How to build an investment portfolio for retirement?
June 5, 2015 11:08 AM   Subscribe

After reading a bit about efficient market theory and the benefits of lowering your costs via investments such as ETFs (especially over 20+ years), I closed my account with my adviser and sold my existing high MER mutual funds. Now what?

I don’t know a lot about investing, and don’t plan to make it a hobby. I just want to invest money regularly until I retire (25+ years from now), make no withdrawals until then, and be confident that I’ve maximized my gains while minimizing my time spent managing the investments. Right now my appetite for risk is very high.

The problem is that I don’t know how to wisely invest. Do I put it all in an S&P 500 ETF and forget about it (as once suggested by Warren Buffett)? Do I diversify and put some money into gold or a gold ETF? Do I also invest some money in something riskier that tracks the BRICs?

The other wrinkle is that I live in Canada. Converting to US dollars is not cheap right now, but I feel like it may be worth it in the long run in order to divorce myself from the resource-heavy Canadian economy.

Thanks in advance!
posted by gumpstump to Work & Money (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you want a simple portfolio with little maintenance, and you're in Canada (like me), the Couch Potato model portfolios are the best. I'd recommend reading the whole site.

Sign-up with Questrade (a low-cost Canadian brokerage), there's no fees to sign-up or buy ETFs.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:26 AM on June 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

Bogleheads will tell you the three-fund portfolio will do what you want.
posted by Dashy at 11:44 AM on June 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

See also: lazy portfolio.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:02 PM on June 5, 2015

The answers in this thread might help.
posted by girlpublisher at 12:08 PM on June 5, 2015

I'd suggest opening a betterment account. It's in line with the EMH, it's tax-efficient, it rebalances itself automatically, and it's a tiny (0.15%) premium over the vanguard funds within it. I have one, and the reduced taxes from smarter rebalancing (as well as tax-loss harvesting) have more than paid back that 0.15%.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 12:29 PM on June 5, 2015

Looks for a "target date" fund or ETF with a "Retirement date*" of 2040(+/-).

*that is, when it moves into all income-producing and ultradefensive positions. The fund will continue to exist.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:13 PM on June 5, 2015

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