Sunday, July 18, 2010

401(k) Statements .. and Advice

Now a few words about the TAG 401(k) Plan in particular and investing in general.

TAG 401(k) Quarterly Statements have been mailed out; if you're a Plan participant, you should have gotten one ... or should get one soon.


I talk a lot about the animation workplace, but here's the other side of the cartoon career (or any career): If you're between 21 and 75 years of age and still working, you should think seriously about putting money away for retirement ...

I'm not a licensed financial advisor, but because of the TAG 401(k) Plan I have taken on the task of boning up on investment information. Here, in ludicrously broad brushstrokes, are some basic chunks of same:

The more money you put away and get working toward building wealth now, the more money you will have twenty or thirty years hence.

There are not, short of a monster salary or monetary windfall, any quick and sure-fire shortcuts to accumulating wealth.

Almost all the information you will ever need to make intelligent investment decisions is available on the worldwide web for free.

Intelligent investing is not complicated or hard. What's hard is initiating an investment plan and sticking to that investment plan.

Any investment strategy that you use should be broadly diversified in a wide selection of asset classes (cash, stocks both foreign and domestic, bonds, real estate, etc.)

When you are younger, you should be investing in more stocks and fewer bonds. When older, you should be doing the reverse. (But if you are, say, twenty-eight-years-old and putting money away yet cannot keep solid food down when the stock market declines, you should probably stick more to bonds. In other words, know your risk tolerance.)

So, where to go for basic investment advice? We featured the hard-headed Jane Bryant Quinn here six months ago, and two months back we highlighted William J. Bernstein's Coward Portfolio, seen above.

The main thing to do is start a savings program, figure out where you want to divvy up the dollars, then be disciplined about it. (I know I beat this bass drum a lot, but I made many idiotic mistakes back in my reckless youth. I'm trying to atone for the errors by haranguing others to practice better behavior via blog posts.)

Enough already. Go save, go invest. Fifty years from now you can visit my gravesite and thank me.


Anonymous said...

Fifty years from now you can visit my gravesite and thank me.

I'd rather thank you now. :-) Stuff like this helps me a lot.

Site Meter