5 Best Moves for Your Portfolio

Follow these steps to help maximize your portfolio's earning power.

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These portfolio moves will help boost the income you get from your portfolio, shield it from inflation and make it less volatile, too.

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Dial down volatility. Stocks with low volatility should weather dips better than jiggier peers. Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF (symbol SPLV, $48) holds the 100 stocks in the blue-chip index with the lowest volatility; iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF (USMV, $55) tracks low-vol stocks by sector.

Fight inflation. The principal value of Treasury inflation-protected securities adjusts according to changes in the consumer price index. Buy them from Uncle Sam at www.treasurydirect.gov or consider Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund Investor Shares (VIPSX).

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Plump up your yield. SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY, $93) holds the highest-yielding stocks of large companies that have raised their payouts for the past 25 years. The fund yields 2.5%. First Trust NASDAQ Technology Dividend Index ETF (TDIV, $36) buys tech’s biggest dividend payers and yields 2.5%.

Play rising rates. Higher rates mean lower bond prices, but they hurt short-term bonds least. Consider low-cost Schwab Short-Term Bond Index (SWSBX). Or cash in on higher rates with Fidelity Floating Rate High Income (FFRHX).

Cut costs. Fidelity Zero index funds charge no fees and require no minimum investment. You must be a Fidelity brokerage customer.

John Waggoner
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
John Waggoner has put personal finance and investing into plain English for more than three decades. He was a senior columnist for InvestmentNews and, prior to that, USA TODAY's personal finance columnist for 25 years. He has written for Morningstar, The Wall Street Journal, and Money magazine. Waggoner has also written three books on finance and investing. He has an undergraduate and graduate degree in English literature and is working on his Certified Financial Planner designation. He lives in Vienna, Virginia.