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Asset Allocation For Dummies


Use allocation strategies of the pros and protect your financial future

You don't have to be an investment expert to allocate your assets successfully. This plain-English guide demystifies the process, giving you timely advice on diversifying your investment portfolio to help insulate it against volatility. You'll see how to develop your personal investment strategy, avoid costly mistakes, and rebalance to generate extra return.

  • The ABCs of asset allocation — discover how it works, why to do it, and the level of risk you're comfortable with
  • Explore the different asset categories — from cash and bonds to stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and more

  • Plan your investment strategy — set your portfolio constraints, outline your financial goals, and select your asset classes

  • Choose securities and accounts — select the best ones, understand fees and expenses, and take advantage of tax breaks

  • Maintain your portfolio — keep tabs on your investments, know when to rebalance, and measure your results against appropriate market benchmarks

  • Go beyond the basics — consider alternative investments (such as real estate and commodities), maximize after-tax results, and work with the pros when you need help

Open the book and find:

  • The top asset allocation mistakes
  • How to match the right investments with the right accounts

  • Ways to successfully manage risk

  • Best practices for portfolio rebalancing

  • "What if?" investment scenarios

  • Historical rates of return on ten asset classes and subclasses

  • How to project your financial future

  • Guidance for fine-tuning your long-term allocation plan

Jerry A. Miccolis, CFA, CFP, FCAS, MAAA, is a financial advisor, widely quoted financial author, and expert commentator who has appeared on CBS Radio and ABC-TV.

Dorianne R. Perrucci is a freelance writer who has been published in The New York Times, Newsweek, and, and has collaborated on several investing books, including I.O.U.S.A., One Nation, Under Stress, In Debt (Wiley, 2008).


Part I: Discovering the Not-So-Secret Recipe for Asset Allocation.

Chapter 1: Understanding Asset Allocation.

Chapter 2: Weighing Risk and Return.

Chapter 3: Making Sense of Asset Classes.

Chapter 4: Determining the Right Proportions: Your Asset Mix.

Chapter 5: Stirring the Mix: Portfolio Rebalancing.

Part II: Getting Started.

Chapter 6: Laying the Foundation for Your Plan.

Chapter 7: Developing Your Investment Strategy.

Chapter 8: Creating Your Allocation Plan.

Part III: Building and Maintaining Your Portfolio.

Chapter 9: Buying Securities.

Chapter 10: Knowing Where to Put Your Assets: Asset Location.

Chapter 11: Monitoring Your Portfolio: Rebalancing and Other Smart Strategies.

Chapter 12: Measuring Your Results.

Part IV: Going beyond the Basics.

Chapter 13: Walking to the Beat of a Different Drum: Opting for Alternative Investments.

Chapter 14: Managing Your Taxes like a Pro.

Chapter 15: Knowing When to Revise Your Plan.

Chapter 16: Finding Help When You Need It.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 17: Ten Asset Classes and Subclasses and Their Historical Rates of Return.

Chapter 18: Ten Common Asset Allocation Mistakes.

Chapter 19: Ten Questions to Test Your Asset Allocation Know-How.