In the interest of full disclosure, I might as well give you a a peek into the investing side of my net worth.
Invested in the TIAA-Cref Equity Index [TCEIX], directly with TIAA-Cref. The fund invests in the stocks listed in the Russell 3000 Index. It has a low expense ratio of 0.26%, which is not as low as Vanguard’s funds. I chose TIAA-Cref to start my Roth IRA since there were no minimum balance requirements and no fees.
I have a discount brokerage account with Wachovia [WB]. It was originally a UGMA account. After college, I withdraw a substantial portion to help pay down my student loan, but I don’t know if that was a good idea. Also, for about six months I was investing $100 into the fund at the beginning of each month. That was a big mistake because of the 5.75% load fee, 0.25% max 12b1 fee, and 0.59% expense ratio which all contribute to making American Funds‘ Investment Company of America [AIVSX] an expensive mutual fund to own and invest. On top of that, there is a $50 inactivity fee which I found out about last year. If I wanted to move the account to another brokerage, I’d have to pay Wachovia a $75 termination fee.
Knowing what I know now, I would have had this money somewhere else and in some other fund.
My 401(k) retirement fund is held with the company I work for and has what I believe to be a decent mix of funds. It has consistently performed well (knock on wood). It includes a company match, half of which is invested in my company’s common stock fund. I don’t have a choice in that. The other half of the employer contribution matches the pre-tax contribution.
The funds included are small and mid cap funds (PEGZX and PJGZX), large cap funds (PJFZX and BIGRX), and international equity (PISZX). I have chosen no bond funds for now, since I’m willing to take a little more risk as I have a long time before retirement. A little more than $10,000 of my 401(k) has come from my contributions while the rest comes from the employer.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published March 17, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.