Here is a case study in why you shouldn’t fret over the details in an account that’s designed to keep funds invested for the long term. I would probably stay saner if I wait three decades before looking at my 401(k) account again.
I received my retirement account statement in the mail today. This is one of the last of my accounts for which there’s no electronic-only option for statement delivery.
Despite investing about $3,500 throughout the first quarter, the account’s balance is down almost $1,000 since December 31. That’s a loss of $4,400 if realized.
All in all, my performance for the first quarter was a sad -9.2%. That reflects my allocation of 33% large cap stock, 17% mid cap stock, 2% small cap stock (likely the most expensive of the fund offerings), 26% international stock, 10% commercial real estate (REIT fund), and 12% company stock. Company stock performed the worst over the quarter, with a drop of 15.5% (annualized).
I divested significantly out of company stock when it was very close to its high last year, so the decline didn’t hurt me as much as it would have otherwise. I still have probably too much invested in the company, since I also have stock purchase plan from the last two quarters. Of course, my income relies on my company as well.
How was your first quarter performance? Better than mine, I hope. I’d be better off if I file or even shred these statements, never to be seen again.