Vanguard allocation

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Asset allocation: Key to your investment climate

Start with your climate, not your 5-day forecast

Asset allocation—the way you divide your portfolio among asset classes—is the first thing you should consider when getting ready to purchase investments, because it has the biggest effect on the way your portfolio will act.

Just like it's not a great idea to base your relocation on a current run of nice weather in a random city, choosing investments on a whim is unlikely to be a winning strategy over the long term.

Different asset classes tend to act in specific ways, kind of like the investing climate they inhabit. By choosing how to divide your portfolio, you have a certain amount of control over the experience you'll have as an investor.

There's no "best" asset allocation, just like there's no "perfect" climate for everyone—it all depends on what makes you comfortable and gives you a good shot at meeting your goals.

See more about the risks of different investment types


Vanguard portfolio allocation models

When determining which index to use and for what period, we selected the index we deemed a fair representation of the characteristics of the referenced market, given the information currently available.

For U.S. stock market returns, we use the Standard & Poor’s 90 Index from 1926 to March 3, 1957, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index thereafter.

For U.S. bond market returns, we use the Standard & Poor’s High Grade Corporate Index from 1926 to 1968, the Salomon High Grade Index from 1969 to 1972, and the Barclays U.S. Long Credit Aa Index thereafter.

For U.S. short-term reserves, we use the Ibbotson U.S. 30-Day Treasury Bill Index from 1926 to 1977 and the FTSE 3-Month U.S. Treasury Bill Index thereafter.

Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. The performance of an index is not an exact representation of any particular investment, as you cannot invest directly in an index.

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Picture your future, and you're more likely to make it a reality.

When you set a goal, it's easier to choose the right account type. If you're saving for retirement, consider a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. Want to save for a house? A money market fund might be right for you. If you're starting a college fund, a 529 plan is a good choice.



529 education savings plans

Money market funds

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At an average investment firm


At an average investment firm


At an average investment firm


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2020 Asset Allocation ETF Returns: Vanguard vs. iShares


Allocation vanguard


What’s the best asset allocation in retirement?


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