Author Topic: Opinions on 401k options: help me allocate please!  (Read 1553 times)

FIREdancer

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Opinions on 401k options: help me allocate please!
« on: January 09, 2017, 07:32:22 PM »
Hey Mustachian experts, I recently started a new job and am wanting to change my 401k elections.  The company automatically puts everyone in a target date retirement fund, but luckily they have Vanguard funds so I'm going to ditch the target date and go with Vanguard, but I want opinions on what you all would do.

A little background about my retirement funds:
I'm in the early stages of accumulation for retirement.  I have 100% of my IRA money in VTSAX, the rest is in various funds from my previous work retirement accounts, but I will shortly be rolling that over into my VTSAX IRA.  So for all intents and purposes, 100% of my retirement is in VTSAX.

Options to choose from in my new 401k:
VFINX Vanguard 500
VMFXX Vanguard Money market
VIMSX Vanguard Mid Cap
NAESX Vanguard Small Cap
VBTLX Vanguard total bond

Would you just go with all Vanguard 500?  Or would you mix in some small and mid cap to try to replicate VTSAX?  And what about throwing in a tiny percent of the total bond market?

I think I'm pretty golden with any option since I am at the beginning of my FIRE journey, but wanted to get some opinions.

Thanks!

Phenix

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Re: Opinions on 401k options: help me allocate please!
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 08:17:20 PM »
Since you're still early in your accumulation phase, keep it simple and put it all in VFINX. If you want to go 75/15/10 in VFINX/VIMSX/NAESX, that would get you more diversity, but early on, your savings rate is going to make the biggest difference.

MDM

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Re: Opinions on 401k options: help me allocate please!
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 08:31:22 PM »
I think I'm pretty golden with any option....
That seems about right - good for you!

You might benefit from creating an Investment policy statement, thereby going a long way toward answering your own question.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Opinions on 401k options: help me allocate please!
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 09:31:59 PM »
Consider whether you wish to add some bonds to your allocation. If you do, buy some VBTLX.

If you're okay with 100% stocks, I think all VFINX is a perfectly defensible choice. Although you do theoretically need to sprinkle in some small-cap and mid-cap to replicate a total market fund, in practice VFINX moves almost in lockstep with VTSAX. There's value in avoiding unnecessary complexity. Buying small amounts of the small-cap and mid-cap funds doesn't seem necessary given the very small historical difference in performance between the S&P 500 and a total market fund.

FIREdancer

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Re: Opinions on 401k options: help me allocate please!
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 06:54:13 AM »
Awesome!  Thanks for the replies.  This confirms what I was thinking, but I always value Mustachian input.  I'm gonna go with all VFINX for now and then as I get closer to FIRE I will add in some VBTLX either in my IRA or in this 401k.