREF stock to either TIAA Traditional or CREF Bond Market, and then convert most or all of the Vanguard Total Bond to the two stock ETFs.
Epitaph: Here lies the noble word "princiPAL", smothered by its like-sounding impostor "princiPLE". May it rest in piece!
gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by gkaplan »

Vanguard Value Index Fund Admiral Shares
Vanguard Small-Cap Value Index Fund Admiral Shares
Vanguard European Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares
Vanguard Pacific Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap Index Fund
Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares
Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund Admiral Shares
Thrift Savings Plan "G" Fund

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight. I count eight funds.
Gordon
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SimpleGift
Posts: 3869
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:45 pm
Location: Central Oregon

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by SimpleGift »

Not trying to win any prize for the most funds, but my significant other and I each have our own independent portfolios in retirement, with 10 and 12 funds respectively. All of the funds are with Vanguard and the two portfolios contain many of the same funds.

I’m fortunate that my SO is adept and interested in portfolio management on her own, and has been for years. We are both moderate slice-and-dicers, which has worked well for us, especially during the most recent “lost decade” for large-cap U.S. stocks.

At times, we’ve discussed simplifying our portfolios, but we each have so much in embedded capital gains now, it’s not worthwhile tax-wise. When we last discussed portfolio simplification, her attitude was, “Why bother, it’s only a few extra lines on the rebalancing spreadsheet.” I’m lucky to have a simpatico partner when it comes to finances!
inbox788
Posts: 7928
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by inbox788 »

Too many!

I've been on a diet and eliminating funds (and individual stocks), so what started at over 20 is probably down to about 10 now, and 3 more are in the cutting room. One of my retirement accounts doesn't have a total us market so I used sp500/mid cap/small cap to replicate. Should I consider that one or 3?

I'm aiming for 3 funds for the long haul. Can't get over the 0.02 extra cost in reducing the number and the loss of flexibility. If I could save 0.02, I'd consider giving up some flexibility.
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Doom&Gloom
Posts: 3733
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

stemikger wrote:Not to go off topic, but I have a quick question to the folks who have more than 8 funds. Are you married? If so does your significant other show interest? If not, do you worry about them not being able to handle this type of portfolio in the event you predecease them?

My wife shows very little interest which is one reason, when I retire I might just put it all in the Vanguard Balanced Index Fund. The only thing she will have to worry about is withdrawals. In retirement I was never planning to go lower than 50/50, so 60/40 would be just as good.

Jack Bogle puts money away every year for his Grandchildren and he puts it all in the Vanguard Balanced Index because he does not want to think or worry about it and he doesn't want them to worry about it either. Hear him say it himself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_tHhGtX-lA
I currently have 20, with a plan to consolidate by dropping 2 per year. It actually isn't that many if practically identical funds or etf's held in different accounts are considered to be the same as discussed previously itt.

I have two beneficiaries who will undoubtedly each "need" different AA's than I currently have (or will have as the years pass). I have left each of them written instructions on how I suggest they consolidate the funds immediately upon inheritance.

If I go mentally goofy in the meantime... Well, if I feel that coming, I plan to go to 3 funds immediately.
spencer99
Posts: 368
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:17 pm

Re: How many funds in your portfolio?

Post by spencer99 »

jay22 wrote:I firmly believe anything over 8-10 funds is an overkill - anything less than 5-7% of your portfolio will have negligible effect on the long term returns, but will introduce unnecessary complexity in it.

Curious to know how many funds BHs have in their portfolio? We have 7 funds in our portfolio - 4 US, and 3 International.
Jay,

I have 12. For me that's more than I'd prefer but sometimes this is hard to control. Some reasons that apply to me:

1) I need/want to contribute to both a 403(b) and a 457, causing some duplication.

2) I duplicate several fund types in my Roth that I already have in workplace retirement accounts. Not sure how one could get around this.

3) One workplace account doesn't offer a US total market fund so I combine a S&P 500 and a Russell 2000.

4) For fixed income AA I've added TIAA Traditional to my several total bond funds.

5) Others may know of a better approach but I tend to keep a total bond fund in all my accounts to help rebalance between accounts.

Most of the funds just sit there and collect automatic deposits and I rarely need to touch anything for rebalancing. A spreadsheet pulls everything together in AA categories. Of course this will get simpler after retirement and roll over to Vanguard.
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