Friday, July 25, 2008

Flushing Money Down the Toilet

Yesterday afternoon, I received my quarterly 401(k) statement. It said that I had contributed about $400 to it over the past three months and lost about $40 of that due to the market being what it is. I've had a 401 for about a year and a half. It feels good to finally be putting some money away for retirement. Course, who's to say that I'll still be here 30 years hence, but you gotta be prepared just in case. When I signed up for it, I was told I could invest my money in a number of different ways. I could go for a high-risk/high-return one, middle of the road, or super conservative. Guess which I chose?

I chose the ultra cautious (read: conservative) route. My returns wouldn't be as high as others, but neither would my losses. I've had to chuckle over the past year as others who took the more risky route are taking a bath. One can change their portfolio at any time, but most say they're just gonna ride out the market. Well, guess what, the economy is gonna be on the skids for quite some time and there's nothing that either Presidential candidate is gonna be able to do about it. Some are finally starting to think about adjusting their package (double ententre). They should. They'd be better off going to a casino or playing scratch games for the pitiful returns they're getting. This is one time in which it's really paying off for me to be conservative. :P


duchess said...

I have no idea how my retirement works, but I'm a public employee, so no 401K for me.

SARAH said...

laugh all you want thomas, but remember, retirement is a long, long time from now. this is the worst time for your co-workers to chicken out. be aggressive, stay aggressive [while young], no matter what the statements say. i don't even open mine anymore.

i've been playing the 401(k) game for a lotta years.

Thomas said...

Duchess, I'm sure being a government employee has its advantages.

Sarah, my retirement isn't quite as far off as yours (I'm 37 and a half). That probably plays a factor in my cautiousness.

Rocketstar said...

say rah is right hombre, and 37 is still not old enough to play your 401K conservative. That's almost 30 years of work left.

And now is actually the time to get more aggressive after thsi huge fall in the market.

Thomas said...

Perhaps you guys are right. I'll do some research on the subject on the Internets (as W once referred to them). Thanks for the heads-up!

Have a good weekend, all!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's really nice of you to laugh at other's financial misforture. The others here are right--you need to be much more aggressive at your age. In reading your posts, you really like to put others down to make yourself feel better, don't you?

Thomas said...

Anonymous, being aggressive just isn't my thing. My favorite Deepak Chopra spiritual law is the Law of Least Effort.

Don't take it personal that I chuckle a bit at others taking a bath. I chuckle at a LOT of things and if you're right, those people will end up with more moolah than me, anyway.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

It's a wise, smart investment you've made. My 401K has remained stagnant for a long time and has also taken a bit of a loss. The market has taken hits because of rising crude costs. So, we need to reestablish our relationships with our allies to help us use fair trade in an ever competing global economy. Right. It's not going to happen overnight and will take time. I'm optimistic that conditions will improve, but alternative energy sources will take years to begin mass producing. We also can't have oil companies controlling it. Exxon-Mobil far exceeded their costs for marketing than investing in alternative energy. Predictably, like Phillip Morris, they're now using environmental friendly commercials as a good P.R. ploy.

Good post. I'll have to see what my latest 401K statement says. I'm not holding my breath.

Thomas said...

Dis, I also believe that conditions will improve in time. I just don't see anything positive coming for at least another year, probably not until '10.

After doing about 4 minutes research on the internet, I've decided to keep my package as is for now. If I see signs that the market is coming back, I will happily switch to a more aggressive strategy.

Thanks for your opinions, all!