A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation that should do well with dampened volatility. Its primary appeal is simplicity, but a secondary virtue is that it avoids the worst mistakes of the financial services industry.
With recent changes, many custodians (Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, eTrade, and more) now have no transaction fees for buying exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This makes our default portfolio our best recommendation at many different custodians. Additionally, it eliminates the need for the many custodian-specific portfolios we have crafted in the past.
Vanguard has no transaction fees for ETFs purchased online. As a result, we believe our default portfolio would be the best choice even for those who are investing at Vanguard. However, we are continuing to offer this Vanguard-specific Marotta’s Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator for investors who have brand loyalty to Vanguard.
This portfolio uses only Vanguard ETFs or mutual funds, and all Vanguard investments have no transaction fee when purchased in a Vanguard account. If you are investing in Vanguard funds at a different custodian, the mutual funds will commonly have a transaction cost to purchase.
For each holding, we have included the ticker symbol for the exchange-traded fund (ETF), Admiral Share (Adm), and Investor Share (Inv) classes. The ETF has no minimum investment. Both the mutual funds have a minimum investment, but the Admiral shares often have a lower expense ratio with a higher minimum investment while the Investor Shares have a higher expense ratio with a lower minimum investment.
You can read about the changes from last year in our article, “An Overview of Marotta’s 2023 Gone-Fishing Portfolios.”
Mermaid illustration by Zoe Russell (age 6).