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Start where you are

Start where you are

If you don’t know where you are, how can you know where you’re going? That question applies to many things: finding your way around a new town, getting out of debt, and investing — to name a few.

With that in mind, I decided to take some time and figure out what kind of investments I actually have before I spend more time trying to decide on a fund for my future Roth. A quick look at my finances revealed that the biggest category is real estate. That’s not surprising, since I live in my biggest asset. I’m also a limited partner in a K-1 partnership that invests in real estate. So, that’s over 75% of my assets right there.

It’s clear that I need to increase my non-real estate assets. But what about the non-real estate assets that I already have? Here’s what that picture currently looks like:

Current non-real estate asset allocation

Now, where should these really be? To get an idea, I used the Asset Allocator from the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System. It’s nice because it allows you to adjust a variety of factors such as age, current assets, risk tolerance, etc.

Here are the results I got for my situation:

Proposed asset allocation

Now, if only I knew what the differences between Foreign Large Value, World Stock, and Foreign Stock were, if any. Clearly it’s time for me to move on to Investing Terminology 101. But at least I now have an idea of where I’m starting from.

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