One of the first things you learn about investing is asset allocation. The idea is simple, of all your investments, how much should go into equities, how much in cash, and how much in fixed income (or any other investment vehicle). You can further divide these broad categories into more specific areas. For example, how many domestic stocks verses foreign stocks. It all comes down to how much risk you’re willing to take, and some personal preferences. For more risk, include more stocks, for less include more bonds and cash.
Creating a Benchmark for you’re portfolio allows you to gage the performance of your personal stock picks do against broad market movements.
I love risk. So I’ve decided to build my portfolio around a 100% equity strategy. Here’s the benchmark that I’m using for my portfolio:
50% EFA – iShares EAFE ETF, which tracks Foreign stocks in Europe, Asia and the Far East.
40% TSX – Toronto Stock Exchange for Canadian markets
10% VTI – For USA markets I’m using the Vanguard Total Markets ETF as the benchmark
As I have more money to put into my investing account I’m going to try to match this benchmark as closely as I can. I’m looking for a good way to compare my performance against my benchmark. Maybe I can find a good spreadsheet for that.