Cash is an investment few talk about.
Cash is almost thought of as an aside to an investment portfolio or as a drag on returns. I will assume there are a few smart managers or MFOers who use cash strategically to reduce volatility, to hedge or reallocate.
Cash utilized for opportunistic investing is little discussed in the media or here at MFO.
Wonder what your thoughts on cash as an active part of one's portfolio?
One link on the topic:cash-and-your-portfolio
As far as active cash goes, I have none. If new investments catch my eye I sell some from those that are lagging. Lately my AAPL has gained enough for me to fund two other investments.
The article, although from March, 2010; covers points about cash holdings that can apply to one's considerations today.
The writer separates cash held as emergency savings, etc.; and cash as part of an investment portfolio.
Cash as personal accounts for bill paying and/or emergency monies; for this house is its own and separate from investment portfolios. We have no desire to maintain cash in investment accounts, with the exception; that the cash resulted from a sale and nothing else is tempting at the moment. This circumstance would likely be short-lived. Our largest investment accounts cash positions existed from June, 2008 for about 9 months. This was a one-time event, to date.
Some active managed funds hold more than enough cash, and I/we do not choose to add more to this.
We hold no cash at this point, within investment accounts.
edit note: the vast majority of sell/buy transactions are in tax sheltered accounts. Current taxation is not a consideration with changing investment areas.
I feel you know pretty much as to what I am going to write about cash being part of my portfolio’s asset allocation. To me, cash is not trash.
Years back when CD’s could be found in the four to five percent range I kept about ten percent of my portfolio in CD’s and included these in the cash sleeve of my portfolio as FDIC Insured time deposits. In addition, my FDIC Insured savings account balances were also included as time deposits.
Now that interest rates are currently very low, I still have kept these cash sums in the cash area of my portfolio but now draw on them from time-to-time to fund my special investment positions (spiffs) when I engage in them. In essence, instead for drawing interest income from these balances I now draw, most of the time, capital gains derived from the spiffs that have, for now, replaced interest income.
My asset allocation calls for a range in cash form five to twenty five percent with a neutral position being fifteen percent. Currently, it is in the twenty percent range.
Here is a brief description of my sleeve system which I organized to help better manage the investments that were held in five accounts that make my portfolio. The accounts consist of a taxable account, a self directed ira account, a 401k account, a profit sharing account and a health savings account plus two bank accounts. With this I came up with four investment areas. They are a cash area which consist of two sleeves … an investment cash sleeve and a demand cash sleeve. The next area is the income area which consists of two sleeves. … a fixed income sleeve and a hybrid income sleeve. Then there is the growth & income area which has more risk associated with it than the income area and it consist of four sleeves … a global equity sleeve, a global hybrid sleeve, a domestic equity sleeve and a domestic hybrid sleeve. An finally there is the growth area, where the most risk in the portfolio is found and it consist of four sleeves … a global sleeve, a large/mid cap sleeve, a small/mid cap sleeve and a specialty sleeve. Each sleeve consists of three to six funds (in most cases) with the size and the weight of each sleeve can easily be adjusted, from time-to-time, by adjusting the number of funds and the amounts held. By using the sleeve system one can get a better picture of their overall investment picture and weightings by sleeve and area. In addition, I have found it beneficial to xray each fund, each sleeve, each investment area, and the portfolio as a whole monthly. Again, weightings can be adjusted form time-to-time as to how I might be reading the markets and wish to weight accordingly. All funds pay their distributions to the cash area of the portfolio with the exception being those in my 401k, profit sharing, and health savings accounts where reinvestment occurs. With the other accounts paying to the cash area builds the cash area of the portfolio to meet the portfolio’s monthly cash distribution needs with the residual being left for new investment opportunity. In addition, most all buy/sell trades settle from, or settle to, the cash area.
Here is how I have my asset allocation currently broken out in percent ranges, by area. My neutral targets are cash 15%, income 30%, growth & income 35%, and growth 20%. I do an Instant Xray analysis of the portfolio monthly and make asset weighting adjustments as I feel warranted based upon my assesment of the market, my risk tolerance, cash needs, etc. Currently, I am a heavy in the cash area, light in the income area and neutral in the equity area. I am thinking that once year end mutual fund capital gain distributions are paid out this will reduce the equity area and raise the cash area.
Cash Area (Weighting Range 5% to 25%)
Demand Cash Sleeve… (Cash Distribution Accrual & Future Investment Accrual)
Investment Cash Sleeve … (Savings & Time Deposits)
Income Area (Weighting Range 20% to 40%)
Fixed Income Sleeve: GIFAX, LALDX, THIFX, LBNDX, NEFZX & TSIAX
Hybrid Income Sleeve: AZNAX, CAPAX, FKINX, ISFAX, PASAX & PGBAX
Growth & Income Area (Weighting Range 25% to 45%)
Global Equity Sleeve: CWGIX, DEQAX, EADIX & PGUAX
Global Hybrid Sleeve: CAIBX, IGPAX & TIBAX
Domestic Equity Sleeve: ANCFX, CFLGX, FDSAX, INUTX, NBHAX, SPQAX & SVAAX
Domestic Hybrid Sleeve: ABALX, AMECX, DDIAX, FRINX, HWIAX & LABFX
Growth Area (Weighting Range 10% to 30%)
Global Sleeve: AJVAX, ANWPX, PGROX, NEWFX, THDAX & THOAX
Large/Mid Cap Sleeve: AGTHX, BWLAX, HWAAX, IACLX, SPECX & VADAX
Small/Mid Cap Sleeve: IIVAX, PCVAX & PMDAX
Specialty Sleeve: CCMAX, LPEFX, SGGDX & TOLLX
Total number of mutual fund investment positions equal fifty one.
