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Talullah asks:

Pixy, just to make sure I understand: My husband and I each have 401Ks through same payroll plan, same % allocations, same funds, purchased same time. For example, on 8/28 Benham Short Term Govt lost $15.20 on my 401K and gained $21.79 on my husband's 401K. Same day Fidelity Advisor High Yield Fund T lost $1.03 for me and gained $1.78 for my husband. Same day Fidelity Puritan Fund lost $1.13 for me and gained $3.36 for my husband. I don't understand how the same fund can lose money and gain money the same day. Can you help me?

Because you both have the same percentage allocations and participate in the same plan offered by the same employer, then in a relative sense if one account shows a gain the other should, too, despite the absolute dollar changes involved. Certainly the same holding shouldn't gain in one account and lose in the other.

Document these differences and then complain long and loudly -- preferably in writing -- to both your human resources folks and your plan administrator. Demand an explanation and be persistent. Based on the circumstances you have outlined, I for one don't believe there is any explanation save an error in how the account has been administered.


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