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Which total bond fund to go with?

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  • Which total bond fund to go with?

    30yo medical resident about to invest a very small portion of my retirement in bond funds (~5-10% of overall portfolio). I've been investing with vanguard total market stock funds for years, but this will be my first investment into their bond offerings. Trying to decide what most people use and the rationale.

    VBTLX: total market
    VBILX: intermediate term

    I'm considering these two options at the moment and trying to see what makes more sense. The 3 fund portfolio seems to like VBTLX but was looking to get some other opinions. Or potentially something else other than those two. I'd be holding the funds in a tax advantaged account. Thanks.

  • #2
    I use VBTLX in tax protected and VWIUX in my taxable account.

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    • #3
      I use BND, the ETF version currently because I can buy shares transaction fee free in my 401k.  I don't believe I can buy the admiral shares (VBTLX) in that account though otherwise I'd have them instead.

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      • #4
        I have VBTLX because that's what I originally bought years ago (based off the 3 fund portfolio). I wouldn't have a strong argument for or against it to be honest.

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        • #5
          Is "none of the above" an acceptable answer?

          Why do you want X amount of bonds? What do you think the bonds will do for your portfolio?

          Not rhetorical, just want to gauge your line of reasoning to give an answer as befits your overall situation.

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          • #6




            Is “none of the above” an acceptable answer?

            Why do you want X amount of bonds? What do you think the bonds will do for your portfolio?

            Not rhetorical, just want to gauge your line of reasoning to give an answer as befits your overall situation.
            Click to expand...


            I agree. Depending on the answer, I could probably rattle off at least a dozen different decent solutions.

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            • #7
              -33 formula says you should be in any bonds.   That said, you may be ultraconservative and think bonds is aggressive over mattress stuffing, so follow @hatton1  use VBTLX in tax protected and VWIUX in taxable account or the ETF option BND of @hightower.

               

               

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              • #8
                I personally like the idea of 100/0 (although never been through a bear market with a lot of assets, although I think I'd be fine staying the course) but my wife is super conservative and wanted something like 80/20 or even 70/30. 90/10 was a way to make her feel a little more comfortable. Also, WCI was 80/20 since residency and there are many out there who argue keeping at least a portion in bonds. That's where I'm coming from at this point I suppose.

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