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I would like a simple small number of ETFS or mutual funds to hold. Retired age 72.

Looking for advice or sources of ideas.
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Vanguard Total Market Index or Vanguard SP500 Index (equities), and Vanguard Total Bond Index. Just decide on an allocation (like 30% equities and 70% for someone around age 70, or maybe 40% bonds and 60% equities), then buy and hold for the rest of your life, ajusting the bond allocation upward as you get older. Just an idea for a simple portfolio of 2 mutual funds.
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I was thinking along the same lines. Although I'd probably go with a ladder of 5 year CDs in place of the bond funds. I'm a bit skittish about bond funds today. If (When?) interest rates spike up, the value of bond funds will drop like a rock. With CDs, you'll at least get your principal back intact.

--Peter
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You might check this link out:
http://www.marketwatch.com/lazyportfolio
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I was thinking along the same lines. Although I'd probably go with a ladder of 5 year CDs in place of the bond funds. I'm a bit skittish about bond funds today. If (When?) interest rates spike up, the value of bond funds will drop like a rock. With CDs, you'll at least get your principal back intact.



and i've been thinking that interest rates are so low ... i'd not be in a hurry to invest in either (Bonds or CDs) *


.. is there an advantage to Vanguard index fund over SPY?



* i've put my 'fixed' money into dividend paying 'utilities'
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Sooner or later interest rates will go up, and then bonds will tank. So I see no reason to go into bonds at this time, unless you limit yourself to very short term bonds.

I do not think that there is anything you should buy and hold forever. Things fluctuate, and you need to be able to take advantage of those fluctuations.

Reminded of J. P. Morgan's answer when somebody asked him what the market was going to do. He said that it will fluctuate.
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0x6a74 - .. is there an advantage to Vanguard index fund over SPY?

Probably depends if it's in a tax deferred account or not. VGINX @ year end will probably have short and/or long term capital gains. So in a taxable account you'll pay taxes on those @ ordinary income tax rates.

On the ETF SPY you'll get qrtly dividends and depending on your tax rate you could pay 0% to 39.x% on them. And no cap gain/loss until sold.

If you compare Vanguard's S&P ETF, VOO to SPY they're almost identical. VOO shows a very slight out-performance sometimes and I think this is because the VOO expense ratio is about half of SPY's ER (0.05% vs 0.10%). Again, negligible.
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On the ETF SPY you'll get qrtly dividends and depending on your tax rate you could pay 0% to 39.x% on them. And no cap gain/loss until sold.

If you compare Vanguard's S&P ETF, VOO to SPY they're almost identical. VOO shows a very slight out-performance sometimes and I think this is because the VOO expense ratio is about half of SPY's ER (0.05% vs 0.10%). Again, negligible.



thanks.

difference in expense is surprising .... 'negligible', but not trivial <g>
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