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Subject:  To: TMFPixy Date:  12/5/1998  7:46 PM
Author:  Circa1950 Number:  7047 of 88501


I am very appreciative of all the information, education, and assistance you offer. Much has been learned by scrolling through the messages on this board! I'm almost over-saturated with information and would like to have some objective (or “outside”, at least) input about, or review of, some of the decisions/choices I've made, or still need to make. I'm late getting on board for “in earnest” retirement investing and also need to take into account maintaining savings for a college education for my kiddo in a few years. Hope this isn't too many questions at once:

1. I'm in a 401k (S&P Index Fund), maxing at 14%. My company matches 50% of my “regular contributions” which are considered the 1st 6%. This match is “always invested” in the company's stock (a rapidly changing industry). My contributions 1%  14% goes to my fund of choice (the Index Fund);

2. I'm considering starting a Traditional IRA or ROTH IRA (Index, again) this year &/or $2,000 of stock purchases. I'm a bit confused re: Roth's vs. Traditional in terms of whether one or the other or both count as assets on applications for college tuition assistance (I posted this question on the Funding College board, but so far, no response). Thus, if a Traditional isn't counted and a Roth is, I'm thinking – in terms of preserving retirement – that I should go with a Traditional until there is no longer the college consideration.

3. I have a 403b from a previous job which I have left untouched. It clunked along pretty consistently at 11-12% (10 yr.returns to 9/30/97 = 17.93), then nose-dived 3rd quarter, 1998 (net loss $1,297.04; ending dollar value $6,738.16). Any suggestions including how-to advice for getting more “punch” out of this money would be most welcome.

4. I've started a DRIP portfolio and have several individual stocks in mind, but my level will be "small potatoes" to begin with.

My first goals have been to try to get a solid, basic plan in place and any “glaring” changes that need to be made, made. I'd like to make the shift from being an edge-of-the-seat learner to an armchair learner (in a LZB, of course!).

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