How to invest a house downpayment fund

Our previous post on emergency funds got a lot of traffic and we received mostly praise for the post (see here and here). One issue mentioned by some that got us thinking is how to save for a house down payment or some other large expense in the future. Should we apply our same rule as for the emergency fund, i.e., invest it all in risky assets to get greater expected returns and avoid opportunity cost? Or is this a different animal from an emergency fund?

Since we still can’t time the stock market we would lean towards keeping money in stocks until it’s time to withdraw. So we first make a case in favor of equities. But we concede that there can be situations where you want to take less risk, say, where you could lose your dream house if you are short even a single dollar in your down payment fund, so we present some options for that scenario as well. Continue reading “How to invest a house downpayment fund”

When bonds are riskier than stocks

Everybody knows that stocks are riskier than bonds. We agree with that, but like to present one chart to cast a little bit of doubt on that picture. Food for thought if you will, for the fact that in finance and personal finance (and most other places in life, for that matter) nothing is completely clear-cut all the time. Continue reading “When bonds are riskier than stocks”