Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Socking it Away

The older I get, the more I believe that keeping things simple is almost always the best way to go. Here's a few simple economic things:

1) You don't live below your means and put money away for later, you'll live to regret it.

2) When you're working, you should fund every jam and jelly jar that federal and state governments offer. This means funding ROTH IRAs, 401(k) Plans, SEP IRAs (where applicable) and anything else that gives you a tax or economic break.

3) When you're funding these things, you should stay away from high-cost, actively managed funds that charge you up the ying-yang. Over time, most of them under-perform index funds and stick you with the bill.

4) In the TAG 401(k) Plan, we have lots of investment options, almost all of them good. But here are the best options: ...

The Vanguard Target Retirement (TR) Funds are lifecycle offerings, providing investors with a variety of highly diversified all-in-one portfolios. The products are structured as funds-of-funds, charging only weighted averages of the expense ratios associated with the underlying holdings, which are primarily indexed.

While the Funds are ostensibly designed for investors retiring in a given year (approximately), they may be used for other goals or for markedly different retirement dates, depending on a particular shareholder's objectives and risk tolerance. ...

Each of the Funds, except the Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund (TR "Income"), has a date specified in its name. They become more conservative over time, shifting their asset allocations from equities toward fixed income.

The Funds' prospectus indicates that within seven years of the stated date, a given offering's asset allocation will come to resemble TR Income's. Vanguard's TR Income Fund has a static allocation, intended primarily for the needs of retired persons. As of 2/2011, the twelve Target Retirement funds hold a total of about $120 billion in assets; (for comparison, Vanguard 500 index holds $105 billion).
Why the personal investing post? You can guess, can't you? It's time again for 401(k) enrollment meetings:

* Walt Disney Animation Studios (Southside Building) -- Wednesday, April 25th, 2p.m. Room 1300

* Warner Bros. Animation -- Thursday, April 26th, 2 p.m. Building 34R -- Main Conference Room

* Disney Television Animation (Sonora Building) -- Tuesday, May 1st, 2 p.m., Room 1172

* Disney Television Animation (Empire Center) -- Thursday May 3rd, 2 p.m. Room 5223

* Fox TV Animation -- Wednesday, May 9th 2 p.m., Main Conference Room


Floyd Norman said...

My biggest financial regret is not buying Apple stock.

Celshader said...

Thank you as always for these posts, Steve.

If any VFX artists without employer-provided benefits are reading this post, here's two extra "jam and jelly jars" offered by the federal government that I learned about this past year:

I-Bonds - interest earned is exempt from state and local tax. I-Bond holders can also choose to defer paying taxes on the earned interest until the year they cash in the I-Bond.

Traditional IRA - the IRS will waive income limits for those who are NOT covered by any kind of employer plan (ex: 401(k)). VFX artists who exceed Roth IRA limits and have no access to a 401(k) or SEP-IRA might consider contributing to a Traditional IRA.

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