Archives for October 15, 2014

Comparing Three Major Levers You Can Pull On Your Retirement Portfolio

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

One of the most popular posts on the Vanguard blog is My one piece of investing advice by Andy Clarke. Let’s start with the following baseline scenario:

  • Investor begins working at 25, but starts saving at age 35.
  • 12% savings rate
  • Moderate asset allocation (50% stocks and 50% bonds)
  • Salary starts at $30,000 but increases with age

Now, imagine there are three “levers” that you could pull in order to try and increase your final savings balance at retirement – asset allocation, savings rate, or time horizon. In each case, everything else in the scenario stays the same.

threedoors3

Which single option do you think has the most impact? Taken from the blog post, the results below are based the median balance found after running Monte Carlo computer simulations based on historical returns.

threedoorsresults

I would look past the absolute values and instead focus on the relative effect of each option. In case you haven’t figured it out, the one piece of investing advice is “save more”. The easiest lever to pull is a more aggressive asset allocation because it doesn’t require the pain of spending less and saving more (though you get more stomach-churning bumps and less reliable results). But here we see that saving just 3% more was equally powerful. If you pulled all three levers, your final balance would have more than doubled!

Coupon Code: $10 off $100 at Costco.com

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

Costco CardsYou can get a one-time use coupon code for $10 off a $100+ purchase at Costco.com if you visit SavingsTooBig.com and share the deal. I’d say the easiest option is Twitter as I didn’t even have to actually post the tweet to get the code (although I did anyway… why not share?). Costco.com is actually a good way to get big or heavy stuff delivered directly to you; their shipping cost quotes have often been a lot lower than I thought it would be. You can also buy a lot of stuff for the same price as in-store, so why not save $10.

Only valid on Costco.com. Not valid in warehouse. One coupon code per Costco member. Ineligible purchases include: new Costco memberships, Costco membership renewals, gift of membership, online gift certificates, Costco Cash cards, custom installation services and online-digital print orders. Not valid for orders at the Pharmacy, Costco Travel or Costco Business Delivery. The merchandise total in your cart must equal $100 or more before tax and shipping to receive the $10 off. The coupon code must be entered in the promo code box at checkout to be valid. This offer may not be combined with any other offer or promotion. No cash redemption value. View Official Rules. Offer expires 12/31/2014.

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