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Old 03-08-2016, 09:22 AM   #21
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Same IRA account; different question. Yes, the sitting on the fence is painful, and I need to get off the fence sooner than later.

What kind of detail are you looking for other than what has already been provided?

Thanks.
We need the details of what your goal would be. We need answers to questions like, "Why do you want to move from an IRA to a 401k?" Is there a reason to move from one to the other, like lower fund fee's or more fund options? if there is no good reason then stay.

You will have an inevitable gap if you have to rollover and get a check cut and sent. If it's a transfer the gap would be less, but during that gap, you are subject to the risk of being out of the market which equates to one thing, if the market goes up significantly during this gap where your money is rolling over or transferring, then you would risk losing that gain. If the market declines from the time your funds settled prior to rollover/transfer then you would have the opportunity to buy likely very similar if not exact funds, at a lower price...again provided the fees are less than your current brokerage fees.

I rollover to VG each time I leave an employer, or I have I should say, because vanguard has better fund options and lower fees which to me is a good reason to rollover/transfer.

Right now I have an IRA account with a ROTH via Vanguard, then I also have my 401k with my current employers sponsor Schwab.

I also have an inactive and unused right now brokerage account in my DH name with TDAmeritrade, purely for flexibility of maintaining an Asset Allocation, that's a story for a different day.

The biggest risk you have is you rollover, the market gains 10% and never retreats again. If it gains you could wait for some more volatility to invest lower and decrease your losses during the transfer/rollover settlement time period.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:47 AM   #22
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The biggest risk you have is you rollover, the market gains 10% and never retreats again. If it gains you could wait for some more volatility to invest lower and decrease your losses during the transfer/rollover settlement time period[/B][/B].
I guess the portion I quoted applies to a 401k stock plan (please correct me if it was not intended to do so) answers my original question, and says that buy low principle applies to a 401k stock plan. Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:58 AM   #23
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Emphasis in Bold Added.

I guess the bolded portion I emphasized answers my original question, and says that buy low principle applies to a 401k stock plan. Thanks.
Youngster,
Yes, in theory it is best to buy low, but in practice there's no way to time the market and know when it is "low" or "high". There are some fairly sophisticated methods (google "Value Averaging" if you want to know more about that--and be prepared to spend a portion of your life monitoring the markets if you want to do that). In the long run, the stock market's prices when you get in don't have nearly the impact that it may seem right now. Unless you want to research all of these methods before making a decision (=more time on the fence), I'd suggest that you just lump-sum invest your available money into an "asset allocation" that suits you, don't try to guess when the market is "low" or "high". If it were possible to time the market reliably and consistently, people could make vast fortunes doing it in a very short period of time (using options)--and that just doesn't happen without a lot of luck.

Regarding that asset allocation: It would mean picking a % of US stocks, US Bonds, foreign stocks, foreign bonds, and maybe other assets. Luckily, if you don't want to do that you can make a single investment in a Vanguard Target Date Fund and the folks there will automatically split among these categories for you, rebalancing them frequently and automatically so you'll "buy low and sell high" between the various assets as they go up and down over the years. It's a true "set and forget" approach that gets better results than the majority of market timers and individual investors achieve on their own. When/if you get a chance to do a lot of research you may decide to change that a little, but for now I think it's a great place to park your money.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:00 AM   #24
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Thanks, samclem.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:29 AM   #25
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The only reasons that I can think of to transfer IRA money to a 401k is the same things we talk about when someone is deliberation a 401k rollover to an IRA.

If the 401k offered a good selection of investment options with low expense ratios or a stable value fund that pays a decent rate of interest then that might be a reason for a transfer. If you expect to become a defendant in a civil suit and in your state 401ks offer better litigation protection. Finally, if you are doing back-door roth contributions and your IRA is a mix of deductible and non-deductible contributions.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:54 AM   #26
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Thanks for all the responses.
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