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401K investment help
Old 08-29-2006, 12:39 PM   #1
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401K investment help

Can anyone recommend books that would help in figuring out how to allocate funds in a 401K account?* *

My significant other has put me in charge of his finances.* *I'm ok with this except for the 401K plans.* I've never had a 401K plan and am overwhelmed by all the allocation options available.* I need some basic info/reading material if anyone has any good suggestions.*

He's got one 401K ($200K) and pension plan ($45K) with his previous employer and a 401K with the current employer ($15K).

I've upped his contribution percentage to take advantage of the company match and will increase it further after I figure out what's what.

Also, I'm trying to figure out whether it's better to leave the money in the Merrill Lynch plan (old company) or transfer it to the ING plan (new company).

The pension plan has been just sitting there not earning a dime - looks like they froze it a couple years before that company went into bankruptcy.* They reorganized and got bought by another company and all the retirement plans made through although quite a bit beat up in the process.* I'm having the pension transferred to the Merrill Lynch 401K.* That will take 3 or more months to process so I have some time to figure out the next move.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Samantha
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Re: 401K investment help
Old 08-29-2006, 12:51 PM   #2
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Re: 401K investment help

First off, I would roll the money out of the ML 401k (ugh) into a low cost IRA at Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwab.

After that, you have some reading to do. I'm afraid I cannot offer book suggestions that aren't graduate level finance textbooks.
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Re: 401K investment help
Old 08-29-2006, 01:00 PM   #3
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Re: 401K investment help

I second brewer's recommendation about moving the ML 401k to an IRA at Vanguard or Fidelity. I'd go further and suggest you put the money one of Vanguard's "Target Retirement 20XX" (the year your SO plans to retire) funds until you get up to speed on asset allocation, risk tolerance, etc.

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Re: 401K investment help
Old 08-29-2006, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: 401K investment help

I hope this isn't a seriously stupid question but:

What's wrong with the ML account?
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Re: 401K investment help
Old 08-29-2006, 01:38 PM   #5
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Re: 401K investment help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibid
I hope this isn't a seriously stupid question but:

What's wrong with the ML account?
Compared to an IRA at a major discount place, you will have fewer choices and probably pay a LOT more in fees.
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Re: 401K investment help
Old 08-29-2006, 02:05 PM   #6
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Re: 401K investment help

You don't need to read a book if you can read web sites.
Here is a particular good web site: www.fundadvice.com

and this link within it:

http://www.fundadvice.com/401k-help/...duction-2.html
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Re: 401K investment help
Old 08-29-2006, 11:59 PM   #7
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Re: 401K investment help

http://www.mfea.com/InvestmentStrate...Portfolios.asp
www.powerinvestor.com
www.aaii.com

not sure about the free stuff on the last two
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Re: 401K investment help
Old 08-30-2006, 12:04 PM   #8
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Re: 401K investment help

Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the links, and am learning a lot. At first glance it looked like there wasn't that much to picking where to put the money in the 401K, but I can see that I have tons more to learn.

I'm checking out taking a course on personal finance at the local community college and am waiting on a call back from one of the professors. More suggestions would be welcome.

Samantha
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Re: 401K investment help
Old 08-30-2006, 11:03 PM   #9
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Re: 401K investment help

Any more suggestions would be redundant. There is enough in the outstanding web links mentioned above to set up your whole investment life and not just your 401(k).
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Re: 401K investment help
Old 09-02-2006, 09:31 PM   #10
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Re: 401K investment help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibid
I hope this isn't a seriously stupid question but:

What's wrong with the ML account?
I agree. DW had a 401k at ML and it had plenty to choose from.....all depends on nitty gritty of what the employer negotiated with ML. The advantage

I would evaluate current 401k and determine if it is adequate which to me means:
1.Major sponser like ML, but preferably a Vanguard or Fidelity
2. Choices should include good selection of options to include S&P Index, MM, International, Bond funds and preferably the Lifestyle/Target type funds.
3. Ease of transferring assets between funds

If current 401k is "adequate', consider consolidating the old 401k into current plan, if not then I like Vanguard or Fidelity Rollover IRA for the old plan assets.

Its really not that hard....no need for a class unless you just want to.
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