Best Practices for Portfolio Rebalancing

by Francis M. Kinniry Jr. , Colleen M. Jaconetti and Yan Zilbering

Best Practices For Portfolio Rebalancing Splash image

The primary goal of a rebalancing strategy is to minimize risk relative to a target asset allocation, rather than to maximize returns.

It is well documented that a portfolio’s asset allocation is the major determinant of a portfolio’s risk-and-return characteristics (assuming a well-diversified portfolio that engages in limited market timing). Yet, over time, asset classes produce different returns, so the portfolio’s asset allocation will likely drift. Therefore, to recapture the portfolio’s original risk-and-return characteristics, the portfolio should be rebalanced.

Many investors ask “how often, how far and how much” to rebalance a portfolio. Similar to the initial selection of a portfolio’s target asset allocation, the selection of a rebalancing strategy involves a trade-off between risk and return. In theory, investors should choose a rebalancing strategy that weighs their willingness to assume risk against expected returns net of the costs of rebalancing—including time, taxes and labor.

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Francis M. Kinniry , CFA, is a principal in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group.
Francis M. Kinniry Profile
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Colleen M. Jaconetti is an senior investment analyst in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group.
Colleen M. Jaconetti Profile
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Yan Zilbering is an investment analyst in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group.
Yan Zilbering Profile
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Using broad U.S. stock and bond market data from 1926 through 2009, we at the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group found that there is no optimal frequency or threshold when selecting a rebalancing strategy. Our analysis demonstrates that the risk-adjusted returns are not meaningfully different if a portfolio is rebalanced monthly, quarterly, or annually; however, the number of rebalancing events and resulting costs increase significantly.

As a result, we conclude that for most broadly diversified stock and bond fund portfolios (assuming reasonable expectations regarding return patterns, average returns and risk), annual or semiannual monitoring—with rebalancing at 5% thresholds—is likely to produce a reasonable balance between risk control and cost minimization for most investors. Annual rebalancing is likely to be preferred when taxes or substantial time/costs are involved.

Return data for this article is based on the following stock and bond benchmarks, as applicable: Stocks are represented by the Standard & Poor’s 90 index from 1926 through March 3, 1957; the S&P 500 index from March 4, 1957, through 1974; the Wilshire 5000 composite index from January 1, 1975, through April 22, 2005; and the MSCI US Broad Market Index from April 23, 2005, through 2009. Bonds are represented by the S&P High Grade Corporate Index from 1926 through 1968; the Citigroup High Grade Index from 1969 through 1972; the Lehman Long-Term AA Corporate Index from 1973 through 1975; and the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index from 1976 through 2009.

Theoretical and Practical Considerations

Because asset allocation is the major determinant of a portfolio’s risk and return, Vanguard believes that the asset allocation decision—which takes into account each investor’s risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial goals—is the most important decision in the portfolio-construction process. It follows, therefore, that it’s important to periodically rebalance, to diminish a portfolio’s tendency to drift from its target asset allocation and acquire risk-return characteristics that may be inconsistent with an investor’s goals and preferences. Note that the goal of portfolio rebalancing is to minimize risk (tracking error) relative to the investor’s target asset allocation, rather than to maximize returns.

As mentioned, investors often ask how frequently to monitor a portfolio, how far an asset allocation can deviate from its target before it is rebalanced, and whether periodic rebalancing should restore a portfolio to its target or to a close approximation of that target. While each of these decisions has an impact on a portfolio’s risk-return characteristics, the differences in results among strategies are not very significant. Thus, the choice often becomes one of investor preference.

In addition, costs and emotions are two important practical considerations that can influence rebalancing strategies. Potential rebalancing costs—which can have a direct bearing on the preferred frequency—include taxes (capital gains taxes may be due on the sale of appreciated assets in taxable accounts), transaction costs (such as brokerage commissions and mutual fund fees), and the time and labor costs of the investor (or investment manager). Trading restrictions also may limit the frequency of transacting within an account.

The issue: Because asset allocation changes over time as asset classes produce different returns, a portfolio should be rebalanced to recapture its original risk-return characteristics.

The challenge: Investors’ natural emotional tendencies, along with rebalancing costs—including time, taxes and labor—pose hurdles to implementing a rebalancing strategy.

Conclusion: We found that there is no optimal rebalancing frequency or threshold. For most broadly diversified stock and bond portfolios, annual or semiannual monitoring—with rebalancing at 5% thresholds—is likely to produce a reasonable balance between risk control and cost minimization for most investors.

