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So I've been reading about MPT and came across the GFP and couch potato sites posted in this link, in
any-experience-with-the-gone-fishin-portfolio
and wanted to know of anything similiar to the GFP site but framed for Australian stocks and bonds. The reason is I'd like to get a "feel" for a diversified portfolio in the same vein as GFP but with stocks and bonds that I more readily identify with. Not looking for heaps of links to US stock portfolio sites, but cheers anyway if you have them.

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The portfolio described in that post has a blend of small slices of Vanguard sector funds, such as Vanguard Pacific Stock Index (VPACX). And the theory is that rebalancing across them will give you a good risk-return tradeoff. (Caveat: I haven't read the book, only the post you link to.)

Similar ETFs are available from Vanguard, iShares, and State Street. If you want to replicate the GFP exactly, pick from them. (If you have questions about how to match specific funds in Australia, just ask another question.) So I think you could match it fairly exactly if you wanted to.

However, I think trying to exactly replicate the Gone Fishin Portfolio in Australia would not be a good move for most people, for a few reasons:

  1. Brokerage and management fees are generally higher in Australia (smaller market), so dividing your investment across ten different securities, and rebalancing, is going to be somewhat more expensive.

  2. If you have a "middle-class-sized" portfolio of somewhere in the tens of thousands to low millions of dollars, you're cutting it into fairly small slices to manually allocate 5% to various sectors. To keep brokerage costs low you probably want to buy each ETF only once every one-two years or so. You also need to keep track of the tax consequences of each of them.

  3. If you are earning and spending Australian dollars, and looking at the portfolio in Australian dollars, a lot of those assets are going to move together as the Australian dollar moves, regardless of changes in the underlying assets. So there is effectively less diversification than you would have in the US.

  4. The post doesn't mention the GFP's approach to tax. I expect they do consider it, but it's not going to be directly applicable to Australia.

If you are more interested in implementing the general approach of GFP rather than the specific details, what I would recommend is:

  • get a low-cost (sub 0.3%pa) indexed superannuation fund such as First State or SunSuper
  • put your taxable savings into a Vanguard diversified index fund
  • keep some money in either a mortgage offset account (if you have a mortgage) or an online savings account

The Vanguard and superannuation diversified funds have a very similar internal split to the GFP with a mix of local, first-world and emerging market shares, bonds, and property trusts. This is pretty much fire-and-forget: contribute every month and they will take care of rebalancing, spreading across asset classes, and tax calculations. By my calculations the cost is very similar, the diversification is very similar, and it's much easier.

The only thing they don't generally cover is a precious metals allocation, and if you want that, just put 5% of your money into the ASX:GOLD ETF, or something similar.

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very nice answer, thankyou Poolie. –  Anonymous Type Dec 13 '10 at 0:45

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