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28 year old new investor!
Old 01-16-2010, 10:23 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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28 year old new investor!

Hello! I'm nerdlet - a 28 year old that is relatively new to investing. I'm still trying to figure out how things work and appreciate any advice anyone has for people who are new to the game. I'm currently trying to figure out what to do with my Roth IRA. I also have a small brokerage account that I just use for trading a few stocks. My investing strategy is somewhat like set it and forget it - I tend to invest my whole yearly contribution into one ETF and leave it. That caused a lot of grief with the 2008 meltdown, but things are slowly back on the up and up. I currently have my holdings with Vanguard, but I'm considering moving to a different brokerage due to the annual brokerage fees.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:31 AM   #2
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Welcome nerdlet! There is a lot of wisdom on this board and I am always learning from these folks even at age 52. I like set it and forget it myself. I like Vanguard mutual funds with their low costs. I don't trade ETFs at this time. You'll get some good input from the experienced investors here on strategies for keeping costs down.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:58 AM   #3
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The Roth IRA is good, you could put REITs in it, bonds, dividend paying stocks or some say the highest growing equities, all good. ETFs are a good idea but pay attention to fees within them as well. In a taxable account you will be able to tax loss harvest.
Set & forget can work but you need a good balanced fund or target retirement fund for that.
IMHO the way things 'work' is to keep some attention on all things financial. I shocked the personnel office when I was hired in 1973 when I asked them to explain the retirement plan and calculated out the day I could retire. Just being aware helps with retirement saving, investments, real estate and most of all--controlling expenses. Things will change over time: tax rates, investment opportunities, job opportunities, marriage, family and more. Just stay a bit conscious, too many people have no idea about the cost of things like their credit cards.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
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Vanguard is second to none for their index funds. Their brokerage is a whole different story however. If you only have enough funds for a single fund, stick with a target date fund that matches the balance you want (I did not like how Vanguard fundamentally shifted their stock/bond balance in their target funds however, I had thought they would not do that, and it was really poor timing). I really like Vanguard for their index funds.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nerdlet View Post
... relatively new to investing. I'm still trying to figure out how things work and appreciate any advice anyone has for people who are new to the game.....
You will be better served over at the bogleheads board. They are more focused on investment. Here, the focus is more on early retirement.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:52 PM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks for the tips. I'm still a bit new to this. I didn't even think about retirement until I read Suze Orman's "Women and Money" book. For what it's worth, it really got me thinking about my future. I still feel that her book seems to oversimplify things and so here I am, ready to roll up my sleeves and try to figure out as much as I can.

It seems that most of the people here are suggesting funds over ETFs - is this because they're easier to maintain? Suze Orman seemed to recommend ETFs for people like me who dump their entire contribution into one fund at one time. You lose the ability to do dollar-cost averaging, but the larger contribution allows you to contribute to ETFs with higher minimum investments - which means lower fees over the life of the investment (as compared to the comparable mutual funds).

Because of that, my portfolio consists of VTI and VXF (my 2007 & 2008 contributions). I took a beating in 2008 when the market declined but now I'm almost back to where I started. Would a mutual fund have prevented that?

Walkinwood, thanks for the tip. I'll also check out that board as well!
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:47 PM   #7
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Hi Nerdlet,

I just want to say "good on you" for starting your savings early!
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:29 AM   #8
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Because of that, my portfolio consists of VTI and VXF (my 2007 & 2008 contributions). I took a beating in 2008 when the market declined but now I'm almost back to where I started. Would a mutual fund have prevented that?
Welcome nerdlet. To answer your question, mutual funds would not have prevented it. ETFs are very similar to comparable mutual funds. I prefer ETFs due to their lower fees myself, especially when you do rare set-it-and-forget-it kind of transactions. Given the fee difference, I don't actually know why people choose passive (i.e. non-actively managed) mutual funds over corresponding ETFs... well I guess one example could be that 401(k) plan only allows certain mutual funds but not ETFs.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:31 AM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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As a new investor I'm still trying to figure out how things work and appreciate any advice anyone has for people who are new to the game.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:05 AM   #10
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As a new investor I'm still trying to figure out how things work and appreciate any advice anyone has for people who are new to the game.
Welcome Mandy. Generally it is best to start a new post, introduce yourself and tell a few specifics about your situation so that people can give you better advice.
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