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Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

Thanks very much retiredjg and ruralavalon, for all your suggestions. I think I'll do as ruralavalon suggested for the 401k - whole numbers will be simpler to keep track of and easier for calculations too! And I am just a beginner, so definitely prefer the easier way! 70% to SV fund . 25% to VFIAX ...
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Is this what they mean by high 401 fees?

Are there any fees charged other than the $5/month administrative fee? That would total only $120/yr counting the $5 monthly fees charged to both the employer and employee. The expense ratios charged for the funds are very good -- 0.05% for the large cap equity index fund (Russell 1000 index), 0.04%...
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this what they mean by high 401 fees?
Replies: 13
Views: 827

Re: Is this what they mean by high 401 fees?

Welcome to the forum :) .

I found the OPERS notice that you linked incomprehensible.The only part on fees that I could understand is the flat administrative fee of $5.

And they assert that this "notice is written in plain language"!!!
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this what they mean by high 401 fees?
Replies: 13
Views: 827

Re: 401k/Investment assistance

I am contributing more than needed to take full advantage of employer match. Interest rates on the student loans are not great. I hope to eliminate that debt soon. No other IRAs - just the balance to roll over. If the student loan interest rates are high, it might be best to make paying off those l...
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k/Investment assistance
Replies: 7
Views: 392

Re: 401k/Investment assistance

Welcome to the forum :) . In choosing funds look for broad diversification (to decrease your risk) and low expense ratios (ERs) (to increase your net return). Are you contributing enough to the 401k to get the full employer match? What are the interest rates on your debt? Do you have any other accou...
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k/Investment assistance
Replies: 7
Views: 392

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Baby Boom: how it got that way, and it wasn't my fault, and I'll never do it again , by P. J. O'Rourke. Not everyone will like his brand of humor and occasional potty mouth. Examples: "the people who insist on organizing life and the people who have no idea how life is organized were and a...
by ruralavalon
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 569
Views: 78835

Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

I do prefer whole percents rather than going to the right of the decimal point, in fact I would rather allocate in 5% chunks :) . retiredjg may be right that Total Bond will perform better than that Stable Value Fund, we can't know what the future holds until the future gets here. But I would go for...
by ruralavalon
Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

Here is another very similar portfolio idea to consider, in a few months when you get the $15k added to the taxable account and the Roth IRAs set up and funded for 2014 and 2015. 70/30 asset allocation, 30% of stocks in international stocks = about: 30% bonds; 20% international stocks; and 50% domes...
by ruralavalon
Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?

His new 401k , incl his old trad. IRA (10% of total; $17.5; adds $18k/yr, no employer match, = 62% of annual contributions) 10%, SSgA S&P 500 Index Securities lending Fund ER 0.71% Thank you SO much ruralavalon! At the moment, the key decision is the 401k since he can't contribute to it until h...
by ruralavalon
Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?
Replies: 21
Views: 1882

Re: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?

Asset allocation. Our investment risk tolerance hasn't been tested. In 2008, we were in grad school and didn't have investments. It's impossible to know how we would have reacted to a 40% drop in portfolio value. I'm pretty sure we would not have put in more money when the market was at its lowest,...
by ruralavalon
Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?
Replies: 21
Views: 1882

Re: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?

You need to give us at least a tentative idea on your desired asset allocation (stock/bond mix). Please see: wiki, "Never bear too much or too little risk" ; and forum post, " % Stocks vs. Age" . At ages 33 and 35 an asset allocation somewhere around 80/20 or 70/30 would seem fai...
by ruralavalon
Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?
Replies: 21
Views: 1882

Re: 401K AA questions

Mid 40's, plan to stay a long time, John Hancock 401K with International ticker DODFX @ 1.51% ER and US 500 ticker JFIVX @ 1.00 ER. As you can see the DODFX has quite the ER markup from 0.64%! That is quite a mark-up for Dodge & Cox International Stock (DODFX), 0.87% added. Still its best to co...
by ruralavalon
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K AA questions
Replies: 4
Views: 235

Re: 401K AA questions

What is your age?

About how long do you expect you might remain with this employer?

