Author Topic: Brand new here, looking for some advice  (Read 828 times)

Sottozero

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Brand new here, looking for some advice
« on: November 25, 2018, 07:27:06 PM »
Hi all. Brand now here. Look at that post count. Wooo.

I am looking for some advice that doesnít come from someone with skin in the game. Iíll explain.

Iím 49. I have the following:

401K at work - all set. Contribute full amount with employer match.

IRA managed by LPL - this is prior 401Ks rolled into a single IRA.

General investment account at LPL - about 66K. Down on year due to recent market conditions.

AMEX personal savings account -  about 107K. This is OK for savings @ 2%, but itís a lot of cash to have sitting around. Been OK recently because itís just a savings account and doesnít lose money. Of course, it canít earn much, either.

Chase checking account - this where bills get paid from. About 30K here. This needs to stay above $15K.

Betterment general investing account - 28.5K. Down from 30K due to recent market conditions. Like an idiot, Iíve added no money over time, so have not averaged dollar cost down.

529 plan - 42K here. Should be at appropriate amount in 4 years when itís needed.

So my dilemma: what do I do with my undeployed cash? (AMEX/Chase/Betterment)

I have scheduled a $1K Betterment deposit with $500/mo starting next month. But that still seems awfull conservative given how much I have lying around earning only 2%. What would you suggest?

Of course my LPL guy tells me to give it to him, but his management fees are higher and Iíd rather do it myself so I have more flexibility.

I know this comes across as a bit of a mess, but just wondering where I could shore things up. I am OK on the 401K, IRA and 529 stuff, itís the cash and Ďgeneral investingí that I am trying to optimize.

BTW, new to MMM entirely, what a great resource. Thanks in advance, all.

degrom7

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Re: Brand new here, looking for some advice
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2018, 07:58:04 PM »
Instead of betterment, you can create a taxable account in Vanguard.


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JAYSLOL

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Re: Brand new here, looking for some advice
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2018, 08:25:35 PM »
I'll leave the investment advice to US-based forum members, but just want to say welcome to the forums

Sottozero

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Re: Brand new here, looking for some advice
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 08:40:57 PM »
I'll leave the investment advice to US-based forum members, but just want to say welcome to the forums

Thanks man! Appreciate that. Lots of reading to do here and on the MMM main site. Iíve been here all day. :-)

JAYSLOL

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Re: Brand new here, looking for some advice
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 08:55:16 PM »
I'll leave the investment advice to US-based forum members, but just want to say welcome to the forums

Thanks man! Appreciate that. Lots of reading to do here and on the MMM main site. Iíve been here all day. :-)

No problem, I remember when i found MMM a few years ago, I read through the 400 something blog posts in like 3 weeks and started going through the forums.  Good times.  I owe MMM and the forum for some pretty major financial improvements in my life

jacoavluha

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Re: Brand new here, looking for some advice
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2018, 09:01:23 PM »
How much is in the 401k? And whatís it invested in? Whatís the expense ratios?

Ditto for the IRA.

Ditto for the taxable LPL account. And whatís the management fee? And whatís the cost basis of this account?

What is your desired asset allocation US stocks vs Intl stocks vs Bonds. This you have to choose and itís perhaps the most important decision youíre going to make with regards to the level of risk of your overall portfolio.

Do you have an emergency fund? Like if you lose your job.
Do you have necessary insurance? You must have kids.
Do you have debt? If so, how much? What interest rates?
Do you contribute yearly to an IRA? How about your spouse?
Whatís your general income level? Federal and state tax bracket?

So many factors go into good advice for you. I wouldnít do anything until these questions are all answered.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Brand new here, looking for some advice
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2018, 11:37:33 PM »
You might keep 6 months expenses in cash, just in case.  An emergency fund not only prevents credit card interest from piling up, it prevents selling during a bad market.  During a bad market, companies are more likely to fire people - and then you may need money when prices have dropped.

Betterment charges 0.25% of your assets for their services.  That's not so bad, but you can also do better.  Someone mentioned Vanguard since they have lots of low cost funds.  Schwab and Fidelity also have low cost funds, but you have to be careful - they have plenty of higher expense ratio (higher cost) funds as well.  I'd favor Vanguard if you are worried about picking a bad mutual fund - that's hard to do at Vanguard.