The natural emotional tendencies of many investors can further make rebalancing a challenge. Since 1926, significant rebalancing opportunities into equities have occurred after strongly negative equity market events on only seven occasions: 1930, 1931, 1937, 1974, 2000, 2002 and 2008. (Assuming a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio and annual rebalancing with a 5% threshold.)

Understandably, at these times, poor investment performance coupled with extreme uncertainty about the future made it seem counterintuitive for investors to consider rebalancing their portfolios by selling their best-performing asset classes and committing more capital to underperforming asset classes. Historically, however, investors who did not rebalance their portfolios by increasing their allocation to equities not only may have missed out on the subsequent equity returns but also did not maintain the asset-class exposures of their target asset allocation.

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Investors who are equally loath to rebalance during bull markets can end up with a portfolio that is overweighted to equities, putting the investors’ portfolios at risk of larger losses compared with their target portfolios.

Trade-Offs in the Rebalancing Decision

As with the selection of an initial target asset allocation, a rebalancing strategy involves a risk-return trade-off. The more risk an investor is willing to assume, the higher the expected return over the long term (known as the risk premium). If a portfolio is never rebalanced, it tends to gradually drift from its target asset allocation as the weight of higher-return, higher-risk assets increases. Compared with the target allocation, the portfolio’s expected return increases, as does its vulnerability to deviations from the return of the target asset allocation.

To minimize the risk associated with portfolio drift, investors can use several possible triggers to determine when to rebalance. We focus primarily on the following three:

  • A “time-only” strategy, which triggers a rebalancing event based on a set time schedule such as monthly, quarterly, annually, and so on. The choice of frequency largely depends on the investor’s risk tolerance, the correlation among the portfolio’s assets, and the costs involved in rebalancing.
  • A “threshold-only” strategy, which ignores the time aspect and triggers a rebalancing event when a portfolio deviates from its target asset allocation by a predetermined minimum percentage, such as 1%, 5%, 10% and so on. The nature of this strategy requires daily monitoring to determine how often to rebalance.
  • A “time-and-threshold” strategy, which combines the “time-only” and “threshold-only” strategies. The portfolio is monitored on a set time schedule, but it is rebalanced only if the allocation deviates from the target by the predetermined minimum rebalancing threshold at that time.

We evaluated the hypothetical results of using each of these three strategies for the period 1926–2009, assuming a portfolio with a target asset allocation of 60% stocks/40% bonds. For the “time-only” strategy, we assumed rebalancing monthly, quarterly, annually, and never, with each portfolio rebalanced at the predetermined interval, regardless of the magnitude of variation from the target asset allocation. We found little difference among the results.

For example, monthly rebalancing produced an 8.5% average annualized return with a 12.1% annualized standard deviation, and annual rebalancing produced an 8.6% average annualized return with an 11.9% annualized standard deviation. Both portfolios had an average equity allocation of about 60%. However, the most notable observation comes from comparing the rebalanced portfolio results with the never-rebalanced portfolio—which drifted to an average equity allocation of more than 84%, with an average annualized return of 9.1% and an average annualized standard deviation of 14.4%.

For the historical, hypothetical analysis of “threshold-only” rebalancing, we used thresholds of 1%, 5% and 10% deviation from the target asset allocation, and we assumed daily monitoring. (Due to the limited availability of reliable daily data, a time period of 1989 to 2009 was used for “threshold-only” rebalancing.) The insignificant differences in the results for the risk-and-return characteristics may not warrant the additional costs associated with a 0% threshold (which required more than 5,300 rebalancing events) versus a 10% threshold (which required only four rebalancing events). The primary drawback to the threshold-only strategy is that it requires daily monitoring. Investors can either perform the monitoring themselves or pay an advisor to do it for them (which ultimately lowers the portfolio’s total return because of the additional cost); the choice depends primarily on investor preference.

The third strategy we evaluated, “time-and-threshold,” calls for rebalancing the portfolio on a scheduled basis (e.g., monthly, quarterly or annually), but only if the portfolio’s asset allocation has drifted from its target asset allocation by a predetermined minimum rebalancing threshold, such as 1%, 5% or 10%. If, as of the scheduled rebalancing date, the portfolio’s deviation from the target asset allocation was less than the predetermined threshold, the portfolio would not be rebalanced. Likewise, if the portfolio’s asset allocation drifted by the minimum threshold or more at any intermediate time interval, the portfolio would not be rebalanced at that time.