What firm's index funds are those?
by ruralavalon
Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401K AA questions
Replies: 4
Views: 235

Re: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?

I am sorry to hear of your job loss and health problems. I tried to pull together and summarize some necessary investing detail out of your prior thread, and added some questions in blue. EDIT: Added new information from sawhorse's later post. Sorry for not providing the context. Here is an overview...
by ruralavalon
Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?
Replies: 21
Views: 1882

Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

What amount is currently in his 401k? To help you with the decision on your desired asset allocation (stock/bond mix), please see this: wiki, "Never bear too much or too little risk" ; and forum post, " % Stocks vs Age" . in the mid 30s, somewhere in the area of 80/20 or 70/30 st...
by ruralavalon
Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

ruralavalon - I found this information on the Lincoln Financial portal, about Lincoln Fixed Annuity L06 Lincoln Fixed Annuity -L06 Release Date 12-31-14 .....................................................................................................................................................
by ruralavalon
Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

As per most of the other responses, I see that your suggestion is - VFIAX,VSMAX and Lincoln Fixed Annuity? What percentages should I select for each of these? as per the taxable account- I see there are lot of suggestions about funds, I bonds and long term tax exempt bonds etc Is a target retiremen...
by ruralavalon
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?

The SSgA S&P 500 Index Securities lending Fund ER 0.71% is the best choice in his new 401k. Its good to see that he will be maxing out his annual contribution :) . To give any real help we need more information, including all other accounts either of you have. Please see: "Asking portfolio ...
by ruralavalon
Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer offering first 401k--lemonade out of lemons?
Replies: 21
Views: 1882

Re: Bad 401(k) - advice

Is there a BrokerageLink offered in her 401k?
by ruralavalon
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401(k) - advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1086

Re: Bad 401(k) - advice

Why don't you list the 3 - 4 lowest ER bond funds, the 3 - 4 lowest ER domestic stock funds, and the 3 - 4 lowest ER international stock funds. Please give for each the fund name, ticker and expense ratio. Also what are the expense ratios for the target year funds. Often in a 401k the expense ratios...
by ruralavalon
Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad 401(k) - advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1086

Re: Admiral Shares vs Diversity? Beginner Question

Do you have a 401k, 403b, or other work-based plan available to you?
by ruralavalon
Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Admiral Shares vs Diversity? Beginner Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1261

Re: Retooling Spouse's Investment Portfolio w/ Limited Optio

The idea is to treat all accounts together as a single unified whole, as a single portfolio. Pick the best funds in each account and use them to exclusion of the poorer funds in the other. For example her 401k has the better international fund, and the better bond fund, so put the entire bond alloc...
by ruralavalon
Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retooling Spouse's Investment Portfolio w/ Limited Options
Replies: 10
Views: 809

Re: Admiral Shares vs Diversity? Beginner Question

Hello, Fairly new to investing and would like to eventually have a three fund portfolio consisting of Vanguard's total stock market index fund, total international stock index and total bond market fund. My question is would it be better if I continued to invest in the total stock market index fund...
by ruralavalon
Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Admiral Shares vs Diversity? Beginner Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1261

Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

ruralavalon-Are you suggesting to modify the portfolio with VFIAX and VSMAX? Just these two in place of everything else? I am suggesting Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX) ER 0.05% and Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VSMAX) ER 0.09%, just those two in place of the mutual f...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

We would like to get investing and savings advice for a high income earner( >450k), . . . . . . . . Tax Rate: 39% Federal, State State of Residence: NY I have no experience with investing with an income that high or investing in that tax bracket, so can only give some general ideas for you. Can I p...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Please evaluate my investments/help needed!

Ruralavalon: The available bond fund doesn't look good: Metropolitan West Total Return Bond Plan (MWTSX) (0.39%). Actually that's a decent managed intermediate-term, good credit quality bond fund. Will his new 401k accept transfer from his old 401k? Ok, I thought that the high expense ratio meant i...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please evaluate my investments/help needed!
Replies: 9
Views: 970

Re: Please evaluate my investments/help needed!

greengiant wrote:Ruralavalon: The available bond fund doesn't look good: Metropolitan West Total Return Bond Plan (MWTSX) (0.39%).

