Investors with taxable or IRA brokerage accounts

We provide diversified model portfolios using no-load and no transaction fee mutual funds tailored to major brokerages. 

We provide ETF model portfolios suitable for any brokerage for beginners.

We also provide fixed income bond fund based portfolios that have consistently outperformed even some of the best bond mutual funds. 

See our investment methodology

How does our service work?
  1. Investors open a new brokerage account or use an existing account. All major brokerages are now offering commission-free ETF trades.
  2. Investors choose a model portfolio to follow. To follow a model portfolio, click on a portfolio (such as those on this page) and then either click on Follow This Portfolio or Customize a New Portfolio button. After that, the portfolio will be added to the dashboard and you are now following it.
  3. They then receive regular emails or notifications on how to rebalance the portfolio, usually at the end of a month. On the next trading day (the first trading day of the next month), they make trades/rebalanceing in their own brokerage investment account to mimic the model portfolio --- mainly based on the percentage allocation to each fund.

Mutual Fund Model Portfolios 

What?

Model portfolios are based on our Asset Allocation Composite strategy that employs fund momentum and market condition indicator to dynamically determine allocations to risk asset (stocks) and “safe” (bonds) and fund selection.

We use a custom list of candidate no load and no transaction fee low cost mutual funds for each major brokerage. The following are some of candidate funds for the Fidelity portfolio:

Asset Class Fund Ticker (Name)
US Stocks FZROX (Fidelity ZERO Total Market Index)
US REITs FSRNX (Fidelity Spartan Real Estate Idx Instl)
Intl’ Developed Market Stocks FZILX (Fidelity ZERO International Index)
Emerging Market Stocks FPADX (Fidelity Spartan Emkts Idex Advtg Insl)
Total Return Bonds FTBFX (Fidelity Total Bond)
Total Return Bonds PTTAX (PIMCO Income A)
Total Return Bonds DLTNX (DoubleLine Total Return Bond N)
Multisector Bonds PONAX (PIMCO Income A)
Multisector Bonds LSBRX (Loomis Sayles Bond)
Intermediate Term Bonds MWTRX (Metropolitan West Total Return Bond)
…… ……
Latest Mutual Fund Portfolio Performance

AR: Annualized Return. VBINX: Vanguard index fund with 60% US stocks/40% US bonds. DGSIX: Dimensional Fund Advisors’ moderate risk global allocation index fund. VT: Global stock index fund. These three funds are for benchmark purpose.

Core ETF Model Portfolios

What?

The core ETF model portfolios are based on our Asset Allocation Composite strategy that employs fund momentum and market condition indicator to dynamically determine allocations to risk asset (stocks) and “safe” (bonds) and fund selection. The candidate ETFs in this portfolio include the following ultra-low cost index ETFs and some total return bond ETFs:

Asset Class Ticker/Portfolio Name
US Stocks VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF)
US REITs VNQ (Vanguard REIT ETF)
Intl’ Developed Market Stocks VEA (Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF)
Emerging Market Stocks VWO (Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF)
Intermediate Bonds BND (Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF)
Total Return Bonds BOND (PIMCO Total Return Active ETF)
Total Return Bonds TOTL (SPDR® DoubleLine Total Return Tact ETF)
Intermediate Corp Bonds VCIT (Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corp Bd ETF)
National Municipal Bonds (Tax-Exempt) MUB (iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond)
High Yield Municipal Bonds (Tax Exempt) HYD (Market Vectors® High-Yield Municipal ETF)
…… ……
Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Ultra low cost: the ETFs in the portfolios are of some lowest expense ratios, even compared with their index mutual fund counterparts.
  • Highly liquid: the ETFs have adequate daily volume to avoid too much trading friction.
  • No trading restrictions: though the portfolios don’t trade frequently, unlike mutual funds that usually can impose 3 month limits (depending on brokerages), ETFs have no minimum holding period restrictions. It gives more flexibility and a peace of mind.

Cons: 

  • Daily fluctuation pricing: this can be viewed as a flexibility or an added concern: unlike mutual funds, investors do need to care about trading prices. In general, we recommend to make rebalance trades, first sells and then buys at least 30 minutes after market opens.
  • Premium/discount: the NAV (Native Asset Value or the actual value of underlying holdings in an ETF) can be different from the market price of the ETF. Though in general, for broad base index ETFs like VTI, VEA etc., premium/discount gaps could be small  and disappear quickly.
Latest Core ETF Asset Allocation Portfolios Performance

AR: Annualized Return. VBINX: Vanguard index fund with 60% US stocks/40% US bonds. DGSIX: Dimensional Fund Advisors’ moderate risk global allocation index fund. VT: Global stock index fund. These three funds are for benchmark purpose.

Hybrid ETF and Mutual Fund Model Portfolios

What?

For the best investment results, we suggest a combination of

  • An ETF portfolio for stock allocation
  • A total return bond mutual fund portfolio for fixed income (bond) allocation

You can either have two separate brokerage accounts to mimic the two model portfolios or if you can have a single account but using two separate parts to track the two portfolios. In the latter case, you have to be meticulous to manage the proportion of the account.

For more details, please see November 25, 2019: Core ETFs or Core Mutual Funds Portfolios and  July 6, 2020: Bond ETFs vs. Bond Mutual Funds.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Stock ETFs have the lowest expense cost. They are also better suited to fast moving and highly liquid stock markets.
  • Our mutual fund fixed income portfolios are based on some of the best total return bond funds. They have a long running live track record (since 2010) and their returns have been outstanding.
  • Mutual funds are easier to trade: they are only priced once a day after market close. Unlike ETFs, there is no NAV (Net Asset Value) and market price discrepancy.

Cons:

  • Mutual funds have various trading restrictions such as minimum holding periods. Most major brokerages impose 3-month minimum holding period on a mutual fund holding.
  • In some brokerages, trading mutual funds might require a one day sell and then buy in the next day (many others offer fund exchange order so that you can enter a sell a fund then buy another order in one shot).
Latest performance of hybrid stock ETF and bond mutual fund portfolio

AR: Annualized Return. VBINX: Vanguard index fund with 60% US stocks/40% US bonds. DGSIX: Dimensional Fund Advisors’ moderate risk global allocation index fund. VT: Global stock index fund. These three funds are for benchmark purpose.

Other Model Portfolios for Brokerage Accounts

Fixed income portfolios

We provide bond mutual fund based portfolios that have outperformed some of the best total return bond funds. See fixed income investment portfolios.

Advanced portfolios

For experienced expert or pro subscribers, we provide a list of advanced portfolios.

Other asset allocation strategy based portfolios

In addition to Asset Allocation Composite (AAC) strategy, we also provide portfolios based on other strategies including Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) and  Tactical Asset Allocation(TAA) . See this page for more details. 

Benefits of subscription

  • FREE one month no risk trial for a basic subscription
  • Choose to customize and follow asset allocation model portfolios for your 401k plans, IRA, or a taxable brokerage account
  • Our asset allocation portfolios deliver better returns with less risk than a standard strategic asset allocation portfolio in the long term
  • Choose to follow total return bond portfolios that have outperformed some of best total return bond funds
  • Our well-received high-quality newsletters
  • Detailed subscription plan comparison

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