Customer Review

47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, only a mixed bag, September 11, 2011
This review is from: The Smartest Portfolio You'll Ever Own: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy (Hardcover)
Dan Solin's previous works in this series demonstrated the wisdom of constructing a globally diversified investment portfolio comprised of low-cost stock and bond index funds in accordance with a long-term asset allocation suitable to your needs. Where Solin has fallen short in the past is in the translation of this approach to specific investment recommendations, such as his previous advice to avoid TIPS (U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) and ETFs (exchange-traded funds).

In his latest book, Solin has apparently overcome his aversion to ETFs and utilizes several of them to construct his `SuperSmart' and `Smartest ETF' portfolios. Tragically, his bond recommendations fall woefully short of the mark. For example, Solin suggests investing 50 percent of the total bond allocation in the SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term International Treasury Bond ETF (BWZ), a relatively small, thinly traded ETF which allocates almost 15 percent of its holdings to the potentially risky bonds of Italy and Spain.

Investors would be better served consulting the books of William J. Bernstein, John C. Bogle, Larry Swedroe and others for specific investment recommendations consistent with this philosophy.
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Initial post: Sep 11, 2011 9:27:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 11, 2011 10:18:34 AM PDT
BWZ was added to the SuperSmart Portfolio to give investors exposure to short term, fixed rate, investment grade debt issued by foreign governments of developed countries. Because it tracks an index (the Short Term International Treasury Index), its holdings reflect the holdings of the index. Italy and Spain are part of this index and are included in the fund. There are limited, low management fee index options for investors who want to diversify their bond portfolio to include international bonds. This fund is an excellent choice for that purpose.
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