Author Topic: 401(k) with too many fund options  (Read 3611 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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401(k) with too many fund options
« on: October 19, 2013, 12:43:42 AM »
Hey all,

Longtime lurker, first time poster.  I need some advice from the MMM crew regarding my 401(k).

I've switched jobs within the last couple of years and had to rollover my 401(k) from me previous employer.  My new employer matches 4% to my 5% and we max that out each year. 

That said, the new 401(k) has a plethora of funds to select from. (I'll include the list below).  When I enrolled in the plan I simply signed up for the "Aggressive" option and didn't give much thought to allocation or expense ratios.  I've noticed, however, that I'm getting dinged with fees in a way that I'm just not happy with.

By way of background, I'm 30, a professional, not very risk-averse when it comes to long-term investments, and don't mind having anywhere from an 80/20 ("Core-Four") split to even a 90/10 split in my retirement accounts for now.

In the list below, the lowest expense ratio, by far, is Vanguard's Target Fund--I'd go for the 2050, but would like the 2055 if it ever became an option.  Some of the other funds--especially Oppenheimer--are very tempting, their higher expense ratios notwithstanding.  At the end of the day, I'm half tempted to sock it all in the Target fund if for no other reason than being secure in the knowledge that my expense ratios are nearly 1% less than many of the other funds.

I'd love to hear the community's thoughts as to how you'd allocate your funds in this 401(k).   What say you? 

a1, Stable Value
MetLife Stable Value Fund(60)
Vanguard Target Retirement 2010 Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement Income Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement 2020 Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 Inv
Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 Inv

df, Intermediate-Term Bond
PIMCO Total Return D
Diversified Emerging Mkts
Oppenheimer Developing Markets Y
dj, Multisector Bond
Columbia Strategic Income A
dk, High Yield Bond
Federated Instl High Yield Bond Instl
dl, World Bond
Oppenheimer International Bond Y
dm, Emerging Markets Bond
MFS Emerging Markets Debt R4
ea, Large Value
Columbia Dividend Opportunity R5
Hennessy Large Cap Financial Fund
eb, Large Blend
MFS Massachusetts Investors Tr R4
ec, Large Growth
iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index
MainStay Large Cap Growth R1
fa, Mid-Cap Value
JHancock3 Disciplined Value Mid Cap A
fb, Mid-Cap Blend
iShares Russell Midcap Index
fc, Mid-Cap Growth
Eagle Mid Cap Growth A
ga, Small Value
Northern Small Cap Value
gb, Small Blend
Royce Heritage K
gc, Small Growth

JPMorgan Small Cap Growth A
hb, Foreign Large Blend
iShares MSCI EAFE Index
hc, Foreign Large Growth
Oppenheimer International Growth Y
he, World Stock
American Funds New Perspective R5
iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare
ia, Specialty-Precious Metals
iShares Gold Trust
iShares Silver Trust
id, Specialty-Real Estate
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors
ie, Specialty-Natural Res
iShares S&P North Amer Natural Resources
Van Eck Global Hard Assets A
ig, Specialty-Financial
iShares Dow Jones US Financial Sector
Inflation-Protected Bond
BlackRock Inflation Protected Bond Svc
Intermediate Bond
iShares Barclays Aggregate Bond
Large Blend
iShares S&P 500 Index
Large Growth
Amana Trust Growth
Pacific/Asia ex-Japan
iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Jpn Idx
iShares S&P Global Technology


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: 401(k) with too many fund options
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2013, 05:23:37 AM »
Vanguard 2050

Avoid the temptation to make this more complicated than it needs to be


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: 401(k) with too many fund options
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 06:51:52 AM »
The Vanguard 2050 has a low expense ratio (.18%) and is a good fit (90/10 with international equity and bonds included) for someone your age.  Max out your contributions, if you can.  If you haven't done this already, build up a solid emergency fund in cash, CDs, and maybe some Ibonds.  Best wishes.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: 401(k) with too many fund options
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2013, 09:25:47 AM »
Thanks for weighing in.  I'm definitely leaning toward the target date fund (and maybe picking up some of the Oppenheimer funds). 

We're well on the way toward a sizable emergency fund.

Thanks for the well wishes!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: 401(k) with too many fund options
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2013, 09:29:54 AM »
ebv, I'm with them.  Vanguard 2050 for the win!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: 401(k) with too many fund options
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2013, 11:03:19 AM »
Just stick with the Vanguard 2050 fund, nothing else is needed!  Great expense ratio, well diversified, self balancing, what's not to love?!