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You've asked a question without providing much information on which to base an answer.

401(k) money is money you don't need, and money you can't get to except in the case of an extreme emergency. In other words, once you put it in, it's gone until you are old and grey!

A few questions that come to my mind are, how long before you will need the money and does your employer match any of your contributions? Also are there any other sources of income in your household?

As you can tell, the questions can become a bit tough to answer, especially in a public forum.

But when you answer these questions, and others you are likely to think of, I would hope that you will do so, honestly, and involve other family memebers that know your personal situation.

The other question I have is, are you disciplined enough to save on your own, without the benefit of a 401(k) investment?

Individual stocks are an alternative, but most financial planner type folks say you need at least $250K before you start building an equity portfolio.

So without any understanding of you, your current situation, or what your savings goals are, I would say yes, invest in your 401(k).

As the matter of fact, if you do decide to participate in your company's 401(k) plan, I would advise you to contribute the maximum, put everything you contribute into an S&P Index Fund, and in ten years or so, revisit things with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or a Certified Retirement Plannning Specialist (CRPS).

Best of luck.

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