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ETFs for the Lazy

If you read a lot about investing in the stock market, you know the term "lazy portfolio." Just like any other type of portfolio, the lazy portfolio has plusses and minuses. On the plus side, a well-constructed lazy portfolio can offer diversification and solid returns and allow for a decent night's sleep during times of market strife. The drawbacks include no realistic expectation of big winners and very little excitement (some folks do want action).

I've been inspired to create my own lazy portfolio, even though I'm not a big fan of this idea. (To follow it on Stockpickr, click here.) I was motivated by a MarketWatch article about WisdomTree principal Jeremy Siegel's version of a lazy portfolio. Predictably, his lazy portfolio was composed exclusively of WisdomTree Funds.

That was a different twist on what most of the articles I've seen on the topic suggest: generally, three to five holdings, such as a cap-weighted total market fund, a foreign fund benchmarked to the MSCI EAFE Index and maybe a Vanguard REIT fund or a Vanguard bond fund.

I have tried to tweak the concept and add value using some of the new ETFs out there. Keep in mind that this is an academic exercise to explore how some new products could offer more utility than some of the old standbys. I haven't put it into practice, for myself or my clients.

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