Results of Rebalancing Strategies

Table 1 summarizes the results of several hypothetical portfolios using “time-and-threshold” rebalancing—with monthly, quarterly and annual monitoring frequencies and 1%, 5% and 10% minimum rebalancing thresholds. We compared the risk-and-return characteristics produced by the various time-and-threshold strategies relative to a target asset allocation of 60% stocks/40% bonds that was rebalanced monthly regardless of the magnitude of the allocation drift (0% minimum rebalancing threshold). The impact of portfolio drift can be seen in the never-rebalanced portfolio in the far right column—with an average equity allocation of more than 84%.

  Monitoring Frequency
Monthly Quarterly Annually Never
Min rebalance threshold 0% 1% 5% 10% 1% 5% 10% 1% 5% 10% None
Average equity allocation 60.1% 60.1% 61.2% 61.6% 60.2% 60.9% 62.6% 60.5% 60.7% 63.0% 84.1%
Costs of rebalancing          
Annual turnover 2.7% 2.3% 1.7% 1.3% 2.2% 1.7% 1.5% 1.7% 1.6% 1.4% 0.0%
Number of rebalancing events 1,008 389 58 20 210 50 21 72 28 15 0
Absolute framework          
Average annualized return 8.5% 8.5% 8.6% 8.8% 8.7% 8.8% 8.9% 8.6% 8.6% 8.7% 9.1%
Volatility (st dev) 12.1% 12.1% 12.2% 12.2% 12.2% 12.1% 12.3% 11.9% 11.8% 12.1% 14.4%

A portfolio that was rebalanced more frequently—either because it was monitored more frequently or because it had a tighter rebalancing threshold—tracked the target asset allocation more closely, but the magnitude of the differences in the average annualized returns and volatility was relatively insignificant.

In addition, Table 1 shows that the cost of rebalancing may place upper limits on the optimal number of rebalancing events. In our hypothetical simulation, the number of rebalancing events and the annual turnover were proxies for costs, which detract from the portfolio’s return and potentially undermine the risk-control benefits of some rebalancing strategies. (Actual costs for any investor depend on a portfolio’s unique transaction costs and taxes.) A rebalancing strategy with monthly monitoring and 1% thresholds was more costly to implement (389 rebalancing events, with annual portfolio turnover of 2.3%) than one that included annual monitoring and 10% rebalancing thresholds (15 rebalancing events and annual portfolio turnover of 1.4%).

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After taking into consideration reasonable expectations regarding return patterns, average returns and risk, we concluded that—for most broadly diversified stock and bond fund portfolios—annual or semiannual monitoring, with rebalancing at 5% thresholds, produces a reasonable balance between risk control and cost minimization.

There are two important qualifications to this conclusion. First, this analysis assumes that some approximation of the U.S. stock and bond markets’ historical return patterns, average returns, volatility and low return correlation can be expected to persist in the future. Second, our analysis assumes that a portfolio holds a broadly diversified group of liquid assets with readily available market prices. (A concentrated or aggressive actively managed portfolio of stocks and bonds may also behave differently from our illustrated examples. Such portfolios tend to be more volatile than broadly diversified stock and bond portfolios, requiring more frequent rebalancing to maintain similar risk control relative to the target asset allocation.)

Implementing a Rebalancing Strategy

In translating this conceptual rebalancing framework into practical strategies, it’s important to recognize two real-world limitations to the framework’s assumptions. First, conventional wisdom among financial practitioners suggests that investor preferences may be less precise than theory assumes. Investors’ target asset allocations are typically flexible within 5% to 10% ranges, indicating that they are mostly indifferent to small risk-return deviations. Second, some costs of rebalancing—time, labor and market impact—are difficult to quantify and are often included indirectly in advisory fees or reflected as trading restrictions.

Recognizing such real-world limitations to rebalancing, we offer two practical strategies that aim to capture the risk-control benefits illustrated by our theoretical framework while minimizing the costs:

Rebalance with portfolio cash flows. Rebalancing a portfolio with dividends, interest payments, realized capital gains or new contributions can help investors control risk and trim the costs of rebalancing. Typically, investors can accomplish this by sweeping their taxable portfolio cash flows into a money market or checking account and then redirecting these flows to the most underweighted asset class as part of their scheduled rebalancing event. (This sweep process can improve the aftertax return of the portfolio at the margin; however, investors should weigh the time and effort required against the potential increased returns.) Our analysis showed that an investor who had simply redirected portfolio income would have achieved most of the risk-control benefits of more labor- and transaction-intensive rebalancing strategies at a much lower cost.

