Author Topic: Newbie to investing (US)  (Read 2268 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Newbie to investing (US)
« on: October 23, 2013, 01:19:39 PM »
I don't know how to start at all. I'm not maxing out my 401K. I don't even know anything about my 401K. I just don't know what to do or how to start. Any guidance?

Frankies Girl

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  • Stubble
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    • SimplyBex
Re: Newbie to investing (US)
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 01:45:35 PM »
Where to put your $$
I've seen this model several times, makes sense to me. Others will have differing opinions. Also I would say a preface to this would be $0 debt except mortgage if applicable (or maybe some other 'good debt' whatever that is, 3% interest?)

1. Traditional 401k up to employer match max
2. ROTH IRA up to max ($5500)
3. 401k to the max (17000)
4. Taxable accounts

Allocating your 401k, IRA, etc.
Let me know when you find out ;)'s-allocations-advice-please-)/
I'm trying to learn about that now. My portfolio is pretty much no cash, 10% bonds/other, 90% Stocks. Very risky. I'm working on diversifying this.

Keep hanging out around MMM, the Forums, and other blogs and reading. You will learn a lot in a couple months.

Stache In Training

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Re: Newbie to investing (US)
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 10:57:28 PM »
Seems like you know to max your 401k.  Even if you don't at least max employer matching, as already said.  It's free money!

However, look on your next 401K statement, or ask your HR to see the various options.  You don't need to know much, but look for something that says expense ratio. (that's the fees)  In the reading already given, you'll learn that that is really what keeps your returns down: a high expense ratio.  So since quite often the options in employer packages are not the best, I'd look to see what the lowest expenses are, and see if there are any index funds.  Out of those, pick the one with the widest exposure.  Such as a total stock market, or a s&p 500 index fund.  If no index funds, choose the lowest exp ratio with the widest exposure.  Or write down all of the options, and post them here, and have everyone weigh in on the options.  while making the final choice will be a personal choice, I know we'll be able to rule out bad options, and tell you why.  the why will be the most valuable information.  Also, a target date fund (sometimes called lifecycle funds) may be a good "set and forget" option, if your plan has it, and you are overwhelmed by all the options.  Just make sure it's a bit lower fees. the retirement gamble.  In addition to the reading, this will explain investing in a way that one, will make you afraid for 90% of people, and two, will bring all of your reading together, and teach you about index funds.