Fuuuck. So I got a Vanguard Roth IRA last month like everyone told me to. I put $5500 into the target 2045. Just checked, it's at fucking $5130. I thought mutual funds were supposed to grow. What am I doing wrong? I know I took the lazy route in getting a target fund, but I don't want to manage my stocks. Is this just a trend? Surely it'll rise any day now...right..guys?
From what I understand the index-esque funds always go up, the Van2045 included. I just put 10k into the Van Consumer Discretionary (VCR) and it's sitting at 9.3k right now. You gotta play the long game especially with stocks.
The only thing that can totally cause your money to disappear or lose a shit ton is if the economy as a whole collapses, which if it does you'll have much bigger problems to deal with.
That isn't how this works. I hope you have a big risk tolerance though. You seem to have bought in right as shit is about to fall apart. China's housing bubble is popping, and its taking the world markets with it. It would not be unrealistic for you to not break even for a few years.
>tfw just put $1000 in etfs in december thinking I was finally clear of any possible big crashes
Well god fucking damnit.
Oh well, at least I didn't put too much in.
In a bear market you play defense. When there are extremely volatile markets with potential huge downswings (like China dropping 7% in 15 minutes yesterday) you might want to sell shares of equity indexes and place things in safe investments until things chill out a bit.
The best option is to look at short-term investments like government bonds or even CDs and just have a wait it out approach.
This information is ubiquitous and trivial to find. There are numerous investing sites and most major news sources will have coverage.
Considering you are a brand new investor:
Do you have any debt?
Do you have an emergency fund covering at least 3 months of living expenses?
You're going to hate me for this, but I just bought a condo and put a huge chunk of my savings down. I have maybe 1 month worth of living expenses.
I have a lot of debt. I put 25% down on my $ 95k condo. I owe roughly 68k on that and another 20k on my car.
My total debt is around $90k. I have about $3k in savings. $5300 in my Roth Ira.
those far away target dates usually mean they're putting your money in risky ass investments since they have lots of time to correct
don't expect it to be linear; it will be a bumpy ride. but the point is getting your puny investment into something significant, so as you approach retirement they can be really conservative with it.
Even though you won't, you are better off pulling the money out of your Roth and paying down your highest interest debt. With the market being what it is, debt compounding is a definite loss, while anything in a Roth right now might not even be good money.
Our incomes are not off by much, but after I went to college and paid off student loans, I decided never get in the credit trap again. I rent, and I didn't start my own Roth until I had a 12 month nest egg, $30k in an emergency fund, and paid off all debts.
These are the areas that you need to focus on before worrying about growing your money. Even from a psychological standpoint, it feels good to have zero debt to anybody, and enough money on reserve to cover nearly any conceivable problem for an extended period.
>cashed out 401k back in august
>even with the penalties and taxes i still came out ahead based on today's prices.
im thinking 12 months before restarting it. should be enough time to allow the markets to finish doing what they do.
I'm really hesitant in pulling out the money, especially after being down $400. I'll pay my monthly debts and save a little every month. I don't think I'll make any contributions for a while though. I appreciate the advise, I just don't see myself pulling the money out unless I lose my job
You need to honestly appraise your risk tolerance.
Also, considering your comments you need to be extra wary of "sunk cost." That mental trap will rake you over the coals sooner or later.
A note on Roth IRAs: You can pull out your contributions without penalty (but not capital gains). You might want to take a more defensive position than 2045 though in case the bear market hits in a big way. 2045 is 90% stock/equity so if the downswing continues, you could drop 20% fairly easily.
You're right. Should I pull the money out right away or wait a week or so to see if it bounces back?
> You might want to take a more defensive position than 2045
Meaning I should choose something closer to, say 2030?
>playing defensive during a bear market
>selling during a bear market
sell low buy high guys
fuck this gay board
>invest in volatile stuff
>cant deal with volatility
Of course you are going to play defensive during crash situations. You can lose vast sums in equities when there is little point for holding based on speculation. This is simple cost benefit.
If you would have read what I said, the defensive position is hedging against the bear market hitting. Once it is in effect, then you will obviously buy-in during opportune conditions.
2030 is a fairly aggressive fund as it is 75% stock/equity. I can't decide for you whether or not you should stay, run, or exchange. Even though things appear bad right now, no one is omniscient, so the outcome right now can't be determined. This goes back to you assessing your risk tolerance.
You seem confused, OP. IRAs are just that-- retirement accounts. That means you don't put money in that you need today, tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now. First you pay down dept and build a comfortable cash cushion. Then, only then, you invest.
That's good advise, thanks guys. I won't put anything else in until I have my emergency fund. I won't say I won't contribute until my debt is paid off because that will be 10+ years. But once I have my emergency fund, I will budget a small amount into the IRA monthly. Maybe $100.
Or should I not contribute until my mortgage and car debts are gone?
Compare the rates on your earnings vs. the rates of interest on your loans. It doesn't help you to make 3% on an investment if you have debts taking 4%.
Generally you should get higher returns on investments than losses due to debts, but you have to consider your mental state as well. Contributing to an IRA is nice, but so is owning your vehicle or owning your home. There is a lot of worth to paying off tangible assets, even if it isn't a mathematical optimum in all cases.
You can put $5,500 into it each year. You should be easily be able to put another $5,500 into it before the end of the year. It's a retirement vehicle, not a current income vehicle.