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.