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How small-cap international stocks help your portfolio in big ways Shutterstock/Pack-Shot

Teen gets to keep $20,000 gold bar found in lake
Teen gets to keep $20,000 gold bar found in lake Getty Images
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How much Obama’s oil tax would add to price of gas Getty Images
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Buildings collapse after earthquake rocks Taiwan

Taiwan rescuers locate at least 2 survivors
At least 15 dead in Taiwan earthquake


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This man wants to upend the world of high-frequency trading Courtesy Eric Scott Hunsader

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5 most profitable housing markets in America Getty Images
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Can I force my late mother-in-law’s estate to pay my mortgage? Terrence Horan/MarketWatch
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FTSE 100 slammed by growth fears, oil rout
• Nikkei rises, as Asian markets ponder Fed
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Hasbro blows past estimates as Star Wars boosts revenue
Hasbro blows past estimates on Star Wars boost
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Why Chipotle will close every store for a few hours on Feb. 8
Chipotle will close every store for a few hours today
VOTE: If not Chipotle, where would you eat?

China’s forex reserves poised for another record drop
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Markets »

139.01MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 128.61M
Unchanged
166
Decliners
4913
Advancers
1419
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
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  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
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Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,205 -212 1.29%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,363 -146 3.25%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,880 -35 1.85%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,122 -17 0.79%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,184 +26 2.25%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 30.40 -0.49 1.59%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,741 -107 1.83%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 9,041 -245 2.64%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,101 -100 2.38%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 16,847 -404 2.34%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 8,270 -229 2.70%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 318 -8 2.32%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,507 -3 0.12%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 17,004 +185 1.10%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 19,288 +105 0.55%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 24,287 -330 1.34%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,623 +65 2.53%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.11 0.00 0.43%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 116.30 -0.57 0.49%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.44 -0.01 0.79%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.04%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 97.26 +0.22 0.22%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 90.03 +0.22 0.24%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.79 -0.04 2.25%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.25 -0.05 16.52%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.65 +0.09 5.88%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.73 +0.08 4.86%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.47 -0.09 5.98%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.04 +0.01 25.61%
Crude Oil
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/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,184 +26 2.25%
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/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 364 -2 0.48%
DJIA F
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S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,852 -23 1.24%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 15 +0 2.11%

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FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 104.07 -6.42 -5.81%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 94.02 -2.58 -2.67%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 683.57 -24.44 -3.45%
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C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 39.86 -0.93 -2.28%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.45 -0.08 -0.69%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.88 0.35 0.96%
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SmartMoney Blogs

Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

Why Asset Allocation May Not Matter

Are you worried about having the right mix of stocks and bonds in your nest egg? A new study indicates that asset allocation might not be as important to your long-term financial health as making better use of other retirement-planning tools, including working longer, controlling spending or taking out a reverse mortgage.

The report, from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, is titled, appropriately enough: “How Important Is Asset Allocation to Financial Security in Retirement?” The various holdings within a person’s retirement accounts typically play an early and prominent role in dealings with financial advisers. But given the relatively small size of most nest eggs (less than $100,000 for those approaching retirement), researchers at Boston College set out to determine whether other “levers” could have an equally large – or larger – effect on financial security in later life.

To that end, the study engages in three exercises. First, researchers looked (by means of an Excel spreadsheet) at the tradeoff between investment returns and time spent in the labor force. Second, using actual household data from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study, the center examined how the gap between retirement resources and retirement needs is affected by different strategies (controlling spending, etc.).

Third and last, researchers looked at the value for the average household of moving to an optimal investment portfolio from a typical conservative portfolio.

With all three exercises, the findings were essentially the same: Asset allocation played a relatively minor role in creating a secure retirement. The one exception, in some instances: households in the top decile of wealth distribution (more than $500,000). But even here, the study notes, the “importance of asset allocation was…less than one would expect.”

The upshot: Financial planning tools, the report concludes, “frequently highlight the asset allocation decision, suggesting that individuals have a lot to gain by adopting a more optimal allocation of stocks and bonds.” But financial advisers “will be of greater help to their clients if they focus on a broad array of tools – including working longer, controlling spending, and taking out a reverse mortgage.”

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 17)

View all Comments »
    • In fact when someone doesnit understand after that its up to other visitors that they will help, so here it takes place.

    • Shocking to find out that asset allocation doesnt matter if you dont have any assets!!!
      Save a lot, then get a good asset allocation to make it grow!

    • my neighbor’s mother-in-law brought in $17078 past week. she is making an income on the computer and bought a $387800 house. All she did was get blessed and apply the clues laid out on this site (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/U7KuT

    • I suspect this isn’t the best placement for this article due to (hopefully) the readers here are either worth over $1/2M or young, and saving.

    • Asset Allocation is important if you have assets to allocate. If you don’t have the money, as several previous comments mention, asset allocation certainly doesn’t matter. For this comment I define asset allocation as the percentage of stocks, bonds, cash or other investment vehicles—–not including the domicile. Of course, where you invest whatever you have, total return is the key. As one comments points out it certainly is better to expand your $100K to $200K by the correct investment rather than cutting it to $50K in the wrong investment.I n over 22.5 years I can tell you that the best place is enough equities (stocks or stock mutual funds)to make you portfolio grow. We have generally maintained about a 70% stock, 25% bond and 5% cash over that period. We control our withdrawals very-very carefully and have been able to grow the asset base 283% in the 22.5 years giving us a cushion as we age out of our mid-70′s.

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

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Markets »

139.01MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 128.61M
Unchanged
166
Decliners
4913
Advancers
1419
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,205 -212 1.29%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,363 -146 3.25%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,880 -35 1.85%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,122 -17 0.79%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,184 +26 2.25%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 30.40 -0.49 1.59%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,741 -107 1.83%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 9,041 -245 2.64%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,101 -100 2.38%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 16,847 -404 2.34%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 8,270 -229 2.70%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 318 -8 2.32%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,507 -3 0.12%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 17,004 +185 1.10%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 19,288 +105 0.55%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 24,287 -330 1.34%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,623 +65 2.53%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.11 0.00 0.43%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 116.30 -0.57 0.49%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.44 -0.01 0.79%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.04%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 97.26 +0.22 0.22%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 90.03 +0.22 0.24%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.79 -0.04 2.25%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.25 -0.05 16.52%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.65 +0.09 5.88%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.73 +0.08 4.86%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.47 -0.09 5.98%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.04 +0.01 25.61%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 30 0 1.59%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,184 +26 2.25%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 364 -2 0.48%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,943 -188 1.17%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,852 -23 1.24%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 15 +0 2.11%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 104.07 -6.42 -5.81%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 94.02 -2.58 -2.67%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 683.57 -24.44 -3.45%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 12.95 -0.30 -2.26%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 39.86 -0.93 -2.28%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.45 -0.08 -0.69%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.88 0.35 0.96%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 30.46 -0.15 -0.49%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.54 -0.64 -2.19%
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5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.5%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.88% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.11% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.30% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.16% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.26% 15.23% 15.27%
Reward 15.28% 15.25% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.21% 18.18% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.88% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

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