Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

Re-balancing advice

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Q: I will be rebalancing my portfolio biannually to the initial allocation until I reach an age that justifies a change to a more conservative approach. To complete this action, do I process both an interfund transfer and a contribution allocation? Is biannually OK?

A: You’re asking for specific, individual investment advice, which I can’t provide through this forum. In general, I recommend that Thrift Savings Plan investors using this do-it-yourself strategy set the contribution allocation to 100 percent G Fund and then periodically rebalance the existing assets to their selected allocation. I recommend that you rebalance no more frequently than once every three months and less than once per year. My firm’s standard rebalancing cycle is every six months.

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Comments

  1. J. Daniel Wright Says:
    April 15th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Mike, after reading your column for a while now, I have to say that your answers rarely help the people asking the questions. This person is not asking for any financial advice whatsoever. Only a clarification of a financial principal.

    To the author of the question, you have to process an interfund transfer to rebalance your current account to your desired allocation. But you do not have to process a contribution allocation unless you are changing the specific allocation for new money that will be coming in in the future.
    Regarding your question about the frequency of rebalancing, most financial advisers usually say once a year is a good practice. Under TSP rules, you could potentially rebalance every month or every pay period. It depends on how burdensome the time and effort it takes to get the IFT done is for you.
    Best of luck.
    Dan Wright

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