Author Topic: Guidance for a Newbie  (Read 2909 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 1
Guidance for a Newbie
« on: February 13, 2020, 08:53:11 AM »
Hello all!

I'm a newbie to the FI scene. I have been reading and trying to learn more about investing. However, much of what I have been reading, I am ineligible to take part in. I do not qualify for a 401(k) or an HSA. I opened a ROTH IRA about 3 years ago, but didn't really know what to do with it until recently. I do not have any debts or liabilities except for my car, which is an unfortunate necessity. Last year, I was gifted a mutual fund with significant capital, although I'm no fan of the .71% expense ratio.  I have a modest income (30k/yr)and have been able to save up enough for an emergency fund but need help trying to get on track for retirement and financial independence.

Any suggestions and pointers?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 13
Re: Guidance for a Newbie
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2020, 12:31:56 PM »
You can always cash out the mutual fund and get into a Vanguard Index Fund. You could also roll it into another investment account. Is your lack of a 401(k) because your employer doesn't offer one? Do you feel you are unable to afford it? If you are self-employed there are a few options as well.


  • Magnum Stache
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  • Posts: 2564
  • Location: China
Re: Guidance for a Newbie
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2020, 08:46:50 PM »
Suggest you post a full case study.

But from the little info you’ve provided, you’re better off focusing your efforts on increasing your income, either by switching jobs or taking in side hustles. That would go a long way in moving you towards FIRE.

Car Jack

  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Guidance for a Newbie
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 01:15:18 PM »
Many of us don't have all these tax advantaged savings vehicles people talk about.  HSA....I don't have the ability to use one.  HDHP.....same story.  So we use a Roth and a simple taxable brokerage account at one of the good guys (aka, low cost).  That's a great place to start.  Cash out that outrageous 0.71% fund and buy something reasonable.  An S&P 500 fund is a good place to start, especially when you're just starting out.  Save as much as you can.  Pay off that car loan.