For taxable investors, this strategy was also very tax-efficient. One caution: The high levels of dividends and interest rates during the 84-year period used in our study may not be available in the future. An effective approach independent of the level of dividends and bond yields is to use portfolio contributions and withdrawals to rebalance the portfolio. However, the potential tax consequences of these transactions may require more customized rebalancing strategies.

Rebalance to some intermediate asset allocation. When trading costs are mainly fixed—the cost of time, for example—rebalancing to the target allocation is optimal because it reduces the need for further transactions. However, when trading costs are mainly proportional to the size of the trade—as in commissions or taxes, for example—rebalancing to the closest rebalancing boundary is optimal, to minimize the size of the transaction.

If both fixed and proportional trading costs exist, the optimal strategy would be to rebalance to some intermediate point.

This article was adapted from the authors' recent (2010) Vanguard research paper, available at

Francis M. Kinniry Jr. , CFA, is a principal in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group.
Colleen M. Jaconetti is an senior investment analyst in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group.
Yan Zilbering is an investment analyst in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group.


Lewis from NY posted over 5 years ago:


Ron from TX posted over 5 years ago:

Very helpful. I have intended to use "volatility pumping"; i. e., rebalancing, to increase returns, but in practice it has been psychologically hard to sell winners and buy losers. Now I see that I should relax and enjoy making relatively small, infrequent adjustments. Re-allocating cash flows instead of simple reinvestment also has some practical benefits, especially in taxable accounts where multiple small investments create complications at tax time.

Art from CA posted over 5 years ago:

It's worth reading the original Vanguard study referenced in the article. Besides the 1926-2009 results, its appendices show the more recent 1989-2009 results for all the rebalancing strategies.

When you compare the full 1926-2009 results with the more recent results one thing jumps right out: over the longer time interval, rebalancing leads to about 0.5% less annual return than "buy and hold"; but over the more recent 20 years, rebalancing gives you about 0.5% MORE annual return.

It's evident why this occurs - the longer time interval includes an overall bull market which we may not see again, so rebalancing hurts you by forcing you to give up some gain; the more recent years include more up-and-down, and when you have this kind of volatility, rebalancing actually increases your overall return compared with buy-and-hold.

The authors believe that the principal goal of rebalancing is to minimize tracking error. However, their data clearly shows that an additional benefit is reduced volatility. And, if you believe that the 1989-2009 data more accurately reflects our immediate future than the 1926-2009 data series, yet one more benefit is increased overall return - due to the forced "sell high, buy low" procedure imposed by following a consistent set of rebalancing rules.

Owen from CA posted over 5 years ago:

This article is very helpful with good practical information. However, there is one key point that is unclear, at least to me. How is a "10% threshold" interpreted? If my asset allocation goal is 60% stock, does the "10% threshold" for rebalancing kick in when my stock allocation hits 70% (and 50%) or does it kick in when my stock allocation hist 66% (and 54%)? The later is 10% of my allocation goal.

Nola from CA posted over 5 years ago:

Yes, Owen, 10% threshold for a 60% target means to rebalance when that asset class hits 54% or 66%.......This is clear if you consider that a real-life portfolio would have more asset classes.......Thus if your portfolio had 10% allocated to REITs, you would rebalance at 9% or 11%.....Nothing else would seem to make sense.

JP from MI posted over 5 years ago:

I concur Owen, while I agree with Nola's interpretation, your point should be clairifed in the article. I rebalance using a percentage based on the approximate standard deviation of the underlying asset class. For example, my rebalancing trigger for stocks/REITs/commodities is 10%, while my trigger for bonds is 6%. This stradegy permits riskier more volatile assests to appreciate--or depreciate--more before buying or selling them. Furthermore when rebalancing, I first address inbalances between asset classes, then correct inbalances within an assest classes. When rebalancing within an assest class I use up to two times the standard deviation as "the trigger."

Richard from IL posted over 5 years ago:

RPG 516:

Maybe one of you can answer this: What about "Reverse" Rebalancing. At what point do you sell some of your bond holdings to get back to your target allocation? How far down do you wait for the market to go before you sell bond holdings and re-allocate to stocks. Would you wait until your stock portfolio fell to 40% or less of your total portfolio (assuming a normal stock allocation of 60%) before acting. And if you do this, what happens if the market continues to sell off? Then what do you do? Sell more of your bond portfolio to re-allocate? I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

Dave from WA posted over 5 years ago:

I think if you want to rebalance a 60/40 stock bond portfolio, just buy a target date fund of the appropriate year and be done with it. There are some pretty decent ones out there.

