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ETF Monkey  

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  • Presenting: The ETF Monkey Vanguard Core Portfolio [View article]
    Thanks for reading, and your comment. I certainly appreciate the point you make. If you love Vanguard ETFs and plan to stick more or less to those alone, a Vanguard account is ideal.

    However, I believe I talked to this in comment #3 above regarding the portfolio. In building this hypothetical portfolio, I tried to make the scenario as "real world" as possible. In that real world, I suspect, are lots of people who are happy with their current brokerage account, whether or not commission-free Vanguard ETFs are included in the benefits. They may or may not wish to open a new Vanguard account. At the same time, they may wish to purchase Vanguard ETFs for very specific and valid reasons.
    Jul 2, 2015. 05:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Bet On Seeking Alpha's Future [View article]
    David and Eli,

    David, first of all a sincere, heartfelt vote of thanks for what you have built here at Seeking Alpha. How truly amazing that a "nobody" such as myself can actually have a voice. I appreciate that, ultimately, the power of that voice will depend on the quality of the content I produce. But, none of it would be possible without the underlying platform that allows the voice to be heard. My best to you and your family, and I so admire the fact that, while Seeking Alpha doubtless is a HUGE part of your life, you recognize that there are other elements that are important. May we all emulate that perspective.

    And Eli, sincerest congratulations. I have truly appreciated the interactions, even if few, that we have had over the years. SA is truly in good hands!

    With my deepest respect,
    ETF Monkey
    Jul 2, 2015. 01:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inside My Portfolio: What I Hold And Why [View article]
    Just wanted to say that I admire your transparency. Whether one agrees with every choice you have made or not, to my mind the relevant question in return would be: "So are you willing to share YOUR portfolio with us, and also accept any and all critical comments?

    I wish you much success with your articles.
    Jul 2, 2015. 12:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Foreign Stocks [View article]
    Kimbo,

    Two comments:

    1. I admire the clarity of your convictions. I may start to sound like a broken record here but one of the reasons I love ETFs so much is that they allow you to act as you see fit on your convictions, yet stay diversified in the process.

    2. Certainly, emerging markets are risky and one should carefully deliberate on the question of how much one invests there. Further, I like the concept of excellence in management and profits. On the other hand, that little pictorial chart I featured comparing VTI and VEU speaks to the concept that maybe, just maybe, U.S. stocks are a little frothy at the moment? That's a question, not a statement. But to your point, an investor who weights VEU at 10% in their portfolio is "only" 1.88% in emerging markets, a 20% VEU weight is 3.76% in emerging markets, etc. Lastly, as I feature in my article, the largest of those emerging markets in VEU is China (It's the only country included in VWO that makes it into the Top 10 list in VEU). So, how one feels about China may come into play.
    Jun 24, 2015. 01:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Foreign Stocks [View article]
    Agreed. On the Vanguard VTIAX page, it states that the fund is also available as an ETF. When you click on that link, you are taken to VXUS.
    Jun 24, 2015. 11:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Foreign Stocks [View article]
    Vincent,

    Thanks for your comment! Just took a quick look at your profile. From an investment standpoint at least, looks like you and I have a lot in common.

    Happy investing!
    Jun 24, 2015. 11:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Foreign Stocks [View article]
    Just took a quick look at VTIAX, via the link you so kindly provided. Just one small observation; the minimum investment appears to be $10,000.

    Not to knock VTIAX specifically, but in general this is one of the reasons I have become such a fan of ETFs. Other than whatever trading commissions one incurs to make a purchase, there are no other artificial constraints or limits.

    Now, for many of us that have assets far in excess of this, the $10,000 minimum may be of no consequence. But one of my intended target audiences is the younger person, or the person of modest means, who perhaps only has $5,000 to $10,000 with which to start his or her portfolio. I hope to help them play too. Perhaps I feel so strongly about this because it is the background from which I come.
    Jun 24, 2015. 11:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Foreign Stocks [View article]
    Yardbird,

    Thanks for the alternatives you feature. I'll have to do a little evaluation of the mutual funds you suggest. In general, I have found myself favoring ETFs over mutual funds. However, closing one's mind to anything is never good.

