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I have about $1500 cash sitting in my 401(k) that I would like to put into something that I can just forget about for a few years, regardless of which way the market goes. For this section of my 401(k) portfolio, I am looking for slow but steady growth over the long term but with low risk- I have other investments that are more aggressive. A friend suggested I put this money into an equity index fund. Do you all agree with that strategy?

No, I strongly disagree with that strategy. If you want steady growth then I'd likely think a short-term bond fund or a stable value fund would be up there as first ideas with a balanced fund or junk bond fund as something a bit more aggressive if you want that. Think about it this way: If the market has a repeat of 2000-2002 downturn, would you be OK with the big losses that that turned in?

For an extreme example, an equity index fund like QQQQ in that 2000-2002 time frame had these annual returns: "-36.11% -33.35% -37.37%" using Morningstar's data. Somehow losses of that magnitude aren't "low risk" but hey that's me.

If so, any recommendations as to how I should pick a fund, or as to any known consistent performers?

My initial question would be what kind of asset allocation do you want this money to be in? Cash equivalents, bonds, stocks, real estate, or something else? That is the starting point, IMO, and then a few more questions will flow though an index fund in such a category may not be a bad selection.

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