Success is improving my life. Achievements Big and Small. Positive Goals.

More investing goals: I'm thinking of starting a "house fund". I renewed my lease at a premium of $55/mo extra. Probably behooves me to earmark some money for the down payment on a house if nothing else, and to put it in an income-focused investment account (like 80% bonds, 20% stocks). In about three years, I'll probably be ready to start looking for a house/condo, at which point these funds will have (hopefully) appreciated a decent amount, more than if they just sat in my checking account.

I want this to be the year that I get my whole investment picture straightened out so I can stop fretting over it. Minimize expenses, minimize risk, maximize return. Live the dream.

Watch the fees, especially on low interest funds.

Vanguard is your friend here

Robear wrote:

Watch the fees, especially on low interest funds.

beanman101283 wrote:

Vanguard is your friend here

Yep, I have my IRA with Vanguard, I plan to open a brokerage account there for this plan and to use broad-sweeping index ETFs with low expenses. Part of my investment reprofiling will be to get out of some of these funds with high fees that I've held since before I had full control. This whole process just makes me really nervous that I'll tank the portfolio with my decisions. Doesn't help that I get bombarded with financial news at least 40 hours a week at my job. Makes the "robo-advisor" solutions they have these days sound really tempting.

Project get out and walk no matter what the weather is so far going ok. Snow, rain, cold, and scary people haven't stopped me.

Some time ago I use to walk and run daily. I even did it twice a day. The two main reasons I fell off I think was because I was working insane hours and the scary people in the dark hours. More than a few times I had cars following me probably for a potential drug deal. I can't help it if I'm a vampire.

Currently my goal is to walk at least every other day for at least 30 minutes.

Then next week go to daily walking 30 minutes or more.

Bubs14 wrote:

This whole process just makes me really nervous that I'll tank the portfolio with my decisions. Doesn't help that I get bombarded with financial news at least 40 hours a week at my job. Makes the "robo-advisor" solutions they have these days sound really tempting.

Remember, the markets in the long run outperform all managers. Every one. If you want to bet on a strategy, do it, but all funds have runs of better times, and worse times. The thing to remember is that the fees ensure that the managers make money unless everything absolutely goes to hell and the fund shuts down. And the transfer fees encourage churn.

What could generate more money than a tool that *automatically* advises people how to move money around? At that point, even with good advice, the tiny fees they charge to do it are pure profit, and take away from investor's capital. Death by a thousand cuts...

Your absolute best bet, failing having partner shares in a fund, is an index fund with a low rate. Then, the only worry you have after 30 or 40 years is whether the market is generally up for the last few years. You don't want to retire in the equivalent of 2009, but unless everything goes to hell, it just tacks a few years on to your work life, till things get back to normal and the markets have come up again. After all, what matters is where it is when you cash out.

This guy has the right idea (and in fact the interview with him in 2006 was what drove me to change my investments - putting it all in index funds - and I've done well out of it).

Swensen says that individual investors will make the greatest return by focusing on the right way to carve up their portfolio into different areas of investment (see the pie chart at top left). He says they should then stick with that mix.

Don't, for example, try to decide when to buy U.S. stocks and sell a lot of bonds, in an effort to predict which way those markets are heading. If you do that, he says, you're going to lose over time, because you'll be competing directly with professionals like him.

Swensen has a team of 20 analysts — and a small army of boutique investment houses — working long hours to predict which way certain market segments or individual stocks will move. Who do you think is going to buy and sell at the right time? Remember: If somebody buys low and sells high, somebody else is buying high from them. You don't want to be that person.

And for the other side of the picture, read Michael Lewis' "Liar's Poker", which will show you how the industry works from the point of view of a broker. You probably see these guys every day, but even if you've worked *with* them, this gets inside their head and the business. You really, really, don't want to depend on them to take care of you in any way at all. Ever.

Now that I'm done with CFA studying for the foreseeable future... I've decided to study some more. I signed up at Coursera and I'm going to take Cryptography I in a few weeks. It's a subject I'm interested in but seems really obtuse from the outside, so I hope to gain a little insight and maybe do a little more independent study about cybersecurity. Seems like a subject that's hard to ignore these days.