Author Topic: Help a newbie to investing understand  (Read 327 times)

briesas

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Help a newbie to investing understand
« on: April 20, 2017, 10:14:55 AM »
My Roth IRA is in USEQX.

1. It's in USAA because they helped me set it up (rolled it over from a 457 a few years ago when I left a job). I didn't know how to do this myself at that point, and would probably still struggle.

2. Right now, i'd like to learn how to analyze this against other funds. I don't really understand how to interpret fees and if they are reasonable or not. The other thing I would like to do is find a tool to chart this against some sort of S and P index (VFIAX, maybe?)

I'm a librarian -- and I can usually figure out how to understand basics and find resources like the tool I am looking for -- but I'm struggling with this for some reason.

Help, resources, etc all appreciated!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Help a newbie to investing understand
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 10:19:32 AM »
I can't find USEQX, only UCEQX. Is that what your fund is? Here is a useful website for looking at performance: http://www.morningstar.com/funds/XNAS/UCEQX/quote.html

Here is a comparison: http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/mutual-fund-chart.aspx?symbol=VTSAX&selected=VTSAX

It looks like you can only go back 3 years on the comparison, since your fund is "young". http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/mutual-fund-chart.aspx?timeframe=3y&index=&symbol=VTSAX&symbol=UCEQX&selected=VTSAX

Note: based on http://financials.morningstar.com/fund/expense.html?t=UCEQX it looks like your fund has a 0.95% expense ratio, whereas VTSAX has a 0.05% expense ratio based on https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0585&FundIntExt=INT Basically, you are paying a TON to have your money managed in that fund. Here is a great video for why this is a problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZSpET11ZY
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 10:22:40 AM by Bracken_Joy »
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briesas

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Re: Help a newbie to investing understand
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 10:24:44 AM »
I can't find USEQX, only UCEQX. Is that what your fund is? Here is a useful website for looking at performance: http://www.morningstar.com/funds/XNAS/UCEQX/quote.html

Here is a comparison: http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/mutual-fund-chart.aspx?symbol=VTSAX&selected=VTSAX

It looks like you can only go back 3 years on the comparison, since your fund is "young". http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/mutual-fund-chart.aspx?timeframe=3y&index=&symbol=VTSAX&symbol=UCEQX&selected=VTSAX

Note: based on http://financials.morningstar.com/fund/expense.html?t=UCEQX it looks like your fund has a 0.95% expense ratio, whereas VTSAX has a 0.05% expense ratio based on https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0585&FundIntExt=INT Basically, you are paying a TON to have your money managed in that fund. Here is a great video for why this is a problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvZSpET11ZY

It is UCEQX. Thanks for correcting that. And thanks for the resources and the perspective on the fees! I'm off to investigate..

« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 10:39:16 AM by briesas »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Help a newbie to investing understand
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 10:27:39 AM »
You're welcome! Feel free to come back with any questions. I'm a weirdo who likes to track down resources for people =) We all need hobbies, right?

Here's a great resource if you haven't read it yet: http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/
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briesas

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Re: Help a newbie to investing understand
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 10:39:42 AM »
You're welcome! Feel free to come back with any questions. I'm a weirdo who likes to track down resources for people =) We all need hobbies, right?

Here's a great resource if you haven't read it yet: http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

One additional fees related question... how do I know if the fees are upfront (taken off the investment), taken out on some sort of interval (like monthly or yearly)... and are they on the whole thing or just the gains? And are the fee structures for mutual funds the same thing as a-shares, b-share, c-shares?

nereo

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Re: Help a newbie to investing understand
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 10:41:09 AM »
1) Any brokerage will walk you through the steps to set up (and roll over) assets, including Vanguard, Fidelity, etc.  All you have to do is call them, answer a few questions and sign the forms.  It's shockingly easy.

2) regarding fees - lower fees are typically better.  Here's an article explaining how.
Low-cost index funds are the champion of low-fees, often 0.05% or less.  JL Collin's stock series that Bracken linked is a information resource too.
Personally, I won't consider any funds that have an expense ratio of >0.5%; most of the ones I like are >0.2%
I avoid all funds that have front-end or back-end loads (essentially commissions to buy and sell, respectively). 

For comparing different funds you can use morningstar (which Bracken_joy) linked, or finance.yahoo or any number of other fund checkers.  It should tell you the preformance over a selection time frame, the expense ratio (your "fees") the current yield (how much it pays in dividends per year ... usaully its a fluctuates with share price).  Some allow you to compare multiple funds over the same period of time, but beware the adage "past performance is not indicative of future results".

hope that helps.
Final thoughts: trying to pick "the best" fund is a fool's errand. Better to decide what your asset allocation (AA) fits your goals (i.e. where do you want your money invested) and find a low-cost fund or funds that fits that AA.  For example, if you want to invest 80% in large US corporations and 20% in international funds you might put 80% of your money in VFINX and 20% in VGTSX, which are vanguard's SP500 index fund and international fund, respectively (both with very low fees).
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