My company has a meeting with our 401K rep tomorrow and I want to ask him some hard questions. With the prospect of QE3 coming, the debt ceiling debate, PIGS in europe, etc. What question should I ask him to justify me keep putting money into the markets. My company puts in 3% no matter what I put in so I have that "luxury", but I'm looking at everyone else's opinion. In the past, it seems no matter what the world is doing, he is always "the market historically is the best investment". I'm not sure of that anymore.
Originally Posted By MinnJarhead:
My company has a meeting with our 401K rep tomorrow and I want to ask him some hard questions. With the prospect of QE3 coming, the debt ceiling debate, PIGS in europe, etc. What question should I ask him to justify me keep putting money into the markets.
how many years until you retire and are able to withdraw from your 401k –– 20 years? 30 years? 40 years?
in the context of a far-away retirement, what is going on right now will be a spec in the rearview mirror. i started my professional career the week after the stock market suffered it's largest one day percentage loss, in October 1987. "Black Monday", as it came to be known, was what everyone talked about –– at the lunch table, at the water cooler, at softball games, and so on. if you were to listen to these conversations, you would have never, ever gone near the stock market. i started my 401k then.
don't think short term –– it's very destructive to a long term investment portfolio. the questions you should be asking your 401k rep need not have anything to do with the market and should instead look like the following:
0) are the 401k investment options "proprietary" mutual funds, or are they publicly traded mutual funds?
1) would you step through these investment options, detailing their respective compositions and especially their expense ratios? why were these options chosen? what steps are needed to get other options added?
2) are there passive index funds included in the investment options, and if not why not?
3) is a "brokerage link" option available to the 401k plan, which would allow me to trade ANY exchange-listed mutual fund, bond fund, stock, or ETF within my 401k? (i LOVE my Fidelity 401k for this! i can buy/sell ANY ETF (etc) within my 401k).
4) does the 401k website include an analysis tool which decomposes one's 401k portfolio by holdings, in terms of country, market size, currency, growth-vs-value, and so on? if not, when are you adding it? (note that both Fidelity and TR.Price offer this type of analysis, and in fact TR.Price has a direct portfolio interface to Morningstar's InstantXray, which is the best thing ever invented.)
i'll leave you with this thought...
what would be a better scenario for you:
a) stocks remain high while you are contributing to your 401k, and then slowly fall as you need to make withdrawals after retirement?
b) stocks are depressed while you are contributing to your 401k, and then slowly increase in value as you need to make withdrawals after retirement?
Rather buy low over time and have the value increase later on. That dollar amount I put in at lower cost per share will be growing over time as the shares increase in value (hopefully).
My question might have been answered in another thread but with the impending issues of the debt ceiling would
it be prudent to move some of my portfolio to Bonds or Stable Asset Money Market Funds. I know I took a bath
in 08 and just now coming back to where I was when it started. If the economy takes another shit I would like
to safeguard some of my rebuilding assets.
Originally Posted By fire_medic:
would it be prudent to move some of my portfolio to Bonds or Stable Asset Money Market Funds.
bonds, no. bonds decline in value during periods of increasing inflation.
MMF, probably your best choice.
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
where do people go after asking for advice?