Art from CA posted over 5 years ago:

All the studies, including the Vanguard study quoted, show that it doesn't matter much what rebalancing rule you follow, so long as you follow it through thick and thin. Suppose that you have chosen 60/40 stock/bond allocation, and decided to rebalance when your allocations are 10% off target. Then if the stock market is falling, when the stock share gets down to 54%, you sell some bonds and buy stocks to bring it back to 60%. If it keeps dropping, you do this again. We did this during the 2008 crash. This forces you to buy more and more stocks as they fall, so you are having faith that they will come back. Takes a strong stomach, which is why you have to be very careful when you first choose your allocation %s. Then as the market rises, you'll make profits in those stocks, and each time the stock percentage hits 66%, you sell off to bring it back to 60%. If you follow this through a few up and down cycles, the rebalancing, besides forcing you to sell high and buy low, and besides protecting you against too much exposure, actually earns you a little bit more than just buy-and-hold.

Chris from NJ posted over 5 years ago:

I strongly recommend analysis before considering a target date fund...I have been researching and analizing (and was in one for a few years). One case in point is that many Target Date funds (TD's) are funds of funds (multiple layers of expense ratios). Another is the "real" mix of stocks and the deviation from intended allocation that's permitted. Using Model Portfolios to check the returns will show some glaring differences. Set up your own "Target Date" model portfolio and track it against some TD''ll agree after a short while.

D. from MD posted over 5 years ago:

These studies ignore the possible economic benefits of tax loss harvesting.

David from MD posted over 5 years ago:

I'm going to go about this backwards, and post my comment first, read the article and see if I changed my mind. About 9 years ago I narrowed my choice of fund families down to Vanguard or T Rowe Price. The reason I chose Price was that they will automatically rebalance for you. That way I could avoid the temptation of letting winners ride or cutting losses early. Vanguard is an index-oriented shop so they don't need to offer the same service. Their clients feel smart when the name of the game is "beat the index and benefit through lower costs." Nothing against them...I have some funds there as well, but it is a very distinct business model.

Karen from IL posted over 5 years ago:

So my question is how detailed can this rebalancing thing get? I understand the old 60/40 stock/bond split but within each of those you can have loads of different categories each with it's own dartboard % allocation. Starts getting dizzying to be rebalancing without gettting overwhelmed.

Lincoln from IL posted over 5 years ago:

It appears that Messrs. Jaconetti, Kinniry and Zilbering make much to-do about very little in their analysis of "Best Practices for Portfolio Rebalancing" in the May 2011 edition of the AAII Journal. Looking at the results posted in Table 1 (page 26), the differences in average allocations, average annualized returns, and volatility are so small that one wonders if there is any true statistical differences between the proposed strategies. Did anyone look at that? Of course, there is one strategy with a distinctly different set of results: never rebalance! While that strategy ends with a skewed allocation heavy on equities, the return is higher than any of the other strategies at a "cost" of higher volatility. That would seem to underline Mark Hulbert's conclusion in the just proceeding article, "Think Twice, Even Thrice Before Trading" (or rebalancing), where he concludes, "that the average transaction lowers portfolio returns." The data of Jaconetti, et al. seems to substantiate that conclusion.

James from OH posted over 5 years ago:

I found the Jaconetti, Kinniry, and Zilbering, article entitled ”Best Practices for Portfolio Rebalancing” in the May 2011 issue of the AAII Journal interesting.

Actually, I found what they didn’t say to be more interesting.

First, they did not say that rebalancing is a good idea, in particular, they did not say that it significantly reduced risk. They merely addressed issues that investors raise who had already decided to use rebalancing.

Second, while they said “the asset allocation decision [that is, the target allocation – JG] is the most important decision in the portfolio construction process,” their article doesn’t provide results for allocations other than the 60%/40% split between stocks and bonds. (I skimmed their original article on this subject that was published in July 2010 and referenced at the end of the AAII Journal article. It didn’t address other allocations, such as 70%/30% and 80%/20%, either.) - - - By inference, the authors have implied that there is no optimal rebalancing frequency or threshold for these other target allocations either.

