Newbie starting out - critiques welcome ;-)

Hi all,

Newbie here. Early 30s, current nw in the low six figures. No current assets invested.

Main goal is FI in the next 10-12 years (assuming current employment and savings rate stay stable, which is a big IF). Saving rate is currently around 65-70%. Target number is between high six figures and 1M. Feels a bit arrogant to even think I can plan so far in advance, but I guess it’s good to have a goal, for starters.

A few aspects I couldn’t figure out at this point, and for which I would really appreciate any inputs/critiques:

  • Lump sum vs DCA: I would tend more towards DCA, but have read contrasting opinions about it; do I assume correctly that DCA would put me in a better position to gain from any dips or corrections coming?

  • % of total nw to invest : how much, as % of NW, should I ideally have invested one year from now (not planning any big purchases in the short term)?

  • Currency : investable assets are in USD: assuming inflation rises in the coming decade, and putting aside the unforeseeable nature of the currency market, it seems the dollar is in for a long-term depreciation; what’s the strategy here? convert now to stronger currencies? (too early for me to figure this out now, but I probably won’t be retiring in CH);

  • Broker : IBKR would be my first choice, but I have to admit that what happened during the GME saga left me kind of worried; not sure how to assess and incorporate broker risk it into the overall strategy; no CH-based alternative looks interesting though;

  • Asset allocation : will try to keep it simple while also diversifying in terms of asset classes and geographical distribution; starting from Ray Dalio’s all-weather portfolio I would expand to include non-US equities and non-US bonds and rebalance to 50% stocks (moderate risk tolerance), 25% fixed income and 25% commodities (including GLD);

  • US ETFs and PRIIPS : if this is actually applied starting from 2022, would I still be able to increase any positions held at Jan 1st 2022? or would I need to reach a full position with, e.g., e.g., VTI and VWRL, within the next 10 months?

  • Market timing : while I understand market timing is close to impossible, I can’t deny the past few months in the markets have made me anxious, even if just watching from the outside: just wondering whether keeping a full cash position and wait until Q1 to end (as if Q1 could bring some clarity) would make any sense…

Is there any other aspect I am not considering at this stage? Just want to make sure I do my due diligence before making any moves. Any inputs/critiques truly welcome.

Thanks!

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Whatever you pick, assuming it’s a short time range (max 1y), it won’t matter much, don’t spend too much time on it, do what makes you feel better.

Really depends on your liquidity needs, probably good to at least have some emergency buffer for unplanned expenses.

Check the forum, it’s been covered many times. It doesn’t really matter if you’re investing in equity (or it’s a lot more complicated than just the ETF denomination or the companies domicile).

Keep in mind when starting from US-based portfolio that you probably don’t want to invest in non CHF bonds/fixed income (those are meant to be in your “home” currency otherwise it defeats the purpose).
Which if you care about CHF probably means using cash (since bonds have negative yields), or some other asset class.

Decide your allocation, and your investment plan and ignore the market, esp. for such long time horizon. Nobody can predict the future (except that over a 10 year period, you’ll likely have to weather a few crashes, but nobody knows when that will happen).

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Yes. It would also put you in a worse position to benefit from gains.
It’s a classic trade-off.

The question is if you plan to hold bonds - or any other assets that promise to “pay back” a predetermined amount in USD. Stock prices will simply be following the currency exchange rates between USD and your target currency (CHF/EUR?). So will gold.

Maybe, maybe not. Opinions and interpretations are differing on this.
It doesn’t matter much - you can buy very affordable alternatives (European ETFs) today.

If you are thinking about timing the market or cost averaging, I think you should decide the amounts you feel comfortable to invest in equity now and for the foreseeable future. Not rush into US ETFs now, simply because that window may close at the end of the year.

To rephrase:

…country of domicile of the funds you’ll be investing in.

Then, after you’ve laid out your general investment plan, optimise for fees and tax efficiency (we’re talking small fractions of a percentage point a year).

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