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How to Determine the Percentage of Your Portfolio to Invest in Bonds

A Quick Tip from One of Wall Street's Most Famous Names


Burton Malkiel, famed author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street and respected Ivy League educator has said that a good rule of thumb for investors to use in order to determine the percentage of their assets that should be invested in bonds is to simply look at their birth certificate. A 30 year old? 30% bond allocation. A 60 year old? 60% bond allocation.

It's simple, it's straightforward, and for those who are using an automatic dollar cost averaging plan based upon indexing, it's likely to work provided you stay committed for at least ten or twenty years.

You can learn a lot by reading our asset allocation guide or by checking out the content in our Bonds and Fixed Income resource page. You may also want to read up on a special concept we call asset placement that can help you substantially lower your tax bill simply by holding certain types of stocks or bonds in specific types of accounts (for instance, high dividend stocks in a tax-free Roth IRA and non-dividend, high-growth stocks in a generic brokerage account).

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