Actually that's a decent managed intermediate-term, good credit quality bond fund.

Will his new 401k accept transfer from his old 401k?
by ruralavalon
Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please evaluate my investments/help needed!
Replies: 9
Views: 970

Re: 401k or Vanguard Star?

Grateful for the advice. Only 15 % tax bracket, hoping to increase it in time :D Info about the funds were from HR handout which is by Paychex Retirement Services. Anyway,thanks for the all the info. Read all the threads about Target Retirement 2050. I am leaning towards it because of the 90/10 mix...
by ruralavalon
Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k or Vanguard Star?
Replies: 7
Views: 415

Re: Please evaluate my investments/help needed!

In my opinion your desired 80/20 asset allocation I reasonable. I just noticed that your current allocation does not match your target, it's about 90/10.

What bond funds are offered in his new 401k?

Do you want to stick with using Target Retirement type funds?
by ruralavalon
Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please evaluate my investments/help needed!
Replies: 9
Views: 970

Re: Undoing my Merrill Edge mess

You will probably get more responses if you include the fund names, most of us don't have many ticker symbols memorized. You can simply add the fund names in your original post using the edit button. To address your question, I might keep Harbor International Institutional (HAINX) ER 073%, if that p...
by ruralavalon
Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Undoing my Merrill Edge mess
Replies: 6
Views: 731

Re: Bond Funds

Both are good funds, most people would be happy to see either fund offered in their 401k.

I would probably use Fidelity Spartan U.S. Bond Index Fund Institutional (FXSTX) ER 0.07%.
by ruralavalon
Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 967

Re: Please evaluate my investments/help needed!

Congratulations on getting all that huge student loan debt paid off :) . What are the bond funds offered in your 401k? The stock funds offered are very nice. Questions: 1. What can I do with the money I have from my previous employers 401k? I have not rolled it over to an IRA at this point. It's pro...
by ruralavalon
Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please evaluate my investments/help needed!
Replies: 9
Views: 970

Re: How is VTIAX performing?

I have invested in the Vanguard Total International Stock fund for about 5 years now. It seems to be not performing to my expectations. I am not an experienced investor so I am looking for some advice. I have about 20% of my stock allocation in this fund. Are there other Vanguard or competitors fun...
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How is VTIAX performing?
Replies: 18
Views: 1802

Re: Merrill Edge Question

Look into transferring the IRAs to Vanguard. Vanguard has by far the largest selection of low expense mutual funds.
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Merrill Edge Question
Replies: 21
Views: 1532

Re: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please

More information is necessary. 1) we need to know the other funds offered (fund names, tickers & expense ratios) in your 401k, not just the funds you are currently using. If the list is very long, just list the 2 - 3 lowest expense ratio funds in each category. 2) Please add the fund names to th...
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie.. 401k & investment advice please
Replies: 40
Views: 2599

Re: Sharpen 401K and Investments, please!

Welcome to the forum :) . Congratulations on your marriage, and on being debt free. Being debt free and living within your means is a very good start. We do not really know where to allocate our 401K money, or if we should be putting them into a Roth 401K or contribute less or...? Do you have a desi...
by ruralavalon
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sharpen 401K and Investments, please!
Replies: 3
Views: 454

Re: Fidelity 401(k) options vs Spartan indexes.

Welcome to the forum :) .

Is there a fact sheet you can link for the total stock index fund in your 401k? Is there a ticker for the total stock index fund in your 401k?
by ruralavalon
Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity 401(k) options vs Spartan indexes.
Replies: 1
Views: 313

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain.

The best American novel ever.
by ruralavalon
Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 569
Views: 78835

Re: how often do you check performance?

