One thing that is good about IRAs is that they can be transferred into another IRA managed account without incurring penalties. One of the things I have been learning on the fool is that one wants to be looking to invest into a fund that will outperform the S&P 500 index on average over the long term (roughly 10% annual average). Looking at the performance of the fund you are stating, It sounds much like you have all your money invested into one fund, which is most likely a fund that has primarily large caps. There is a book I have just finished reading recently called "the Coffeehouse Investor". He speaks in depth about mutual funds and "Managed" funds and how most of them tend to underperform the S&P500 index greatly, this added to the fact that managed funds tend to have hidden fees of up to 1.5% of your annual returns, which you don't see up front. This is what your paying someone else to do that, which you may find yourself doing better on your own by spending the time to research the unmanaged index funds which you get all the money from it's returns, minus the trade commissions. One board I have been spending time with on the fool is the "Foolish collective" http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=24444538&bid=115096which many on there have been very helpful with my learning how to understand the market. I am one who started this board to help open dialog with other military members in the same boat as I over the next year in learning to understand how to better invest and manage our own funds vs. paying someone else (which we do in managed funds) to help us lose money in underperforming managed mutual funds. I have a goal of establishing a long term portfolio by this time next year.I also have a Thrift Savings plan, which I feel is a good fund to have. If you look at the "L" funds in thier first year, they are showing good performance above expectations and are running between 5-9% in thier inception year. This International fund or "I" fund has seen returns averaging 11-15% over the past 3 years and this year is showing as much as 30%, this is of course a fund with High volatility. But the thing I like about the TSP is that it has little costs in management fees.One board I am spending time on, which I feel would be an inspiration to you learning your own management of your investments is a board call "Pencils Palace" http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=24454475&bid=117713, this is run by a 13 year old Named David Krentzmann, he has started a project in learning how to out perform the market with his picks over a 5-10 year period. The theme in his board is his learning the market as he goes, not just picking his stocks in itself. It makes one feel that they have someone that is a little ahead of where I am (actually probably more ahead of me), but as well is making time to help one also understand what we need to be looking at with market performance. He has a approach that is emulating Warren Buffet, in that one no so much is just buying stock, but is buying part of a company for the long haul. It is a Philosophy I am looking to follow, as I look into companies and funds I plan to buy into..I apologize for not replying to this sooner, I am currently in Kuwait and have the past couple weeks been a little slow in replies. This in between my reading and getting ready to go home next month for some much needed R&R from here before returning for the remainding 8 months. I will be a little slow on here until Mid-October when I am back from leave. Which I hope to have a lot of reading and greater understanding of this to be more involved in dialog with others.In the meantime, I invite you to the other two boards I am involved with as well, as you spend more time in the different boards, you will realize how much control you can have in managing your own funds that will outperform any "managed" fund in the long term..Let me know if I can help you with anything more..Gary Michalosky (sandpockets)
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