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Posted: 9/2/2011 5:47:14 PM EST
I have had several over the years, all have eventually lost money....but I have not held one for over five years, either. (Although I cashed out the second one in a good time and paid off high interest debt).

I just upped my contributions, but if my company didn't match, they'd be losing too.

Yet, silver and gold keep going up. Sure they have had spikes and valleys over the years, but nothing like my 401K's.





Link Posted: 9/2/2011 8:57:50 PM EST
401k's aren't for short term goals. Leave your money in and keep adding and they will grow.
Link Posted: 9/3/2011 4:42:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2011 4:43:18 PM EST by Evilaviator]
never mind
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 9:48:37 PM EST
a 401k isn't an investment. It's a tax sheltered vehicle to help your retirement vehicle grow tax free. It's a long term strategy and you shouldn't ever cash it out to pay down debt or take a loan against it. If you can't afford to contribute don't do it. You should pay down all of your credit card debt before looking at a 401k. Other lower interest isn't so much of a big deal.


leave gold and silver alone. It's a fools gamble and people are going to lose their shirts like they did before...
Link Posted: 9/29/2011 10:08:48 PM EST
also if you have more than one 401k you should look at consolidating them into one.

This way you can keep track better of your investments

Any Company can help you with the roll overs what you have to watch so as not to get burned with traxes


Link Posted: 9/30/2011 1:52:14 AM EST
I am contributing what my company matches to my 401k––common story––but ATK matches both the pre-tax roth and post tax IRA at 100% for the first three percent, and 50% on the second three percent, so I am contributing 6% to each. I am just getting my first mortgage at 4% for 30 years, it is/will be my only debt. (125k home).

I am treating precious metals like my 401K––I buy a little each month and expect to have to hold it for many years before it appreciates enough to be useful, or as a welth preservation tool.

I think Suze orman suggested NOT contributing to a 401k when a person gets a mortgage, but since the mortgage is my only debt, and I am not planning on staying in the home forever, I am not trying to pay this home off early...so thought I'd contribute what I am to my 401K? Smart/not smart?
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 3:21:17 AM EST
To answer your question at the most basic level, "no", 401ks are not sound investments. But there are complexities to the complete answer because of company "matches" and diversity in exactly what one is putting money into. If you are getting a match, this is very good and will no doubt offset at least to some degree the overall loss that one is almost certain to suffer over the long haul. I'm probably making a lot of people very angry at me with that statement; that one's 401k account is almost certain to suffer losses over the long term, but this is true. The reason is because the U.S. economy is losing value, in fact, the global economy in aggregate is losing value. This trend is long term and there are no signs it is going to reverse. One cannot make money by investing, that is, accumulating long positions (what 401ks are for) in a downtrend. And staying in a downtrend for the "long haul" isn't going to magically make one any money either; it's just going to lose more money.

The faith that everyone wants everyone else to believe is that somehow, over the "long haul", the economy will return to growth and start increasing in value, but this isn't very likely to happen. The reasons are too complex to address in a short post like this one.

Link Posted: 9/30/2011 6:32:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By Coolio:
To answer your question at the most basic level, "no", 401ks are not sound investments. But there are complexities to the complete answer because of company "matches" and diversity in exactly what one is putting money into. If you are getting a match, this is very good and will no doubt offset at least to some degree the overall loss that one is almost certain to suffer over the long haul. I'm probably making a lot of people very angry at me with that statement; that one's 401k account is almost certain to suffer losses over the long term, but this is true. The reason is because the U.S. economy is losing value, in fact, the global economy in aggregate is losing value. This trend is long term and there are no signs it is going to reverse. One cannot make money by investing, that is, accumulating long positions (what 401ks are for) in a downtrend. And staying in a downtrend for the "long haul" isn't going to magically make one any money either; it's just going to lose more money.

The faith that everyone wants everyone else to believe is that somehow, over the "long haul", the economy will return to growth and start increasing in value, but this isn't very likely to happen. The reasons are too complex to address in a short post like this one.