. . .i catch myself checking performance on my portfolio's daily against other funds with similar allocations. I think the fact that I picked the portfolio myself gives me anxiety. I check our portfolio performance against others only when somebody starts one of those "what's your performance ...
by ruralavalon
Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how often do you check performance?
Replies: 50
Views: 2639

Re: Guidance Kindly Requested (Portfolio Review)

Asset allocation. Age: 31 . . . . . Desired Asset Allocation: 70% stocks/30% bonds In my opinion your desired asset allocation is within the range of what is reasonable. If you put 30% of stocks in international stocks, then your asset allocation works out to about: 30% bonds; 20% international sto...
by ruralavalon
Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Guidance Kindly Requested (Portfolio Review)
Replies: 11
Views: 1218

Re: 27 yr old Starting from $0, Paid off CC

If I were in your position, since you are only 27, I wouldn't contribute anything to retirement until I had that awful student debt paid off. Since the debt is quite large and you are paying a healthy interest rate, get that weight from around your neck. No. Definitely contribute enough to the 401k...
by ruralavalon
Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27 yr old Starting from $0, Paid off CC
Replies: 27
Views: 2923

Re: Need Your Advice on My Proposed AA

Asset allocation. Age: Late 20s-Early 30s Here is my proposed AA: 25% Large Cap 12.5% Mid Cap 12.5% Small Cap 18.5% Developed International 6.5% Emerging 10% REIT 15% Int-Term Bond *Edit* Based on conversations I've had with contributors to this forum, I could boost my bond allocation to 20% . . . ...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Your Advice on My Proposed AA
Replies: 15
Views: 1404

Re: Chosing Mutual Funds: Indexed or Managed

I have been researching several funds and can't determine which is the better choice. Here's the scenario: Fund A is actively managed, has mgmt fees of .50% and has averaged 15% return over the last 5 years. Fund B is an index fund, has mgmt fees of .06% and has also averaged 15% return over the la...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Chosing Mutual Funds: Indexed or Managed
Replies: 9
Views: 987

Re: 27 yr old Starting from $0, Paid off CC

If I were in your position, since you are only 27, I wouldn't contribute anything to retirement until I had that awful student debt paid off. Since the debt is quite large and you are paying a healthy interest rate, get that weight from around your neck. No. Definitely contribute enough to the 401k...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27 yr old Starting from $0, Paid off CC
Replies: 27
Views: 2923

Re: help on 401k investment allocation

I expect to contribute fully to the 401K and my IRA. I dont have employer contributions to my 401K. We will be contributing to my wife's IRA for 2015 by end of the year. The planned asset allocation is about: 25% bonds; 20% international stocks; and 55% domestic stocks. Here is one way you could di...
by ruralavalon
Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help on 401k investment allocation
Replies: 8
Views: 834

Re: Bond Allocation Recommendations

ruralavalon, Thank you for your responses. I was wondering if you would communicate your rationale behind no TIPS. I only ask as my recollection of the past was a lot of folks had the idea that 50/50 total bond/tips was a good way to roll. I'd like to understand why you believe you should wait unti...
by ruralavalon
Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Allocation Recommendations
Replies: 6
Views: 1042

Re: 27 yr old Starting from $0, Paid off CC

Welcome to the forum :) . Congratulations on paying off your credit card debt. There are some very nice low expense choices in your 401k and you have a good match offered, you are fortunate. I recently started a new job and I’ve just finished paying off all of my credit card debt. As you’ll note bel...
by ruralavalon
Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 27 yr old Starting from $0, Paid off CC
Replies: 27
Views: 2923

Re: Bond Allocation Recommendations

My suggestion is to use 20% Metropolitan West Total Return Bond I, ER 0.45% in your 401k.
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Allocation Recommendations
Replies: 6
Views: 1042

Re: Need Your Advice on My Proposed AA

Congratulations on paying off the student loans :) . My 401K includes some low ER index funds from Black Rock, but rather than a total stock market, they divide them into following the Russell 1000 (S&P 500), the S&P Midcap 400, and the Russell 2000 (small cap). My wife's 401K also has some ...
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Your Advice on My Proposed AA
Replies: 15
Views: 1404

Re: Bond Allocation Recommendations

I only see 43.3% total. Are there other accounts in your portfolio? Of the three bond funds you list for your 401k, the one that best substitutes for Total Bond is Metropolitan West Total Return Bond I, ER 0.45%. I would not suggest any TIPS allocation, unless you are retired or close to retirement.
by ruralavalon
Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Allocation Recommendations
Replies: 6
Views: 1042
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