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Here's an article buy a guy who runs a managed fund company shooting Vanguard in the shorts.

It really shows he has an axe to grind.

The truth is that something will always be beating the S&P500. And several somethings will be doing worse than the S&P500. The trick is to find what that will be going forward. I don't think most people can do that reliably.

I have vowed to get my investing house in order over the next year or so and was wondering what some of the people on this board do or what your overall plan is and how it is working.

My investment strategy is one of Asset Allocation (75% equities, 15% bond, 10% real estate) with annual rebalancing (403(b)), or Asset Allocation (75% equities, 25% bond) with nudging back to balance by directing new investment money (taxable investments).

So far it kept me from buying stocks in the Spring 2000 peak (and increasing my bond fund holdings at that time), and last year new money was going predominantly into equities with very little into bond. In retrospect, that appears to have been good. In both cases, it kept me from following my emotions, but instead keep with a plan that has a really easy way of making investment decisions, and all I had to do was follow the plan instead of the feelings (e.g., go against the irrational exuberance leading to the Spring 2000 peak, and go against the irrational pessimism for the subsequent lows). However, the proof is in the next 20 years.

My 403(b) is nice and neat in three investment accounts at TIAA-CREF: equity index, Fixed Income, and Real Estate. (The Real Estate account predominantly purchases various types of income-generating properties outright.)

My taxable investments, however, are right now a little messy with ten different funds (11 if you count a money market fund with a token amount in it), what my investment advisor had started as a "core and explore" portfolio but I later changed to an Asset Allocation plan. However, the reminents of the "explore" part have remained in the AA and a couple years they have been the big winners, but a couple of years they have been the big losers, too. The fund family is halfway decent, but if I were to start over today I would probably go with Vanguard Total Stock Market, an international fund, and the total bond fund. (Yes, I know the argument for holding only tax efficient funds in a taxable account, but I am not convinced yet that I won't be needing to use those investments before I can tap into my 403(b).) The reason I went with an investment advisor was because I figured that having someone to keep me from buying high and, especially, selling low, would be worth a load. Well, my losses were lower than a straight S&P500 investment, probably because I had 25% bond exposure at a time that any bond exposure was "unpopular", but then in the recovery I will probably have lower gains, too, but being less than 10 years from when I can retire, I am uncomfortable with 100% equities.
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