Another quarter, another investment allocation breakdown. Note that this is a series and a lot of the commentary in this breakdown builds off the previous breakdowns, so I recommend that you take a look at my investment allocation breakdown for 2021 Q3 first, if you haven’t already.
Like always, keep in mind that I am not a registered investment advisor, and even if I was, I would not be your advisor. To you, I am nothing more than a guy on the Internet writing on his personal website. This blog post is intended to be strictly anecdotal, and I am in no way suggesting or implying that you should copy my strategy. Everyone’s situation is uniquely different, so be sure to consult a certified professional if you have any questions or need any guidance with your own financial strategy.
Again, at the end of this quarter, I’m still a little bit high on my cash allocation.
However, I have a good reason for it this time—it’s the end of the tax year. One of my favorite things to do on January 1 of every year is to max out my retirement and tax-advantaged accounts, such as my Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA), Health Savings Account (HSA), and Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Account (SEP-IRA) (to the extent that I can predict a baseline of the coming year’s net income).
Because of this, I have a hefty chunk of cash waiting for January 1, 2022 so I can dump it into all these accounts, primarily because I prescribe to the philosophy that time in the market is better than attempting to time the market, and also because I don’t particularly have a propensity towards gambling or taking financial risks.
Index funds – Domestic
There has been very little change when it comes to my index fund investment strategy—I put a majority of money into broad-market index funds and leave it there to passively grow. I don’t really have additional comments for this category.
Index funds – International
This section is the same as above—there are no substantial changes since last quarter, and I don’t have any additional commentary for this category.
Target retirement funds
Just to clarify, the percentage allocation in target retirement funds is shrinking not because I’m taking early distributions or anything, but because my wealth in general is growing, so I’m consistently putting money into other areas of my portfolio, while I only contribute money to target retirement funds twice a year (once on January 1 and once when I finish my annual tax return and know my maximum SEP-IRA contribution amount for the previous year).
As a side note, I briefly touched on this the very first time I did an investment allocation breakdown nearly a year ago, but I figured I’d comment on these two points again with a bit greater detail:
First, the reason I separate this category out is because target retirement funds are managed by a brokerage as a mutual fund that automatically adjusts its asset mixture over time. Because of this, at any given moment, a target retirement fund can have a different allocation of all the different kinds of categories I present in this breakdown.
For example, a portion of my target retirement fund holdings is in VFFVX, which, as of the final day of last month, is composed of 54.9% of the total domestic stock market, 35.5% of the total international stock market, 6.6% of the total domestic bond market, and 3.0% of the total international bond market. Going through and checking on the allocation each quarter and disbursing the percentages to each of my existing table categories is a hassle, so I decided to just give it its own row in the table.
Second, the reason I use a target retirement fund with a marginally higher management fee, as opposed to managing my allocation myself, is because I want to leave my retirement accounts in a “set it and forget it” state. I already actively tweak my portfolio allocations in my regular brokerage accounts, and I’m fine with letting my tax-advantaged retirement accounts grow passively without my attention.
Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
I’ve continued to add more money to REITs, and my percentage allocation has increased since last quarter. In my previous breakdown, I explained why I’m investing more in REITs now, and in summary, it is just a way to try and spread my money out to diversify against a potential stock market crash.
I’m also sort of treating this like my “down payment fund” on a house. If real estate prices stabilize and I end up purchasing a property sometime in the near future, I’ll probably sell some of my REITs and use it to buy the aforementioned property to ensure that I’m still maintaining good diversification and not overinvesting into real estate.
I’m always doing research and learning more about finance, and I recently learned about Series I Savings Bonds, a special type of bond that is hedged against inflation. I’ve owned bonds in the past and have sold them due to their poor growth potential, but seeing as the government just printed an astronomical amount of money during the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation has skyrocketed, Series I Savings Bonds end up being a lucrative investment—the current rate as of today is 7.12% in annual interest.
I didn’t mention this earlier because I wanted to save it for the bond section, but another reason I’m holding onto more cash than my target is because I also want to purchase more Series I Savings Bonds once the new calendar year comes around and the maximum purchase refreshes.
I think one of the best ways to learn something is to just go and do it, and following my desire to master everything related to practical everyday finance, I created a charitable fund via a Giving Account through Fidelity Charitable. Fidelity is one of two brokerages with which I have an account (the other being Vanguard), so the Giving Account creation process was quick, easy, and straightforward.
Fidelity Charitable accepts tax-deductible donations that they will then invest on your behalf, and you can use the post-growth amount to donate to your preferred 501(c)(3) charities without having to pay additional taxes on the growth.
I’ve set up my account to invest in the total domestic stock market, so I will likely just lump this in together with the domestic index fund category in my allocation breakdown table, but I still wanted to separate this out as its own line item for this quarter because it’s something new.
Yes, I did indeed increase my cryptocurrency allocation once again. However, it’s probably not what you think… I’m not falling into the gambler’s fallacy or any other kind of obsessive or unhealthy chance- or luck-based investment strategy.
Like I mentioned in the previous two sections, I like to be a hands-on learner because I feel like being directly involved helps you understand the topic far faster and more effectively than being a bystander or observer. Because of this, I am continuing to put more money into different kinds of cryptocurrency and actively researching different kinds of blockchain technology, and in the process, seeing what’s happening with it first-hand while having a personal stake in the outcome.
This is particularly important to me because we’re going to be integrating blockchain technology into Tempo Games’ new upcoming strategy game, so it’s critical for me to have an intimate understanding of it, even though I’m still a degree separated from it due to primarily overseeing corporate operations (as opposed to game design or game development).
As I mentioned last quarter, I’ve lost quite a bit of money investing in cryptocurrency so far, but at the very least, it’s a decent opportunity for some tax loss harvesting. As of now, my holdings consist of approximately 60% Bitcoin, 30% Ethereum, 4% Solana, 4% Cardano, and 2% miscellaneous coins.
Speculative stocks and individual companies
To my eyes, my “speculative stock” fund is almost like my “gambling fund,” in that I pick stocks that I think are going to do well, but invest with the expectation that, even if I lose everything, I won’t be upset.
I chose to slim down a bit on speculative stocks compared to last quarter because I also see a large portion of cryptocurrency investing as being on-par with gambling, and I wanted to lower the amount of money that I was putting into extremely high-risk investments. A secondary reason is, I have limited time to put into doing securities research, and if I’m going to be putting that time into researching cryptocurrency and other blockchain technology, it means I’m not going to be making as educated decisions about the securities of publicly-traded companies, so I am adjusting my allocation accordingly to ensure I’m optimizing my time-to-money ratio.
From what I foresee, apart from the routine spike in target retirement funds that I already justified, there aren’t going to be substantial changes during the first quarter of 2022. With that being said, if anything new does happen, I’ll be back in three months with another investment breakdown… or I might just do one anyway regardless, to maintain the cadence of analyzing my portfolio, because if anything, it’s also good to do for my own benefit.