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Sure, you can compile a single list of 50 funds if you want - and track. Not hard to do. But when you start arranging those into meaningful sub-groups, portfolio sleeves, or whatever else you call them … that’s when the rubber hits the road and tracking difficulty intensifies.
Currently, I hold 15-16 traditional type funds which provide exposure to a variety of investment types & styles. Here’s a list of those types.
(1) domestic growth
(2) domestic value
(3 ) global growth
4) gold / pm miners,
(6) EM bonds,
(7) global investment grade income
8 domestic investment grade income,
(9) high yield municipal
(10) 2 risk parity funds
(11) a hedge-type fund
(12) a conservative multi-asset “tracking fund” which I own and also against which I measure my own performance
Honestly, I don’t think it matters much. I’m always looking for ways to consolidate / lessen the number. I’d say let your allocation model, goals and personal style dictate how many funds - as long as you can track them well.
Bucket 1 - Cash / Bond Funds (for Income)
I hold a cash or bond positions with each account I have. Presently this bucket has 17% of my portfolio and represents 3-5 years of income (I may need to spend in retirement).
Bucket 2 - Asset Allocation Funds (for Capital Preservation)
I hold 3 AA funds and they make up 35% of my portfolio. These funds attempt to outpace inflation, reduce downside market risk, and achieve moderate growth.
Bucket 3 - Sector / Category Funds (for Growth)
I hold 10 funds here. These tend to be buy and hold positions and represent 48% of my portfolio. My plan is to periodically sell shares to replenish/enhance bucket 1 (Cash / Bonds) especially when these "Bucket 3 funds" capture above normal gains. I am more actively evaluating these funds for consistent performance, manager risk/reward, and trend momentum.
3 in my more actively-managed account (PRWCX, MGGIX, PRILX)
1 as the only holding in my 403(b) (RWMGX)
The vast majority of the OEF holdings are in equity. (There's FI in PRWCX, and I hold a modest 30+ year position in FKTIX.)
Taxable 2 - 1 individual stock
401(k) - 2 mutual funds (one fund will be replaced by a CIT "clone" on 07/01), 1 CIT
Roth IRA - 3 mutual funds (one fund is also owned in Taxable 1 account)
HSA - 1 mutual fund
3 equity funds chosen by me. Currently a small value, an industrials, and Fidelity’s housing and construction.
2 asset allocation funds, a conservative and a world, chosen for their managers. So I can’t lose all my money with my ideas.
3 alternative funds, a gold ETF, a REIT fund, and an intermediate government bond fund, which, up until this year had acceptable returns for the safety.
Lastly, cash in a MM and FRIFX
So far this seems to be working in that I get some some choices and some structured returns
A CIT is a Collective Investment Trust.
CITs may be available via some defined contribution plans [401(k), 457(b), etc.].
They are similar to mutual funds but have less reporting requirements and are not governed by the SEC.
CITs usually have lower expense ratios than corresponding mutual funds.
For example, I own MIEIX (0.70% er) in my 401(k).
When my 401(k) plan replaces MIEIX with a CIT "clone" on 07/01, it will have a 0.58% er.
There is one fund in my not real large IRA.
There are 3 mutual funds in my somewhat bigger Roth.
My taxable, which is 2/3 of my stash has 4 mutual funds and 14 ETFs.
These are all held in 3 companies, the largest being Vanguard.
I use spreadsheets to keep track of the holdings along with the cost basis in taxable holdings. There is a spreadsheet for my expenses and one more for income for any money that crosses my doorstep that ends up on the 1040.
I keep turnover fairly low to moderate my taxes (12% bracket).
My current spend rate is about 1% of my portfolio. My AA is 70/30.
Since I stopped working 14 years ago, my stash has doubled.
I'm 71yo with not much else to do.
In our 401ks, we both own fewer since our employers both offer fewer options. In my 401k, I think I own 6, all but 2 are index. Wife 401k is about the same.
I have a Roth @ Vanguard with 3-4 Index Funds. My current 401k is my tactical portfolio with another 10-12 funds & ETF's.
I will consolidate over the next10-15 years as I get closer to retirement.
Personally decided that holding a couple percent in a given fund is pointless for me as @Mark stated previously, no matter what the performance of that position is, the overall effect on the portfolio is negligible.
I am aware that given the number of accounts and type of accounts held and investment choices offered, it can be difficult to keep the number of funds held to a minimum.