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Old 04-03-2007, 08:23 PM   #1
Ol' Grog
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Default 401(k) market

Been trying to "beat" the system lately. I work for the federal government, so some of ya'll probably are in the same boat in the TSP system. I got out of the C and I fund two weeks ago and then BLAM-O!!!! it takes right off. Man, I can't win even if I cheated. Is there any trick to figuring these things out? Or stick it in something and fuggetaboutit.


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Old 04-03-2007, 08:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ol' Grog
Or stick it in something and fuggetaboutit.
Yup.

Trying to time the broad market is, more often than not, a fool's game. Even the best managers don't get the big market movement calls right much more than half the time. It's just so damn close to impossible to know what the market's going to react to at any given moment; whodathunk the housing numbers would come in strong this morning?


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Old 04-04-2007, 02:46 AM   #3
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Figure out how aggressive you want to be, stick it there and fuggetaboutit. Every year or two reevaluate how aggressive you want to be depending on how close you are getting to retirement and reallocate your funds accordingly.
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:58 AM   #4
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I agree with the fire and forget mentality, especially for 401(k)'s and other retirement vehicles. Unless you're within a few years of retiring you're clearly looking for long-term returns which favors not moving stuff around. My plan has been to invest in more risky but higher return funds in my salad days and as I've gotten older that's shifted to more consevative investments like index funds and some bonds. As I approach retirement age I'll lean more heavily towards bonds and secure investments than stocks. But these are like 5 year decisions, not frequently.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:06 AM   #5
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That's why index funds are so popular. Because they are cheap and still return as much as actively managed ones, on average. TSP doesn't have any redemption fees or fees for reallocating, so there's really nothing stopping investors from tryng to time the market like that. But, don't let that tempt you. Just think, the experts are analyzing companies' financial statements, ratios, price history, economics, everything, and they still can't beat it, (like the Bird said). So, if an average Joe like us were to somehow win, it would be complete luck. Just expect around a 10 or 11% stock market return (C fund in TSP) over long term.

I'm in the military and there is no matching for the TSP. I stopped contributing because of that. Just no incentive, as I can get into a cheaper traditional IRA from, say, Vanguard. Plus, I can't check my TSP prices from WSJ online, so it's a bit more work to go to their website. I'm getting out soon, and will transfer it over to Vanguard for easier recordkeeping and saving on expenses.

If you get an employer match, then TSP would be worth it, IMO.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:15 AM   #6
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I don't know. I just checked TSP and I still have less in it than I did 3 weeks ago. I lost over $4K last month. It's going back up, but it's still down under a $1000 from what it was. I keep all my TSP in the C fund...that's my risk fund.

I'm under CSRS so I don't get a matching contribution, but I'll retire at 55 instead of 65.

Only 2 years/3 to 6 months to retirement....


Yo, Baron! I was in your neighborhood a couple of weeks ago on I40 leaving Bragg. It was too early in the AM to give you a shout out. I had to pick up my wife. I took her to visit her friend in Fayetteville while I went TDY to Goose Creek, SC.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:27 AM   #7
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Yo, Baron! I was in your neighborhood a couple of weeks ago on I40 leaving Bragg. It was too early in the AM to give you a shout out. I had to pick up my wife. I took her to visit her friend in Fayetteville while I went TDY to Goose Creek, SC.
Shoulda hollered anyways! My spawn is sleeping pretty well now, but on any given night we might be up. I'm actually on 401 ~45-60 minutes from Fayetteville and 15 minutes from Raleigh.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:13 PM   #8
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Shoulda hollered anyways! My spawn is sleeping pretty well now, but on any given night we might be up. I'm actually on 401 ~45-60 minutes from Fayetteville and 15 minutes from Raleigh.
Maybe next time.

Our friend lives like 4 miles from the Fayetteville bypass that links to 95 so we went that way instead of through Sanford.

I saw the F-V signs on 40 and thought about you.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:31 PM   #9
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Fayetteville? Born there and lived there for a while off Raeford Road, right across from the Tallywood shopping center, if that's even there anymore. Now that area is a church. Lot's of fun memories watching the trains go by at Grandma's back yard. Many o' penny were squashed.
May be lucky enough, if Bush doesn't decide to cut training money, to get to go TDY at Hilton Head SC this year, but I ain't holding my breath.
I got in too late for CSRS, so now with FERS. Believe me, I'd rather be in CSRS a lot more sweeter. Employer does match up to 5%, so I'm milking as much as I can, but still a LONG way to go. Seems like my daughters 529 plan managed by TIAA/CREF if doing SO MUCH BETTER.


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