Author Topic: 401k investment options - help me choose  (Read 1999 times)

LadyStache

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401k investment options - help me choose
« on: May 11, 2015, 10:50:46 AM »
I am currently deciding between the following investment options:

Schwab S&P 500 Index
Vanguard Growth Index Adm
Vanguard Mid Cap Index Adm
Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Inv

An administrative fee of 0.1% is charged for assets held in the Vanguard investments, in addition to the operating expenses.

What should I choose and why?

GGNoob

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Re: 401k investment options - help me choose
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2015, 11:02:49 AM »
Are these the only index funds in your 401k? Any other options with low expense ratios? What other investment accounts do you have and what investments do those accounts hold?

Not knowing the answers to the above questions...the Target Retirement fund would be a great all-in-one fund. It would cover US stocks, foreign stocks, and bonds. Otherwise, the S&P 500 index is usually a great option if you can get your international and bond investments elsewhere. The S&P 500 index fund is probably one of the cheapest funds you have available and it invests in the 500 largest companies in the US.

LadyStache

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Re: 401k investment options - help me choose
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2015, 11:36:43 AM »
Are these the only index funds in your 401k? Any other options with low expense ratios? What other investment accounts do you have and what investments do those accounts hold?

There's a few others, I just posted the ones with the lowest expense ratios and highest returns.

I have a Roth and another 401k with a former employer that are invested in target date retirement funds.

There are some international and bond investments offered in the 401k plan:
Vanguard Developed Markets Idx Instl
American Funds Europacific Growth R4
BlackRock US Debt Fund D#
BlackRock 1-3Year Govt Bond Index F#

seattlecyclone

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Re: 401k investment options - help me choose
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2015, 11:42:41 AM »
Schwab's S&P 500 fund is a fine option for large-cap US stocks. Depending on what fraction of your assets you plan to hold in this account, you may want to stick with just that and fill out the rest of your asset allocation elsewhere. The 0.1% extra expense ratio for the Vanguard funds pushes them up to the 0.2%-0.3% range, which you should avoid if you have a good alternative.

GGNoob

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Re: 401k investment options - help me choose
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 01:04:21 PM »
I have a Roth and another 401k with a former employer that are invested in target date retirement funds.

If your other accounts are invested in Target Date funds, then that may be the way to go. Otherwise you could roll your old 401k into an IRA and then treat the asset allocation of all of your investment accounts as one account. Between them all, you'd want to pick a desired allocation of US stocks, international stocks, and US bonds. Check this link out for more information: http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio

If you needed a good international fund in your 401k, the Vanguard Developed Markets Idx Instl would be a good choice.

LadyStache

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Re: 401k investment options - help me choose
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2015, 01:31:28 PM »
Schwab's S&P 500 fund is a fine option for large-cap US stocks. Depending on what fraction of your assets you plan to hold in this account, you may want to stick with just that and fill out the rest of your asset allocation elsewhere. The 0.1% extra expense ratio for the Vanguard funds pushes them up to the 0.2%-0.3% range, which you should avoid if you have a good alternative.

Great point. I could invest my new 401k in the Schwab S&P 500 and change the investments in my Roth to hold mainly bonds and international stocks. I've been thinking about transferring my Roth over to Vanguard anyway. Plus, I've always liked the idea of using a Roth as an emergency fund. The old 401k can just remain as is. If I go that route, which Vanguard funds should I select for my Roth to round out my investments?

seattlecyclone

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Re: 401k investment options - help me choose
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2015, 02:39:52 PM »
Vanguard's Extended Market fund is basically (Total Market - S&P 500). You should buy 25% as much of that as you have in the S&P 500 to simulate owning VTSAX. Beyond that, you can't go too wrong with the Total Bond Market fund and the Total International Stock fund.