Saturday, June 27, 2009

Investment Review

Through my work I have a SIMPLE IRA that I have been contributing 3% of my paycheck, in the hopes that my employer at the end of the year will match the money. So far, it's looking like my co-workers will be lucky to keep their jobs, so we're probably not going to have the 3% match. The IRA is managed by Edward Jones and I decided to have them purchase C shares of funds. The fees I don't feel are worth the advice that I receive. Every month he calls me with what he recommends and so far I have gone along for the ride.This past week I met with my account manager and here's what we discussed:

- When we started, I told him I am aggressive on my investing due to not needing the money for 30+ years.

- He has me on his idea of aggressive, which basically is a balanced portfolio of 26% income, 29% growth & income, 18% of growth, and 27% of aggressive. The title of the report he gave me says "Growth Focus"

- The report does not have a year % increase, it only displays the percent change from amount invested, which is 5.22% when they started investing for me on 2/18. Since Tuesday, the portfolio has gone up even more and the % is now 7.45%.

Items I learned:

1. I am going to ask him to e-mail me his recommendations instead of calling me at work. The past few months when he has called and made his recommendation, I have been too busy to just stop what I was doing, research his recommendations and make a decision. Because of that, I got a balanced portfolio that I do not want.

2. I am going to ask him to not recommend income options. This account will not be my only investment vehicle. For example, we plan on building an emergency fund of $6K and the income options are basically bonds earning the rate of inflation. If you count the fees as well, I'll probably be losing money on them. Their recommendations for the "Growth Focus" is 10-20% in income and I'm currently at 26%.

3. I'm glad to be learning these items with "small" potatoes of under $700 instead of a $100K portfolio.

My daughter's college account has been growing steadily due to my father adding $50/month to it and presents received for her birthday. For the next 18 months, we have shorter-term goals to work on instead of her college fund, so we won't be putting much into it ourselves.

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