Asset Classes And Fund Choices: A Primer
Recently, AAII published our article “Selecting Asset Classes for Retirement Investments“. It discusses our view on how to select essential asset classes for retirement investments. Furthermore, we also discuss our position on what kinds of mutual funds and/or ETFs we favor to represent the asset classes. The article is based on several newsletters we published in the past. Since it is a bit long, this newsletter will summarize some of the key points in the article. You can also find the article on our site here. We encourage readers to read the entirety of the article.
Key Asset Classes
We view there are three asset class groups: equities (stocks), fixed income (bonds) and alternative assets. We further pick the following core asset classes in each group:
- US stocks
- Foreign developed country stocks
- Emerging market stocks
- Bonds: Unlike many others, we believe all major bond segments are important.
- Interest rate spectrum (or maturity spectrum): short, intermediate and long term bonds
- Credit quality spectrum: US Treasuries, investment grade corporate bonds and high yield (or low quality) corporate bonds
- Municipal bonds (can have both interest rate and credit quality representation)
- Inflation protected bonds
- Foreign bonds and emerging market bonds
- Alternative assets: for retirement investments, we believe commodities are too volatile for average investors, thus it should be ignored. Furthermore, hedged equity or bond funds are also hard to predict. They, like commodity funds, are seldom available in a retirement plan. They too can be ignored. This leaves only
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): in a future article we will discuss why REITs is deserved to be considered as a stand alone major asset class.
Sub asset classes in stocks
For US stocks, we believe the following two sub asset classes can be very useful to enhance returns and reduce risk:
Please login or register an account to view the newsletter