Third, the authors don’t offer any facts (or even opinions) to substantiate that the reduction in risk from rebalancing (a standard deviation of returns of 12.1%) and the “never” rebalance option (14.4% standard deviation) was significant. Indeed, presuming the distribution of annual returns for rebalancing is normal with an average annual return of 8.67% (the average from the tables in the article) and a standard deviation of 12.1%, we would expect a loss in 23% of the years. (In their July 2010 article, the authors say that the stock market lost money in roughly 25% of the 84 years from 1926 through 2009.) However, using the 9.1% average annual return and the 14.4% standard deviation for the “never” rebalance option indicates an investor would have lost money in 26% of the years. - - - The difference between 23% and 26% is probably something that most investors could not have detected at the time it was happening. In other words, the value that rebalancing provides in reducing risk is small, if not insignificant.

That raises the question “What would an investor have given up in returns by rebalancing in order to achieve that small reduction in risk?” Well, if a person had initially invested $100,000 at the rebalancing 8.67% average annual return for 40 years (a reasonable length of time for a long term investor), he would have ended up with $2.7 million. If he had made the 60%/40% allocation on the initial $100,000, but “never” rebalanced, he would have ended up with $3.2 million. If he had initially invested 100% of his money in stocks and “never” rebalanced, he would have achieved a 9.93% average annual return (the authors’ number from their July 2010 article), he would have ended up with $4.4 million.

My conclusion is that rebalancing offers only a small reduction in risk, but a large reduction in returns over the long term.

Jim Grant
Solon, Ohio
AAII Life Member

Philip from CO posted over 5 years ago:

I find it refreshing to see thoughtful commentary from readers who are willing to challenge the assumed benefits of rebalancing as Lincoln and James have done above. If, as the authors admit, risk-adjusted returns are not meaningfully different regardless of rebalancing frequency, one has to question its basic premises. Sure, rebalancing has a certain intuitive appeal, but when average annual returns are shown to be highest for those portfolios that were NEVER rebalanced (Table 1), a discussion of that finding with associated standard deviation and cost savings considerations would have made for a far more interesting article.

Dave from WA posted over 5 years ago:

Hopefully it's well known that re-balancing is not a way to increase returns, as the author points out in the very first sentence. However, I am currently testing an alternative re-balancing strategy as outlined in an article from the "Computerized Investing" portion of this site. This is basically a value averaging scheme (as oppossed to dollar cost averaging) and can be basically used whenever you are adding new money into the account and IS a way to improve results.

David Mann from WI posted over 4 years ago:

This discussion appears to be primariliy directed to the accumulation phase. It would be interesting to look at this data in light of those us retired and living off our nest egg at a 4% withdrawal rate on a total return portfolio.

Ferdinand Wieland from DE posted over 4 years ago:

I found that one of the greatest benefits of re-balancing is to take the "emotions" out of the decision making, avoiding to buying and selling at the wrong time and thereby improving the "actual investors" returns. Morningstar offer a great tool to compare investment return with actual investor return.

Simple re-balancing assumes that portfolio investment holdings continue to perform; however, it may become necessary to replace non-performing assets. I may be prudent for investors to consider monthly portfolio reviews - ie how did each portfolio holding added or detracted from target results. Supposed, each individual investment holding has been bought for specific purpose such as stable income, capital appreciation etc -- still on target with original goal? Just re-balancing a portfolio which includes "dogs"
may not lead to expected returns.

Could your experts please elaborate on this topic since it is not clear if the presented statistics assume no change of investment holdings within the portfolio. Thanks

Jim Moore from AL posted over 3 years ago:

with bond yields at historic lows and a reversion to the mean coming sooner than later does it make since to hold a 40% bond position?

Paul Andrew from Japan posted about 1 year ago:

Seven months ago I started an allocation scheme with ten ETFs, each with its relative allocation assigned. The highest allocations were at 15%, the lowest (GLD) at 3%, and the remaining ones at intermediate values. I have been dumbfounded by how little the allocations have varied in the interim. Rebalancing would be a matter of fine-tuning. Even though the ETFs cover stocks and bonds of various types and sizes as well as foreign entities, this constancy of allocation has meant that they have all bobbed up and down pretty much together, making me wonder just how essential this diversification idea is in actual practice. Is my experience just an aberration in 2015?

Instead, the critical issue has appeared to be the relative size of the cash buffer to carry along with the ten ETFs. When the group of ten ETFs increases in value, wouldn't selling off some of their shares (while "rebalancing") make sense? And then when investors get in a bad mood and prices go down, "rebalance" the ETFs again while putting some of the cash from the buffer back into the ten holdings. In a sense, I am characterizing cash as an 11th "ETF" that has appeared to me so far to correlate less with the ETFs than they do with one another.

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