The Simple Invest Plan

The Simple Investing Plan is designed to be an easy way to invest the money you'll spend decades from now. And it can be implemented at popular low-cost, no-load mutual fund companies like Vanguard and Fidelity, and most 401k or 403b retirement plans will offer investment options that fit into the plan. You make a plan in three steps:

  1. Choosing a target asset allocation.
  2. Investing to match your target allocation.
  3. Annually rebalancing back to the target allocation.

Step One

Choose a target asset allocation


30% Total US Stock Market
10% International Stock Market
60% Total US Bond Market


45% Total US Stock Market
15% International Stock Market
40% Total US Bond Market


60% Total US Stock Market
20% International Stock Market
20% Total US Bond Market

Step Two

Choose investments based on your target asset allocation

At Fidelity

Total US Stock Market:
Fidelity Total Market Index Fund - FSTMX

Total International Stock Market:
Fidelity Total International Index Fund - FSIGX

Total US Bond Market:
Fidelity U.S. Bond Index Fund - FBIDX

Through Work

Look for index funds like those from Vanguard or Fidelity. If your plan does not have low-cost total market funds:

  • Look for index funds that are as close in cost and strategy as you can find.
  • 4 parts US Large Company index (e.g. S&P 500) fund to 1 part US Small Company or Extended Market or Small/Mid Cap index fund is an approximation of a Total US Stock Market index fund.
  • If there are no index funds, choose the lowest cost fund that is closest to the index.

Step Three

Rebalance Annually

Over the course of a year, some markets will perform better than others, and you'll be off target from your target allocation. To fix this, once per year, sell off the amounts above an investment's target to buy up the investments that are below their target.