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Author: Ceberon Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75530  
Subject: The most simple investment strategy? Date: 10/25/2004 1:16 PM
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My parents have accepted the idea that having someone else manage their money for them may not be the best idea. They said next time I stop on by, I could tell them about their options. They're very bright people, but have basically 0 interest in their funds. As they explained it "I think we have a 401k somewhere, not sure what's in it, and we have an account at this other brokerage too" -- and then showed me a pile of unopened envelopes.

Glancing in one envelope I saw that the churn rate for their funds looks fairly high (they're in like 15 mutual funds and the sales/purchases it listed so far this year are around 25% of the balance), and I see charges listed in an "other" category for a few hundred (3k so far this year). I'm going to guess that might be commission? In either way, I feel they would do better with a balanced strategy of a few index funds.

So I'm looking for extremely extremely simple investing. They're 52ish, and don't plan on retiring until 65. From the standard 70/30 or 60/40 ratios, I'm thinking about something like this:

45% VTSMX (Vanguard Total Stock Index Fund)
15% VGTSX (Vanguard International Stock Index Fund)
20% VBMFX (Vanguard Total Bond Index Fund)
20% VGSIX (Vanguard REIT Index Fund)

So it's 60% equity, 20% Bonds, 20% real estate. It's a total of 4 funds to match the market and should be conservative enough. I imagine if I wrote down instructions they could value average investments (IE, when you put money in, attempt to make the totals equal the percents I said above).

What do you think about my allocations? I'm just looking for some way to have them invested without having a commission taken out. There's also the possibility I could manage it for them, but it's my opinion that it's generally not a great idea to manage other people's money, even if it's my parents.
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