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Bogle: Be Sensible About Rebalancing

Investors should use wide bands to trigger rebalancing--if they need to rebalance at all, says the Vanguard founder.

Christine Benz: Investors who are using a strategic asset allocation plan and doing that rebalancing--if they are looking at their asset allocation right now, it probably calls for doing some rebalancing into bonds. Would you say: Just do it, just go ahead and buy bonds at this juncture, even though the prospects, as you say, aren't that exciting?

Jack Bogle: I am in a small minority on the idea of rebalancing. I don't think you need to do it. The data bear me out, because the higher-yielding asset is going to be stocks over the long term. That's the way the capital markets work. Not in every 10-year period, or even for that matter every 25-year period. But the higher-returning asset you're getting rid of to go into a lower-returning asset, so it dampens your returns, and the differences turn out to be, if you look at 25-year periods, very, very small. And sometimes rebalancing improves your returns. Sometimes it makes them worse.