No. of Recommendations: 1
Greetings bawden...

I think that keeping your allocation as simple as possible is the best way to start out. The fewer funds you have to manage and "pay expenses on" the better. It all depends on your particular set of circumstances as to which way you go.

The absolute simplest way would be to invest in a self-balancing blend type of fund such as Vanguard's Balanced Index Fund (VBINX) which is 60% Total Stock Market Index and 40% Total Bond Market Index. This is a no-load fund with a very low expense ratio of about 0.22%. This is what I like to call the "Feed it & Ferget it" portfolio. This could be your total allocation or at least the core fund of your portfolio. This approach is especially good for very busy people who don't have the time or inclination to mess with a more complicated portfolio.

A close variation on the "Feed it & Ferget" it style is called the "Couch Potato" Portfolio which could be composed of two funds: A Total Stock Market Index like Vanguard's (VTSMX) and the Total Bond Market Index (VBMFX). These two funds would then be balanced periodically (say once a year) to ensure that they met your particular (ever changing) risk level. A start for a younger person might be 75% (VTSMX) and 25% (VBMFX). This is the second easiest/simplest investment approach.

Just two ideas that you may well have heard of before, but they are, IMHO, the best way to get a good fundamental start on your retirement investing. Slicing and dicing is (again...in my opinion) a waste of time, effort and expenses that could be better utilized elsewhere.

What ever you decide, I wish you good luck and good fortune!

Regards,
Bill

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