I wish all ... "Good Investing."
Oh ! how those fund companies love you. Have your ever total up your yearly cost in fees. $$$$$$$$$$$$ that should be in your pocket !
Perhaps. However, I don't process the talent and skills that most of my fund managers have. I learned a long time ago when I worked for an ex college football coach who use to tell me ... find the best possible people you can afford; and, then use thier skills to propel our team. If they can't, then find tallent that can. One of his teams, years back, played for a national title.
Looking back for the past six years, from 2009 through 2014, my portfolio has returned an average of 15.7% per year. I'll gladly take this knowing I paid a sum to those P/M's for their talents in doing this. Know too, since I control the overall asset allocation and when I choose to make changes I can fire anyone of them anytime I choose should they falter or their fund is no longer a fit.
I am happy with what has been achieved. And, with fifty one funds that is some talent pool; and, a lot more talent than I have. For example, when I need a doctor, I don't try to be one, I go and find one that has the skill and knowledge to treat me.
My portfolio is of hybrid configuration ... and, on last check the S&P 500 Index was all equity. My portfolio pays out more than twice that of the S&P 500 Index in the form of interest, dividends and capital gains over the Index. To me, you are comparing apple, oranges and grapes as the same. They simply are not even though all of them are members of the fruit family.
While I agree about the inadvisability of having way too many funds, I wonder if this is mathematically true. I bet Charles and msf and a few others have the answer.
I have the allocation categories covered, but also with multiple funds. As an example, my foreign allocation within both pre-tax and after-tax accounts consists of MAPTX, ARTGX, GPGOX, SFGIX, MINDX and FMIJX.
The "risk of ruin" is diminished due to spreading the allocation among managers and geography. And the fees are no more than aggregating into one fund of average cost.
Just trying to argue the other side. Always comes down to comfort level. But you do pay a price for comfort.
In my specific case used as example, while my funds are all international in scope, I try my best to make sure they do not occupy the same footprint. I accept less than "best possible case", and aim for above average.
I guess we're all a product of our times. My first mutual fund was a money market fund. A nice cool 20% a year nearly risk free. What's not to like?
I understand where Ted is coming from. But in more volatile markets than we've witnessed recently, cash can also = leverage.
Dex, you noted: "Cash flow ... think about it. It isn't sexy but it is overlooked and needed for financial longevity"
>>>I will presume, because of the nature of this web site; that cash in an investment portfolio would also have a money market component available.
Any MM that I can directly access at Fidelity as a parking area for money is at a negative value. This circumstance is from the .01 or .02% yield and expenses for many of these at various investment houses to be at about .46%. Fidelity Cash Reserves indicates an e.r. range of .27-.37. If one looks through returns for these type of "investments", the returns will be negative.
If this is what is being discussed regarding "cash" within an investment portfolio, then I still have no need for such an item. The exception would be another market melt.
If one has 5 major areas for investment as has been noted in this thread, what is the value of the cash portion.......no yield, e.r.'s that eat the principal and top this off with inflation destroying more principal.
Being that "income" is one of the 5 areas noted previous; why not keep the monies in this and move monies from this area into another, if needed?
hank, you noted: "I understand where Ted is coming from. But in more volatile markets than we've witnessed recently, cash can also be leverage.
>>>I fully agree that cash can have its place during nasty periods, but I don't call this leverage.
I'm trying to understand the need to keep any cash inside of an investment portfolio, with the exceptions that I noted previously. When we think we have a more valuable investment, we sell all or part of something else that isn't doing as well and move the money, period. We sold quite a bunch of bonds last year and moved the monies elsewhere, but not to cash.
I surely don't knock anyone's plans; as I know we all travel different money paths.
Fidelity Cash Reserves values
Okay, time for a large bowl of ice cream with fresh Michigan strawberries.
You can pick a lot of holes in that argument if you want. In fact, I'll do so myself. First, it assumes that one can be successful in timing the market (not a given). Second, it ignores the likelihood (but not a certainty) that bonds may actually appreciate substantially while stocks are falling - and so, in a sense, would provide even greater leverage.
I don't have a dog in this fight. Ted had said earlier that cash is trash - and I was simply pointing out that under some circumstances it can be quite valuable. Gotta run. Take care.
In our household, we have an emergency cash fund which earns very little but is very liquid. In our taxable and retirement investment accounts, I try my best to keep a low cash balance, at most 5-10% at any given time, as I am about 20 years from retirement and I want to maximize our wealth creation despite increased volatility. If I have extra cash with no specific target, I dump the funds in my PRWCX position.
As for the question of how many funds to own, we own a total of 9 funds/stocks, but I see no problem with folks who own more funds, as long as they are excellent, relatively low cost and outperform their respective indices. Live and let live. As I will likely die before my fetching wife (not "partner"), I am focused on wealth creation, and I continually remind my wife that there is only one thing worse than being old, and that is being old and poor.
agreed. but then again, it's impossible to know if the market's a melt until it's melted, in which case you've ridden your vulnerable non-cash positions all the way (or at least halfway) down into the molten-lava hole, which is my main issue with all similar such make-it-sound-so-easy comments.
If you have a job or pension/SS that meets your living expenses you may not need cash.
If you are retired you may need cash (or 'near cash' as I mentioned in another thread) to ride out market downs.
Cash can pay you money. Look at Obama care and subsidies and assume you are not working. You could structure your investments for long term capital gains and keep your living expenses in cash. You could get your subsidy. My calculations is showing I will get one.
I make no judgment as to their wisdom in this regard or lack of such. Make of it what you will. Just thought it might add to the discussion here and perhaps interest owners of OAKBX who, for whatever reason, haven't read the March 31 report.
"My Cash has to work because I don't"......copyright TB