LEGO7 wrote: I also am under the impression that much of the market is controlled by large hedge funds and computer trading and isn't as easy for the personal investor. But I am at a time in my life where my risk should be high and I need to start taking advantage of the tools that are available to me. Maybe start buying some total stock market indexes once a month?
LEGO7 wrote:The reason I have way more then reasonable in cash is because I took some substantial hits in 2008/2009 and soured me on investing for a while... But I am at a time in my life where my risk should be high and I need to start taking advantage of the tools that are available to me. Maybe start buying some total stock market indexes once a month?
stlutz wrote:First off, welcome to the forum, LEGO7!
Second off, a few of the initial responses were a bit harsh. Most everybody screws up investing when they are in their 20s--I know I did. That just the reality of life. That's okay as long as you continue to save during those years which it looks like you've done. When you're just starting out, saving as much as you can makes a lot more of a difference than the returns you earn on those savings. Now that you have some real money saved up, however, it's time to get a good plan together that you can stick with for many years to come.
Third, there is nothing wrong with being conservative. Too often, people who are relatively younger are encouraged to take too much risk. That said, I'm always trying to promote taking moderate amounts of risk. Rules of thumb that are common are that you should have your age in bonds/CDs etc. A 60% stocks/40% bonds balanced portfolio is also a common approach (and is what I like personally).
Fourth, you don't need dozens of mutual funds to invest effectively. There are only two funds in your 401K that you should be using--the S&P 500 index fund and the Bond Market Index fund. The others simply have expenses that are too high.
Fifth, given that the investment options in your 401K are kind of meh, I would recommend investing in the 401K up to the company match, then fully funding your Roth IRA, and only then adding more to your 401K. Where is your Roth IRA currently held? I assume it's at a brokerage firm? If we know which firm, we could give some recommendations about good investment options to consider there.
Sixth, Make sure you keep short-term savings and "emergency fund" money apart from your investment portfolio.
Seventh, read one of the books that are promoted on this site (no need to read all of them unless you like doing that sort of thing). Since we were taking about it on another thread today, I like William Bernstein's "Investor's Manifeso", simply because it does address investing in good times and bad.
I'll stop counting now.
widestance wrote:Like others have said, read up a bit and try to come to terms with what your real risk tolerance is.
Having said that, i ran your current investments in Morningstar's Instant X-ray tool.
As it stands now, your current allocations are:
61% Stock (66% US, 34% Intl)
1% other (Gold)
If you want to slowly get back into the market, you could start moving out of the Federated Treas Obligation Fund and adding to the asset class you feel is underfunded. Once those holdings have been fully converted, you have a few options such as: upping 401k contributions and supplementing your take home pay out of your cash savings, starting moving cash from savings to your Roth, or both.
Do you have other 401k investment options other than the ones you've listed?
LEGO7 wrote:Unfortunately, those are the only 401k options I have.
LEGO7 wrote:Also, what about putting a little bit in the Federated Mid-Cap index whos expense ratio is only 0.55% for some diversification?
LEGO7 wrote:Should I transfer everything at once, or spread it out over a couple of months? Should I wait for a day where the stock market is 5% or 10% above today to transfer the mutual funds into bond index funds?
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