A Simple Investment Portfolio

When it comes to investing you want to be diversified, consistent, and be in it for the long run.  There are so many opinions of the best way to invest.  It really comes down to your interest level and level of knowledge in investing.  I think the key is simplicity.

For most people they do not have the time or knowledge to invest properly.  One of the best investment companies is Vanguard.  Vanguard provides very low cost Mutual Funds and ETFs.  They never got into the Mortgage mess and are consistently rated very highly by clients.   The key though is the low cost which allows you to keep more of your  own money.

Here is my Simple Portfolio of only 4 Mutual Funds–I would invest 25% in each.  However, what is generally recommended is to invest your age in bonds.  So if you are 40 years old you would invest 40% in bonds and then 20% in the remaining 3 funds.

1) Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund: this fund invests in Large Cap companies that pay a Dividend.

2) Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund:  this fund invests in Small Cap stocks that tend to have more risk but better growth.

3) Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund: this fund gives you International Stock exposure.

4) Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund: this fund gives you exposure to the stability of bonds.  It is a mix of all types of bonds and pays a monthly dividend.

Disclaimer: Material presented on Bacigirl.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is the opinion of the author and should NOT be relied on or taken as investing advice. The information and content should not be construed as a recommendation to invest or trade in any type of security. Neither the information, nor any opinion expressed, constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any security or investment of any kind. Before acting on anything you read on this site, you must do your own research and you must come to your own conclusion which you will ultimately be responsible for, including any loss you may incur.

Re-Visiting My Rules for Investments

It is worth going back to your rules of investing from time to time.  This is what keeps us grounded and disciplined so that we do not start following the latest trend.   Remember that slow and steady wins the race.  Warren Buffet once said ” I am greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.”  The take away message is that oftentimes we are swayed by panic.  For example, in 2008 GE one of the Worlds greatest companies was trading just below $6.  I purchased some but I wish I had purchased more as the company is now pushing $20 a share.

So are some rules:

  • I am an investor–I do not trade my investments frequently.
  • I am also a saver–I routinely invest each month using my savings.
  • I know every asset has risk and I consider the risk before buying.    I accept the risk by owning a diversity of assets.
  • I have an investment plan and plan for allocation.
  • I invest regular amounts each month in both falling and rising markets.
  • I spread out my investments among stocks and bonds.
  • My share of bonds equals my age.
  • I rebalance once a quarter.
  • I know that stocks are risky in the short run but not so risky in the long run.
  • I force myself to sell high and buy low.  Patience is the key here.
  • I put at least 20 percent in international assets.
  • I stick to my plan and try not to check my stock balances every day (this one is not easy).

Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps

I like to go back and take a look at Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps from time to time.  I think they are very helpful and a great plan to follow.

The Seven Baby Steps

Baby Step 1

$1,000 to start an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is for those unexpected events in life that you can’t plan for: the loss of a job, an unexpected pregnancy, a faulty car transmission, and the list goes on and on. It’s not a matter of if these events will happen; it’s simply a matter of when they will happen. Learn more

Baby Step 2

Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball

List your debts, excluding the house, in order. The smallest balance should be your number one priority. Don’t worry about interest rates unless two debts have similar payoffs. If that’s the case, then list the higher interest rate debt first. Learn more

Baby Step 3

3 to 6 months of expenses in savings

Once you complete the first two baby steps, you will have built serious momentum. But don’t start throwing all your “extra” money into investments quite yet. It’s time to build your full emergency fund. Learn more

Baby Step 4

Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement

When you reach this step, you’ll have no payments—except the house—and a fully funded emergency fund. Now it’s time to get serious about building wealth. Learn more

Baby Step 5

College funding for children

By this point, you should have already started Baby Step 4—investing 15% of your income—before saving for college. Whether you are saving for you or your child to go to college, you need to start nowLearn more

Baby Step 6

Pay off home early

Now it’s time to begin chunking all of your extra money toward the mortgage. You are getting closer to realizing the dream of a life with no house payments. Learn more

Baby Step 7

Build wealth and give!

