One strategy that I have attempted to include as part of my portfolio review and yearly reallocation is to use "allocation funds" as the destination for other funds that need paring back. I consider these allocation funds as having attributes that served my goals well when I started investing and I now see them as serving a different goal in retirement.
I began my investing (call this my 30's) by first owning well diversified allocation funds such as VGSTX, OAKBX, VWINX, VWELX, DODBX, PRPFX, PRWCX, and others. These funds provided me with a way to funnel small contributions into one or a few of these funds based mainly on their availability to my workplace retirement plan. It exposed "my meager, but dear savings" into what I consider a long term well managed (hopefully), well diversified investment. These funds often had a history of good risk / reward, solid management, were reasonably priced (low ER ratio) and made "staying the course" pretty certain.
As my savings increased and my knowledge base grew (call it my 40-50's) I began realizing that I could create my own personal portfolio allocation using not only these funds, but a combination of "non-equity" funds (Bonds, RE, Commodities) and equity funds that had an "alpha/growth" strategy (sector, size, class, valuation, manager, etc.). These "fund combos" provided me with the biggest momentary losses and the largest momentary gains, but in the end have kept me up at night more often than the allocation funds I also still owned.
I began to discipline myself to trust my fund choices to "stay the course" and use these momentary ups and downs in the market to reallocate between the "non-equity" portion and the "equity" portion of these investments, but as I reach my 60's, 70's and beyond I see myself developing a third approach.
I see some of my low risk / low return "non-equity" funds along with some very conservation allocation funds as serving a roll in holding a portion of my portfolio for short term needs. (1-3 year, call these PONDX, PTIAX, CBUZX) for distributions of income, RMD, emergencies and retirement "fun".
I see the higher risk / higher reward "non-equity" funds along with the higher risk / higher reward "equity" funds as serving a roll in maintaining long term growth. (10 years and longer), and I'll place my stallions here (POAGX, VGHCX, FSRPX, etc). Note to self: "I have too many of these..."
I see my conservative, moderate & aggressive allocation funds as having a larger and key place in my retirement portfolio as the core of my holdings will occupy this space. These are investments have a (3-9 year) holding period that provide good portfolio diversification as well as "growth and income" to reallocate and "feed" ongoing (1-3 years) needs.
The Conservative Allocation fund (3-5 year) needs in VWINX, GLRBX or CBUZX.
The Moderate Allocation fund (5-7 year) needs in JABAX or OAKBX.
The Aggressive Allocation fund (7-9 year) in PRWCX or BTBFX).
Each of these allocation funds will periodically "feed" the 1-3 year funds over time.
Each of the long term funds (10 years or more) "feed" the allocation funds.
Hopefully there will be enough "feed" to go around.
If you have any thought on this approach or suggestions for potential candidates for:
1-3 year funds -
3-5 year funds -
5-7 year funds -
7-9 year funds -
10 and longer funds -
I'd appreciate it.