Newbie looking for some direction. Had all my 401K transferred to a self directed stock fund with my local regional broker. He has not been muck help. Consequentially my retirement fund has not improved but 10% in 2 years. Question? entire amount is in stocks ( some have been dogs but have been trying to average down in hopes they will come back to there right numbers) should I have evrything in the market?. Have 2 1/2 years before I will need to start using div to supplement my pension&social security.Fairly new to the FOOL and now trying a test on the foolish 4 with plans to increase my funds with more perhaps with the Rule breakers.Good sound simple advice appreciated. Thanks
Had all my 401K transferred to a self directed stock fund with my local regional broker. He has not been muck help. If you are not going to manage the money on your own, you need a fee based investment manager, not a commissioned based broker. Historically, this would have been places like bank trust departments and outside investment consultants. Merrill Lynch and others are now getting into the act. In fact, this is what "mutual funds" actually do, except the money is not managed for a single individual, but multiple people.The other thing to look at is return vs. risk. Since you only have 2 years to go until you start using the money, maybe you are in conservative stocks vs. high risk stocks.*Cat
As a general rule don't dollar cost average down. Yes, you reduce your cost per share, but you increase the money you can potentially lose. When you bought the stock, you expected it to go UP. If it didn't, it went down instead, consider the possibility that you were wrong, you made a bad choice. Consider selling instead and buying something with more potential. Now, an exception is if you are absolutely convinced that there is going to be a major turnaround in the company's fortunes, and you KNOW why. But bottom-fishing is an expensive sport. Now, if the stock has gone up and you feel there are good reasons why it will go up more, to buy more is OK.With just a couple years to go to retirement, and apparently much to learn about picking stocks, a mutual fund may be your best bet. The market always behaves in such manner as to confound the maximum number of people. If EVERYBODY agrees a certain stock will go up, they have already bought and there is noone left to buy, so it will go down. The Foolish Four is a good start, or one of the new retirement portfolios. And recognize that your abilities as a stock picker leave something to be desired. Best wishes, Chris
<<Had all my 401K transferred to a self directed stock fund with my local regional broker. He has not been muck help. >>Why not set up a self-directed IRA with an online broker and rollover so you can manage yourself?
<<<?. Have 2 1/2 years before I will need to start using div to supplement my pension&social security.>>>#1--Go to the Fool's School and the Foolish Workshop Screen Definitions areas. That'll give you a good basis.#2--Figure out what you need per year to live on and how much do you need to make up for from your pension. That is, if you need 50k to live on but your pension pays 35k, you need 15k per year. I'd then personally put 3-5 years worth of this money in CDs or money market mutual fund.#3--The Foolish Four is a good start, might also want to consider the Keystone screen. These to are simple, easy screens to run for some one just starting out.#4--Keep reading and learning. Managing your finances isn't as hard is the "wise" want to make out to be.JLC
The best thing that I have done in recent years, is to sell my losers. When I started investing i kept putting money into my losers, they kept going down, one which I paid close to $3000. for is now worth less than $10. Sell your losers let the winners ride. In 99 I made 55% return in98 it was 95%. Those brokers, why do you think they caal them "brokers"
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