    On the other hand, I might have to change my pseudonym to "Mutual Fund Monkey" to write for Seeking Alpha.
    Jun 23, 2015. 07:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Foreign Stocks [View article]
    Thanks for reading, and also for your comment.

    I wouldn't argue with you at all over selecting VXUS. In fact, ETF.com gives VXUS a rating of 99, as opposed to 98 for VEU.

    I think, for me, it perhaps comes down to a couple of things. For a core foreign portfolio, there may be a comfort level for some folks in staying towards the larger or mid-cap stocks. Not that it makes a big difference, but VEU also has superior size in both AUM and Daily Trading Volume.

    Those are simply observations. As you feature, VXUS is also an excellent choice. It also sports the same .14% expense ratio as VEU.
    Jun 23, 2015. 05:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Domestic Stocks [View article]
    Dividend Dynasty,

    Thanks for those comments. I will ponder the contents of your instablog.
    Jun 22, 2015. 04:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks' Sale Of La Boulange Highlights So Much That Is Wrong With Our Culture [View instapost]
    Thanks! I appreciate you giving my article a read.
    Jun 20, 2015. 03:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Starbucks' Sale Of La Boulange Highlights So Much That Is Wrong With Our Culture [View instapost]
    Oh, there are plenty. Many areas of San Francisco, the Mission comes immediately to mind, are experiencing what I describe as a "renaissance." It warms my heart. As I feature, I certainly don't hate Starbucks. There is a lot I admire. But I am unhappy about the way this La Boulange saga has ultimately played out.

    I believe, though, you have it right. Small players, if clever, can beat SBUX at their own game.
    Jun 20, 2015. 03:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Domestic Bonds [View article]
    In addition to my comments below, here is an interesting related article:

    http://cnb.cx/1GjEpnV

    Interestingly, the last suggestion toward the bottom of the article (shorter duration) is one that I have incorporated in my own portfolio, and also alluded to in suggestion #2 towards the end of this article.
    Jun 18, 2015. 02:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Domestic Bonds [View article]
    Thanks for your comment. In the context of my article, I will simply offer that I am proposing these as core ETFs; really the kind you would hold "through hell or high water" so to speak, of course per a relative weighting that matches your personal circumstances (age, desired level of risk, etc.). For this purpose, I believe BND is an extremely solid choice.
    Jun 14, 2015. 02:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Building The Core With Vanguard: Domestic Bonds [View article]
    Thanks for your comment. I appreciate the point you make, in fact a very good personal friend of mine had just recently shared a very similar approach with me.

    Please don't take these thoughts I share as a form of rebuttal or argument, merely information. I actually spent a little time reviewing some information before responding here. Part of this was a Google search of "Bonds vs. CDs" and the other was a portion of the "bonds" section of a recent Finance course I completed.

    Long story short, the question can actually get quite complex. Some considerations are:

    1. The whole question of market timing. One of Vanguard's core principles is to maintain a portfolio with target weightings and to rebalance as necessary to stay true to these, as opposed to attempting to time the market. While it appears the case that rates will rise soon, it has appeared that way for quite some time now.

    2. When you receive funds and the time value of money. In other words, not all 2% yields are the same. To give a simple example, take a zero-coupon bond with a yield to maturity of 2%. You actually receive all the cash at the end of the term, whenever that is. In contrast, take a bond of the same term with a 2% coupon. You are likely receiving that coupon every 6 months, and the face value at the end of the term. Of the two, as interest rates move, the zero-coupon bond will experience wider price swings, precisely because the receipt of cash is further into the future. A CD is similar. You are credited the interest each month, but you don't physically receive it until the CD matures.
    Jun 14, 2015. 02:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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