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oisurf's avatar

With the Syria Conflict, Fed ending bond buying program & Government Debt limit negotiations, what would you do with your 401k investment elections?

Asked by oisurf (37 points ) August 27th, 2013

Hello Fluterites!

I’m freaking out right now, watched my 401k lose a lot of value overnight and it looks like there may be no end in sight the next couple of days/week/months.. who knows!!!

Wanted to know if anyone has some useful advice on what to do with my 401k retirement account until the smoke settles.. I think this dip is going to continue based on everything that is happening all at once.

What is your take?

I can’t take the money out of my 401k account, but I can move it to other index funds or a stable value fund. I’ve considered the stable value fund since it appears to be “stable”? I don’t know if I’m ignorant.. please enlighten me :)

My 401k is with Fidelity.. The fund is called “Stable Value”

Here’s the description: (Please let me know what you think)

Fund Overview
Objective

The objective is to provide principal preservation while earning a level of interest income consistent with the preservation of principal.
Strategy

FMTC manages the active bond management strategy under a global wrap structure. The active management of the underlying bond portfolio seeks to achieve absolute and risk-adjusted total returns in excess of the Barclays U.S. 1–5 Year Government/Credit Bond A+ Index primarily through investments in U.S. Treasuries, Agencies, Investment-Grade Corporate Bonds, Mortgage-Backed, and Asset-Backed securities. The assets are globally wrapped using fully participating synthetic wrap contracts. The fund maintains an investment in a Rule 2a-7 eligible money market fund to support the Fund’s liquidity needs.

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8 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m going to Disney World!

But seriously, it depends on all of the factors that go into a retirement plan in general:
1. Your current age,
2. Plans for retirement,
3. Risk tolerance, and
4. Expectations from the investment.

I maintain fairly conservative investments in my 401(k), because my employer doesn’t offer very aggressive choices. In my own IRAs I roll the dice more – but I still watch what’s going on.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I am in complete agreement with CWOTUS on this one.

The factor to care about is your age, and when you intend to start drawing down. If you are young, this fund is too conservative for you, and you should care less about short term market developments.

If you are close to retirement, or already retired, this fund is too aggressive. Tell us about your expectation as to when you will retire.

oisurf's avatar

@CWOTUS , @Imadethisupwithnoforethought – I’m 28yrs of age.. Thanks for your replies

jaytkay's avatar

You’re 28?

Stable Value is probably too conservative, but don’t worry too much about it.

More importantly, keep contributing and make sure what you do maximizes the employer contribution.

CWOTUS's avatar

I used a bad term with “roll the dice”, and I want to clear up that misconception. Investing is not “rolling the dice”. Investing properly is using most of your funds to buy sure things – going business concerns with proven track records and good management – in an uncertain environment (which is “the economy most of the time”) and speculating in smaller, riskier businesses that demonstrate promising new technology, new business models and entire new markets, but doing that speculation with money that you can afford to lose – because you stand to more than make up for it with your other investments.

That would have been Apple and Microsoft, for example, in the 1980s. Or Google at the turn of the century. Only a crazy person would have invested everything he had into those stocks in those days.

These days, the risky new venture might be an obscure nanotech or biotech company or a specialty battery maker developing graphene batteries, for example. Who knows which one (of literally hundreds of startup companies) will survive the nearly inevitable twists of technology that will render a once-promising idea “just another dead end”, or simply fail to maintain cash flow in a fledgling business, or the inventor and business developer who will work himself into an early grave and take his business crashing down with him. That’s why you don’t put all of your eggs into a shaky basket, for sure.

In addition, these days those former risky businesses that paid off: Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Google and other current winners, are in mature markets and growing much more slowly, but generally still growing. (Not that most of your cash should be in those stocks, either, if you don’t understand the products, the markets for those products and the development of the tech industry in general.) There is still plenty of money to be made in established businesses in consumer products, heavy industry, transportation, you name it. But if you’re going to buy individual stocks you need to understand the businesses that you’re buying.

For a 28-year-old with a decent job and enough money to meet the bills from month-to-month, you should steel yourself to the thought that your money should be at “some” risk – and accept the risk to profit from it – and buy the future.

“Stable Value” funds are for old men like me who are close to or in retirement, and even I don’t buy that stuff.

elbanditoroso's avatar

do absolutely nothing. You have 40 years until you retire. The current events are a small blip. The Syria thing will end and the debt limit will be resolved.

An IRA is a long term investment and these new events are short term issues.

Do nothing. And think about what a 45 year perspective means.

rojo's avatar

Buy stock in a firm that provides body bags.

YARNLADY's avatar

If you aren’t familiar with investing I suggest you choose a mutual fund approach.

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