Chris Baus

Thoughts on personal investing

I have about 8 years experience working in financial portfolio analytics. In that time I've gotten a peek at how the money industry works. It is a fascinating domain, and I see myself sticking with it for the long haul.

Occasionally folks ask me for investing advice. WARNING! I AM NOT A FINANCIAL ADVISOR AND YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE CRAZY TO TAKE MY ADVICE. But here it is anyway. Go to Vanguard's web site. Figure out what year you will turn 60. Find a fund called Target Retirement Fund N, where N is closest to the year you will turn 60. Buy that fund (hopefully in a tax deferred account) and add to it on a regular basis. Vanguard Target Funds offer an inexpensive mix of U.S. domestic and foreign stocks and bonds by investing passively in multiple broad market indexes. The funds automatically rebalance to favor lower risk investments as you approach retirement age.

Over a long enough period you will likely beat 90+% of all investors with almost no work.

I have almost all my personal savings in index funds and fixed income, but I do have a very small part of my portfolio in wild card stocks that I pick myself. I DO THIS FOR FUN AND DO NOT COUNT ON THE MONEY I ACTIVELY INVEST FOR THE SHORT TERM. There is a really good chance I will under perform the Target Retirement fund, and I accept this risk.

So if I happen to mention a stock I'm buying on my twitter, take it for what it is: a long shot bet that I am making to amuse myself.