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I've done a bit of reading on this board, and thought I'd pipe in here.

I've got about 80% of my IRA funds at Vanguard, with another 25% at Scudder, split between a couple of different funds (both managed by the Value Contrarian David Dreman, whose philosophy I find intriging--we'll see if his returns justify the fees).

Anyway, I'm 37 and quit working for The Man in 2001 to open my own business. That same year, I rolled over my 401K into an IRA at Vanguard, and I also have a Roth at Vanguard. Now that my business is (finally) turning a profit, I opened a SEP IRA at Vanguard. Having read Bogle's book and quite a few others, I was allocating things between 5 or 6 funds that are not that far away from the Coffeehouse portfolio. But the funds were duplicating each other between the various IRAs.

I was grumbling about the $10 annual maintenance fee, and the $10 annual custodial fee, and then I read a post here about consolidating funds until I accumulate enough to avoid the fees. It made sense, but I wasn't fond of just having one or two funds, but I called Vanguard to see what they could do.

The rep suggested consolidating the SEP and the Rollover, which I was going to suggest anyway. Then she mentioned the Target 2045 Retirement fund. I'd seen the Target funds, and thought to myself that the 2025 was more like the date I'm looking at, but I didn't like the allocation. 2045 was too far away, and 2035 was too far away, so I just forgot about them. But she pointed out that the 2045 was about 90% stocks, which is what I'm looking for. Since it's a decent mix of total market, international, and bonds, it's a perfect vehicle for consolidating funds and avoiding some fees.

The rep was going to dump the SEP into the Rollover, but as I thought about it, wouldn't I lose my ability to make employer contributions? I called back, and a different rep suggest dumping the Rollover into the SEP, which would preserve that ability no matter what. They emailed me the rollover form and it's in the mail now.

I almost ignored the Target 2045 fund because of the name. It's pretty cool that they actually have a product designed to help you *avoid* fees, rather than trying to gouge you.

Besides Bogle's book, out of the 20 or so that I've read, I'd have to recommend Charles Schwab's Guide to Financial Independence, and Jane Bryant Quinn's Making the Most of Your Money. Schwab's covers asset allocation, and I think it's a nice one for a novice who might not know anything about stocks other than what he heard from Grampa about Crash of '29. Quinn's is a big tome that covers just about everything under the sun. It's a great reference manual on everything from insurance to annuities, and she also likes index funds.

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Good post. I've often wondered why folks who don't like the asset mix of their 'target date' fund (i.e. bond holding % too large) just don't pick one with a date further out. It's almost like there's some form of psychological bias to doing so. Similar to those who look at their IRA's and 401K's as retirement funds for LTBH and do short-term trading in their taxable accounts. (It took me awhile to get myself out of that mindset.)

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I meant to post that at the Index Fund board, but I guess here is OK, too :-)
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