Author Topic: Investing Guidance for a Young Mustache  (Read 2308 times)

Frugal_NYC

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Investing Guidance for a Young Mustache
« on: August 07, 2014, 08:09:09 AM »
Hello All!  I have a few questions regarding investing I was hoping to get some answers on.

My Situation

Debt: $0
Checking/Savings: $17K
401(K): $15K -- No employer match until March '15 (3%)
Roth IRA: $13.5K (maxed out '13 and '14)
Taxable Mutual Fund/ETF: $28K

Total Net Worth: approx $75K

I ran some numbers last night and I have a conservative estimate of $1900 take-home savings per month - this is after taxes, $130/mo pre-tax to a commuting account, 6% of paycheck to 401(K) and then all of my current living expenses.

Currently I have just been accumulating the savings in cash and since I have maxed out the roth for '14 my only option is to put more in the taxable investing accounts. 

Questions

1) Should I significantly increased my 401(K) contribution?  I'm not sure I have ability to max it out yet but I am currently only putting around $4k/year in so there is room for improvement
2) Going along with above, I want to make sure I leave myself ability to be able to buy a house (not earlier than 2-3 years from now though) but considering how much liquid $$ i have now (relative to my total) should this not prevent me from aggressively increasing 401k contribution?
3) Instead of putting more of my current dollars into taxable accounts should I explore something like Lending Club for some diversification?
4) Should maxing Roth out continue to be a focus going forward (it has been for me since funds can be used for purchase of first home)
5) How do I determine when/how much to put into my taxable accounts, currently I just put in $5K or so whenever I feel like it, I haven't done so since March because I have been apprehensive about market and I know this is not a good reason to hold off

Thanks everyone!!!

Bart1ma3u5

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Re: Investing Guidance for a Young Mustache
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 09:09:50 AM »
I am in a similar situation as far as the dilemma of whether to save for a house down payment or increase contributions to 401k/TSP. I am currently maxing a Roth IRA , and am considering upping contributions into my TSP (currently 5% to get the match).

To answer some of your questions what I plan on doing is:

Increasing contributions probably to around 10% as well as continuing to max out the Roth IRA. Additionally I will turn 26 next year and so I plan on opening an HDHP and maxing contributions to an HSA as well. All of the additional savings I will probably begin to save for a house downpayment in the next couple of years, in addition to possibly using some of the Roth IRA principle. As far as the lending club or taxable accounts I cannot help you as I do not have as much of a savings built up as you yet and have not run into the issue of too much money in my savings account beyond an emergency fund.  I am looking forward to what advice others can give you.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Investing Guidance for a Young Mustache
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 06:20:52 PM »
I think it'll depend on how much you intend to save for the down payment - housing prices differ from state to state.  I assume from your handle that you're in NY, if you are looking to buy in or near the city then that'll definitely affect the amount of down payment you should set aside. 

Otherwise, I think you could even do both - jack up your 401K contributions a bit, and then save whatever's leftover for the DP. 

RyeWhiskey

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Re: Investing Guidance for a Young Mustache
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 02:00:28 PM »
1) Should I significantly increased my 401(K) contribution?  I'm not sure I have ability to max it out yet but I am currently only putting around $4k/year in so there is room for improvement
You should first make an Investment Policy Statement which states what you should do. So it may read:
I will first max my 401k to the match, then my HSA, then my Roth IRA, then my 401k with extra up to the maximum yearly limit, at which point I'll invest in a taxable account for retirement.

2) Going along with above, I want to make sure I leave myself ability to be able to buy a house (not earlier than 2-3 years from now though) but considering how much liquid $$ i have now (relative to my total) should this not prevent me from aggressively increasing 401k contribution?
If you want to buy a house you will need to allocate a portion of your non-retirement savings to that goal. Perhaps create a new taxable account specifically for that purpose and build the savings there. But yes, if you're getting the match on your 401k and maxing your Roth and still saving more then I'd save for the house.
 
3) Instead of putting more of my current dollars into taxable accounts should I explore something like Lending Club for some diversification?
I would do your diligent research before I dumped money into P2P lending.

4) Should maxing Roth out continue to be a focus going forward (it has been for me since funds can be used for purchase of first home)
With your yearly savings amounts you should be maxing your Roth every year.

5) How do I determine when/how much to put into my taxable accounts, currently I just put in $5K or so whenever I feel like it, I haven't done so since March because I have been apprehensive about market and I know this is not a good reason to hold off

Again, you should make an IPS which will state how much you should put into each account and when. You may consider dollar-cost averaging a bit in each month automatically in order to take the guess work out of it.