In a recent post on the NY Times Bucks blog, portfolio manager and author Richard Ferri shared his own personal portfolio. As a proponent of low-cost, passive investing, it was not surprising to see mostly index funds in his portfolio, but it was interesting to see that his overall asset allocation is 80% stocks and 20% bonds. He is quick to note that he does have a pension and defined-benefit plans which balance out his overall financial picture. Wouldn’t you like to know what all those financial advisors out there actually own?
Here is his asset allocation broken down into stocks and bonds separately using pretty pie charts:
Here’s the overall 80/20 breakdown with ticker symbols (based on this Bogleheads post):
34% Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)
10% S&P SmallCap 600 Value Index Fund (IJS)
5% Ultra-Small Company Market (BRSIX)
8% Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ)
6.5% Vanguard Pacific ETF (VPL)
6.5% Vanguard European ETF (VGK)
5% DFA International Small Cap Value
5% DFA Emerging Markets Core
—- [alternative: Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (VWO)]
12% Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VBMFX)
4% Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund Investor Shares (VIPSX)
4% Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund Investor Shares (VWEHX)
Reading his book All About Asset Allocation was very helpful in creating my own portfolio. (Also see Model Portfolio #3 taken from that book.) I haven’t been updating my own own portfolio asset allocation as diligently as I should, although I have been keeping track of it. Here’s the last snapshot I took:
I’ve had some asset allocation drift for sure, although I have been countering this by rebalancing with new funds. I really need an update…
It’s also interesting to note that he keeps an emergency fund of two years’ living expenses, and that he uses the Vanguard Short-Term Bond (BSV) with a current SEC yield of 1.08%. Very simple and almost no-maintenance.
I prefer using a mix of high interest savings accounts and longer-term CDs/rewards-type checking accounts. I figure that index fund investors get so excited by saving 10 basis points (0.10%) on mutual fund, but with a bit of work you could beat a short-term bond fund by 100 basis points (1%) with what I would call less risk.
Bond funds still have risk to principal, meaning you may have to sell for less than you bought in for, while FDIC-insured bank accounts do not. Money market funds are currently averaging less than 0.10% yield.