investment decision


J

Joe

I have posted here before and I was wondering if someone could give me some
advice. I have decided on investing with Fidelity over Vanguard because of
the Customer Service and my 401k is currently with fidelity. Here is my
situation: 26 yrs old, earning 35k a year, contributing 6% to my 401k and
4000 dollars to my Roth IRA. Currently, i have 31k in a high yield savings
account. I plan on using 10k for investing purposes in mutual funds. Here
are some funds I have been looking at. I am looking for something moderatly
aggressive for the long term. I just want to see more return then 4.5%. I am
hoping I can earn more money then my savings account.



Fidelity Asset Manager 85%

Fidelity Balanced Fund
or
Lifecycle (Fidelity Freedom Funds)
 
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W

woessner

Currently, i have 31k in a high yield savings account. I plan on using 10k for investing
purposes in mutual funds.
That's an awfully large emergency fund. I can understand why you want
to invest part of it. The "3 Months' Salary" rule says you need $8750
in an emergency fund.

But before going down that avenue, I always like to raise the issue of
home ownership. Of course home ownership isn't for everyone, but for
many, it's a fantastic financial move. If you don't own your home,
this money would make an excellent down payment. In that case, I would
be weary of putting this money in to stocks. Keep it in your
high-yield savings account or move it to a money market fund.
Fidelity Asset Manager 85%
Fidelity Balanced Fund
At your age, I would definitely steer you away from these types of
funds. I would much rather see you 100% invested in stocks.
Lifecycle (Fidelity Freedom Funds)
I don't have any experience with lifecycle funds (does that date me
from the stone age?). I've heard lots of good things about them,
though. If you invested in a fund with a target date of 2045 or 2050,
I assume the fund would be nearly 100% invested in stocks, which is a
good thing. I see the expense ratio is only 0.79%, which is also nice.

An alternative approach, which I advocate for beginning investors, is
to just purchase an S&P 500 index fund. Unfortunately, Fidelity's S&P
500 index fund is pretty expensive (0.59% expense ratio versus 0.18%
for Vanguard). But you'd still get the rest of the traditional
advantages of an index fund: tax efficiency from low turnover, lower
cash reserved, etc..

--Bill
 
E

Elle

Unfortunately, Fidelity's S&P
500 index fund is pretty expensive (0.59% expense ratio
versus 0.18%
for Vanguard).
Read-o at the Fidelity site?

Fidelity's S&P 500 index fund (FSMKX) has an expense ratio
of 0.10%. It's been tha low for a few years now. The site
says the average for S&P 500 index funds is 0.59%.
Vanguard's site confirms the 0.18% expense ratio for VFINX.

For the record, I disagree with the sentiment that home
ownership is "for many" a fantastic move. Renting for
decades can be more lucrative. The people who should buy
homes are the ones willing to give up a little extra money
for a higher quality of living now. It's "worth" it to me,
but from a financial standpoint, there are strong arguments
(property taxes, cost of a new roof, etc.) that I, for one,
would be better off renting.
 
J

John A. Weeks III

Joe said:
Currently, i have 31k in a high yield savings
account. I plan on using 10k for investing purposes in mutual funds. Here
are some funds I have been looking at. I am looking for something moderatly
aggressive for the long term. I just want to see more return then 4.5%. I am
hoping I can earn more money then my savings account.
Personally, I'd look at some of the Exchange Traded Funds that
track the indexes. I'd take $24K of that $31K and invest it.
That leaves $7K in savings as an emergency fund. Of that $24K,
split it 3 ways, 1/3 in an S&P index, 1/3 in a broader index like
the Russell 2000, and 1/3 in some world-wide fund that has asian
exposure (so you catch the growth in China and other foreign
markets). It doesn't really matter where you buy ETFs, as long
as the commissions are low.

That is my idea. Looking at your idea, I really don't have a
problem with it. Your decision making to date has put you in
a pretty good financial spot. The only concern that I have is
that you are too conservative for your age, so I am happy to
see you picking some growth oriented funds.

-john-
 
D

Don

But before going down that avenue, I always like to raise the issue of
home ownership. Of course home ownership isn't for everyone, but for
many, it's a fantastic financial move. If you don't own your home,
this money would make an excellent down payment.
Excellent. I am glad you mentioned that. In reading newsgroups like this
one, sometimes I get the impression that the sum total of financial decision
making revolves around stocks and mutual funds. Real estate should enter
into the picture too. Getting into home ownership early is wise. What's
more, owning rental property is not a bad idea. Stocks and mutual funds
indeed are good investments that should be in the mix, but not the whole
story.
 
J

Joe

thanks for the advice,

I do not own a home. I dont even rent, still living at home waiting
patiently to move out and rent.
 
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J

jIM

Joe said:
Here is my
situation: 26 yrs old, earning 35k a year, contributing 6% to my 401k and
4000 dollars to my Roth IRA. Currently, i have 31k in a high yield savings
account. I plan on using 10k for investing purposes in mutual funds. Here
are some funds I have been looking at. I am looking for something moderatly
aggressive for the long term. I just want to see more return then 4.5%. I am
hoping I can earn more money then my savings account.
some ideas and follow up questions

ideas to consider
1) use the 31k to pay down any debt you have
2) slowly move the 31k from savings to equities. 10k now, 10k in 6
months... remaining amount in 18 months
3) keep an emergency fund =3 months expenses
4) purchase a house to live in
5) increase current 401k percentages until you know what to do with
excess cash
6) use 31k to fund an education (or higher degree) to increase 35k of
current income with a higher paying job

questions
1) how much of your current income adds to the 31k (is this growing by
$50 a month, $150 a month or something more)?
2) how aggressive is the 401k invested (I agree with previous advice to
be in 100% equities, or something close at your age)?
3) how aggressive is the Roth IRA invested?
 
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W

Will Trice

If you don't own your home,
this money would make an excellent down payment. In that case, I would
be weary of putting this money in to stocks.
At your age, I would definitely steer you away from these types of
funds. I would much rather see you 100% invested in stocks.
These two statements seem antithetical to me. The second statement
would indicate a minimum down payment for the home instead of plopping a
lump sum in. That's just me, others will (vehemently) disagree. By the
way, that's what I did (minimum down, invest the rest in stocks). But
Don has pointed out recently here the risk of stocks v. home equity and
you should give that serious consideration. Of course, Elle has a great
point about buy v. rent as well. For me, buying made financial sense,
but I bought at the bottom of the mortgage rates in 2003. It may or may
not make sense for you depending on your situation.

Good luck,
-Will
 

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