Sunday, August 07, 2016

Zen Retirement Investing

Eighty-five percent of TAG 401(k) participants are in Vanguard Target Date funds (which are: Total U.S. Stock Market/Total International Stock Market/Total U.S. Bond Market/Total International Bond Market; wide diversification, yes?)

Which leads us to this in the New York Times:

... After the stock market collapse in 2008 and early 2009, Fidelity [Mutual Fund Company] noticed that 61,200 401(k) account holders had sold all of their stock. So the company started tracking them to see whether that move would pay off.

Since then, 16,900 had not bought stocks in their retirement accounts through the end of 2015. About 13,000 of them are under 60, so they probably didn’t just cash out and take early retirement either. Through the end of 2015, their account balances rose by 27.2 percent, including new contributions.

People who had at least some stock exposure, however, saw their accounts jump 157.7 percent. That left them with an average balance of $176,500, $82,000 more than the people who got rid of all their stock. ...

[O]nly 1 percent of the Fidelity account holders in [target-date] funds made any moves during the second quarter. ...

The week after next, the Animation Guild commences new 401(k) enrollment meetings. The Plan now covers 2650 Guild participants, but forget about that narrow universe. If you're fogging a mirror and earning some kind of a living, you should damn well be putting a chunk of some kind of investment program.


A Roth IRA.

And if the IRA thingie doesn't grab you, then set up a single, low-tax index stock fund account (costs $3000 to get started, and then dump $50 per week, every week, into it*.

At the end of thirty years you'll be able to retire with a nest egg that will enable you to avoid shopping for eats in the dog food aisle.

* And for Gawdsakes don't look at it. Just pretend it isn't there.


Unknown said...

Steve, as a guild rep, can you give personal or only general advice on different financial products?

Steve Hulett said...

I give all kinds of financial advice, but understand I am NOT a "financial advisor" and so offer suggestions about what I would do in a given situation.

I've worked on the 401(k) Plan for 21 years. So I've acquired some information about investing along the way.

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