I wouldn't mind reading a little bit more of the explanation if you want to take time to articulate it, even with a "chapter" or "installment" approach. I say that for a couple reasons:
1. I am interested in a lot of various investment perspectives.
2. I remain entirely unconvinced that defined contribution plans will ever get us to a retirement goal. I am a data-analyst by both training and trade, and I have doubts about the long term.
3. I am, in the name of complete candor, somewhat cynical about all economic related claims, both of the Polly-anna and of the Chicken Little approach. However, there is very good insight to be found on both sides.

Many thanks if you can take a bit of time (maybe start a new thread?)

-shooter
Link Posted: 9/30/2011 7:53:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By shooter220:
Originally Posted By Coolio:
To answer your question at the most basic level, "no", 401ks are not sound investments. But there are complexities to the complete answer because of company "matches" and diversity in exactly what one is putting money into. If you are getting a match, this is very good and will no doubt offset at least to some degree the overall loss that one is almost certain to suffer over the long haul. I'm probably making a lot of people very angry at me with that statement; that one's 401k account is almost certain to suffer losses over the long term, but this is true. The reason is because the U.S. economy is losing value, in fact, the global economy in aggregate is losing value. This trend is long term and there are no signs it is going to reverse. One cannot make money by investing, that is, accumulating long positions (what 401ks are for) in a downtrend. And staying in a downtrend for the "long haul" isn't going to magically make one any money either; it's just going to lose more money.

The faith that everyone wants everyone else to believe is that somehow, over the "long haul", the economy will return to growth and start increasing in value, but this isn't very likely to happen. The reasons are too complex to address in a short post like this one.



I wouldn't mind reading a little bit more of the explanation if you want to take time to articulate it, even with a "chapter" or "installment" approach. I say that for a couple reasons:
1. I am interested in a lot of various investment perspectives.
2. I remain entirely unconvinced that defined contribution plans will ever get us to a retirement goal. I am a data-analyst by both training and trade, and I have doubts about the long term.
3. I am, in the name of complete candor, somewhat cynical about all economic related claims, both of the Polly-anna and of the Chicken Little approach. However, there is very good insight to be found on both sides.

Many thanks if you can take a bit of time (maybe start a new thread?)

-shooter


I appreciate your situation.
Firstly, a bit of background on myself. Like you, I am not an investment "expert", but also like you, I can think things through rationally and, I have been willing for several years now, to put in the necessary time to study the present dilemma we find ourselves in.
You say you are cynical. Hopefully just a poor choice of words. Cynicism will not help you get out of this. But skepticism is very good, and will help you get out of this. It is also important to have an open mind at the same time; just not so open that your brains fall out.
What I think I have learned turns out to be very challenging information. Its the kind of information that people who are too strongly committed to ideological positions tend to reject out of hand. So, you are wise to be willing to consider views and opinions from across the complete spectrum of analysis.

You say that you "are entirely unconvinced that defined contribution plans will ever get us to a retirement goal".
and that you, "have doubts about the long term".

Well then, you are already way ahead of most people's understanding.

I can't tell anyone what they should think, but I can turn them onto some sources of information that I have found very helpful.
So, here goes:

John Mauldin, "Endgame"; John is the "Carl Sagan" of explaining the problem of too much debt in a way that's digestible for the lay reader. He is also very "mainstream" and appears sometimes on MSM outlets like CNBC's Kudlow Report.

Website; The Oil Drum, excellent technical analysis of the realities driving oil production. There are people contributing to the discussions who work every day actually producing the oil we use for everything. Their analysis is as close to bulletproof as you can get.

Website; The Automatic Earth, "Stoneleigh" (Nicole Foss) is an expert on the problems of resource depletion and debt. She is married to "Ilargi", her co-host of the TAE website. These people are pretty extreme, particularly "Ilargi" who writes the editorials. He is far left and his views can be difficult to accept, but IMO, he is also correct in a lot of his basic analysis.

Website; Goldseek.com, good general economic analysis although generally from a very conservative, "Austrian School of Economics" perspective. Broad spectrum approach; there are mainstream analysts like the advisors from Euro-Pacific Capital to "conspiracy theorists" (kooks) who also sometimes have some very interesting insights! Mostly it's independent wealth advisors who publish partial analysis in the hope you will subscribe to their newsletters. This makes them neither necessarily wrong, untrustworthy nor un-useful!).

Good luck.







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