It’s time to build wealth and give like never before. Leave an inheritance for future generations, and bless others now with your excess. It’s really the only way to live! Learn more

Nice Article from Div Growth Investor

6 Great Dividend Stocks to Consider

Johnson & Johnson engages in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of various products in the health care field worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices and Diagnostics. Johnson & Johnson has consistently increased dividends for 46 years in a row. The stock yields 3.40%. The yield on cost on stock purchased at the end of 1989 is 29.10%. (analysis)

The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) engages in the manufacture and sale of consumer goods worldwide. The company operates in three global business units (GBUs): Beauty, Health and Well-Being, and Household Care. The company has rewarded stockholders with dividend increases for 53 consecutive years. Check my analysis of the stock.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The world’s largest retailer has a 35 year record of annual dividend raises. I would be a buyer of WMT on dips. Check my analysis of the stock.

McDonald’s Corporation (MCD), together with its subsidiaries, franchises and operates McDonald’s restaurants in the food service industry worldwide. The company’s share of the US fast food market is several times larger than its closest competitors, Burger King (BKC) and Wendy’s (WEN). McDonald’s is a major component of the S&P 500 and Dow Industrials indexes. The company is also a dividend aristocrat, which has been consistently increasing its dividends for 33 consecutive years. (analysis)

Consolidated Edison provides electric, gas, and steam utility services in the United States. This dividend aristocrat has raised annual distributions for 36 years in a row. The stock spots a yield of 5.3%, which a good compensation if you seek current income for the next 5 – 10 years. Check my analysis of Consolidated Edison.

Kinder Morgan (KMP) owns and manages energy transportation and storage assets in North America. This dividend achiever has raised annual distributions for the past 14 years. The stock currently yields 6.50%. Check my analysis of Kinder Morgan.

Money: Only 7 Investments You’ll Need by Jim Wang

Money Magazine recently released the only 7 investments you’ll ever need and, surprise surprise, my favorite firm, Vanguard, was listed first choice for five of the seven. Their founder, John Bogle, was a major proponent of index funds and it shows in their offering, as almost all of Money’s choices were low-expense ratio index funds.

Need another reason to have a mutual fund account at Vanguard? (No, Vanguard doesn’t sponsor this site!)

Blue-chip US-stock fund: Fidelity Spartan 500 Index (FSMKX) because it replicates the S&P 500 with an expense ratio of 0.10% (coincidentally, Vanguard’s version, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Shares (VFINX) is 50% more expensive with a ratio of 0.15%).

Blue-chip foreign-stock fund: Vanguard Total International Stock Index (VGTSX) because of its solid performance, beating 90% of its peers, and because it’s an index fund with an expense ratio of 0.27%. Another Vanguard fund, the Vanguard FTSE All World Ex-U.S. ETF (VEU), was listed as an alternative.

Small-company fund: T. Rowe Price New Horizons (PRNHX) is an actively managed fund, one of the few actively managed funds they selected, and is “one of the most efficient of the actively managed crowd.” Considering it is actively managed, an expense ratio of 0.8% is pretty good, about half the average.

Value fund: Oh look, another Vanguard fund – the Vanguard Value Index (VIVAX) and its 0.2% expense ratio and a record that trumps 78% of its peers. Value funds go after investments that appear overlooked or beaten down and try earn a little off those cigar butts and dividends, rather than looking for growth potential.

High-quality bond fund: Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (VBMFX) snags this category with a 0.2% expense ratio. Bonds are good to be the rock in your portfolio to give you some grounding as your other investments shoot up and crash down. 🙂

Inflation-protected bond fund: This last category was won by Vanguard’s Inflation-Protected Securities Fund (VIPSX) and it’s 0.2% expense ratio (Vanguard’s index funds are ridiculously efficient). “Among TIPS funds, Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities has several things going for it, including lower costs and better management than you would get if you assembled your own TIPS portfolio. While the fund returned 6.6% over the past five years, you shouldn’t expect it to make a pile of dough. Its job is to protect the money you already have.”