No. of Recommendations: 2
So, rephrasing my question above: does anyone on this board still follow the conventional wisdom that you should have a certain percentage of bonds or bond funds in your portfolio for downside protection?

Bonds are not for downside protection. Bonds are for the asset which is uncorrelated with equities. They are the umbrella to keep you dry in the storm.

I think the conventional wisdom for 30%-50% allocation to bonds is probably wrong in these times. Bonds have had a decades long tailwind due to declining interest rates. When rates eventually rise, bonds will deliver large losses.

If not, what do you have instead?
Trend-following on a broad market index. Specifically, a long-term moving average on the S&P500.

The idea with bonds is to rebalance annually, so that in a bear market you shift your (remaining) money from stocks to bonds. Instead of doing that, my idea is to shift the money from stocks to CASH. When the market turns and it's time to rebalance and move money from bonds to stocks, you move your money from CASH to stocks.

Emotionally difficult to do. Most people won't do it, because a) they'd rather fail along with the crowd than act differently than the herd, and b) they can't stomach the volatility of a 100% stock portfolio.
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