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A few weeks ago I wrote about the fact that we’ve been reconsidering our asset allocation. In the comments following that article, a commenter named Kurt suggested that I check out Vanguard’s Portfolio Watch feature for analyzing our portfolio. I hadn’t heard of Portfolio Watch, so I decided to investigate.
As I’ve noted in the past, we have a relatively complex portfolio, with multiple retirement accounts, two Roth IRAs, and a taxable investment account. This adds up to seven accounts held at three different institutions (Vanguard, Fidelity, and TIAA-CREF). Despite the complexity of our situation, Portfolio Watch does a fantastic job of simplifying things.
The good news is that Portfolio Watch can easily pull in data from non-Vanguard accounts and then slice and dice your holdings in a variety of different ways. Given how useful this feature is, I thought I’d put together a little tour of what it has to offer.
For starters, you need to have an account with Vanguard to be able to access Portfolio Watch. Assuming that you have an account, simply login and then look at the bar of links across the top. Simply find the Portfolio Watch link (third from the left; see below) and click it.
Assuming you want to track outside investment accounts, look for (and click) the following link, which allows you to view and modify the accounts being being tracked.
Now look in the right sidebar for a link for including investments held at other institutions.
From here, you simply specify the institution(s) where you have accounts and provide your login credentials. In our case, this involved linking up the Fidelity and TIAA-CREF accounts, as well as pulling in my wife’s Roth IRA (while this account is at Vanguard, it’s not accessible from my login).
Now the fun begins…
While Vanguard has always provided a pie chart of your overall allocation, you can now get a single pie chart representing your entire investment portfolio, including the non-Vanguard component. As you can see, we’re currently holding 80.3% stocks as 19.7% bonds.
From there, you can drill down further into your stock or bond portfolios. Since our entire bond portfolio is currently in Total Bond Market index funds, I won’t bother delving into that.
Let’s take a look at our stocks…
As you can see from the pie chart above, our stock holdings are currently split between U.S. and international stocks in a 68.9%/31.1% ratio. Drilling down further into domestic stock holdings, you can pull up a little bar graph showing your large, mid, and small cap allocation in comparison to the market as a whole — as you can see, we’re a bit over-weighted (by design) in small-cap stocks.
What about investment style?
That’s here too… In the form of the following nine box grid:
Beyond all the pretty pictures, there are detailed tables comparing your sector allocation to the general market, the regional representation of your international holdings, etc. And alongside each of these items is a statement telling you if there’s anything to be worried about.
For us, everything appears to be a-okay with the exception of a “caution” rating because foreign stocks represent “a very large portion” of our portfolio. This strikes me as a bit odd, as Vanguard has published a white paper arguing that a 20-40% allocation to international equities is ideal, and we’re smack dab in the middle of that range. Regardless, I’m perfectly comfortable with where we’re at, so we won’t be making any changes.
The bottom line…
For those of you with a Vanguard account as well as investment held at other institutions, I highly (highly!) recommend using Portfolio Watch. It’s an incredibly detailed, powerful, and efficient tool for keeping track of your entire portfolio all at once.
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