Here’s What Our Investment Portfolio Looks Like

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We talk about investing a lot so I figured I’d take time to write a post sharing our personal investment details. By providing these details we aren’t recommending these specific investments but rather just sharing the decisions we’ve made. Below is exactly what our diversified investment portfolio looked like in March 2017 – broken down by account.

What does our investment portfolio look like?

Our Betterment Investing account

Most of our money is currently used to be with Betterment Investing. Betterment automatically picks the investment funds for their clients, and also the allocations to assure a well-performing diversified portfolio.

Betterment holdings

As mentioned before, we are were invested 100% in stocks. Most people though, depending on their risk tolerance, will have some portion of their investments in bonds. Bonds are great for stability and producing income, but their long-term growth performance tends to lag stocks by quite a lot.

Here’s what we currently used to own in this account and the percentage allocations:

VBR – 5% (Vanguard Small Cap Value ETF)
VEA – 40% (Vanguard MSCI EAFE ETF [developed international markets])
VOE – 6% (Vanguard Mid Cap Value Index Fund)
VTI – 18% (Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF Shares)
VTV – 18% (Vanguard Value Index Fund ETF Shares)
VWO – 13% (Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets Index Fund ETF Shares)

If you are curious about any of those specific funds, I’d recommend going over to Yahoo Finance to check them out. Just enter the fund symbol (the bold text above) and you can read more about each of these.

I will comment on one point from this portfolio: It’s very heavily focused on international companies. About 53% of the portfolio is allocated to companies from outside of the United States. Many of these companies produce products and services for people in the USA, but the companies themselves are based outside the USA. If I were picking the fund allocations myself, I don’t think I’d be so heavily slanted internationally. I’m not saying that I’d be “right” – just pointing it out.

Our Motif Investing account

We have had a much smaller amount of money invested with Motif Investing. Motif isn’t nearly as automated – in fact you have to pick your own funds and allocations.

Motif holdings

Again, these are specific investments and allocations that I picked. Motif didn’t recommend these.

ACWV – 25% (iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF)
HDV – 25% (iShares Core High Dividend ETF)
IVE – 25% (iShares S&P 500 Value ETF)
IVW – 25% (iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF)

These funds and allocations are close to a “Dave Ramsey” portfolio based on his general recommendations of Growth, Growth and Income, Aggressive Growth, and International. I doubt he’d recommend this specifically because I like ETFs (lower cost) and he always recommends managed mutual funds.

Fidelity Investing – DIY

We’ve had Fidelity accounts since long before Betterment or Motif existed. These funds – and a couple single stocks as you can see – were picked by me.

Our Fidelity holdings

ACWV – 10% (iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF)
HDV – 10% (iShares Core High Dividend ETF)
IVE – 10% (iShares S&P 500 Value ETF)
IVW – 10% (iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF)
GENIX – 55% (a hedge fund)
AAPL – 3% (Apple stock)
TSLA – 2% (Tesla stock)

Even though I do have two single stocks you can see that it is a VERY small allocation of our portfolio. If I were doing this over today, I wouldn’t bother with the single stocks – I’d stick with the funds.

Both Apple and Tesla have done very well over the years that I’ve owned them. They’ve done so well that I’ve sold off enough to get our initial investment back and decided to leave the rest of the stock to sit “forever” just to see how that profit portion grows. Single stock investing is very risky – most people should avoid it.

GENIX is a hedge fund that we own. Frankly it hasn’t done very well for us at all. It’s up from our original purchase a few years ago but it doesn’t have nearly as much gain as our other investments.


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Investment checkups

Again, we aren’t recommending these specific investments for anyone else.

Since I check our accounts over time I think perhaps I’ll write some future posts to track the performance of our portfolios. I’m not sure that I’d write an update monthly, but I do check at least monthly.

I want to clarify that checking investments monthly is more frequent than recommended for most people. The main reason is psychological: people who focus a lot on short term changes tend to stress more and are more likely to trade based on current market conditions. Both the stress and the trading temptation are better avoided. Even though I check our accounts regularly, I never make trades or decisions based on recent performance.

What is the most important thing about investing?

The most important thing about investing is just to do it. Investing consistently over time, in a diversified portfolio customized for you, is one of the best ways to grow wealth over a long timeframe. If you aren’t already invested, you should give it some serious consideration. The earlier you start, and the longer your timeline, the more likely you are to have stellar results.

As a financial life planner I can help you clarify your dreams and priorities, then develop an actionable plan to achieve your goals. Having a financial plan for your life includes much more than just investing, but intelligent investing is definitely part of the solution. Reach out and let's talk about how I can help you achieve the life of your dreams.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. DivHut March 26, 2017 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Always nice to see what others how others are invested. I have gone the route of dividend growth exclusively and own only individual stocks instead of funds. There are merits to both or some combination of stocks and funds. I just went with individual stocks only to meet my need for a growing passive income stream. My entire portfolio can be seen here: http://divhut.com/portfolio/ I know we have many overlapping names between the funds you hold and the stocks I hold. Thanks for sharing.

    • Brad Kingsley March 26, 2017 at 10:25 am - Reply

      Hi DivHut – thanks for stopping by! Yeah, dividends are awesome. (I think I’ll write a post on that topic soon.) Most people don’t realize that for a while now the dividends from the S&P 500 have exceeded most bond interest payments! People often think “income” and they think “bonds” – and miss out on some great opportunities. Having just done our taxes I’m reminded just how much income can be produced by a 100% stock allocation like mine. It’s nice. 🙂

      Focusing on dividends, or passive income production in general, is a great option to consider. A lot of where to focus will depend on some personal factors for sure. It’s cool that we have a lot of overlap in the portfolios – goes to confirm that it isn’t always an “either or” consideration, but many times “both”.

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