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401k gobbldy-gook - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
401k gobbldy-gook
So I have this 401k, right? How the hell do I tell if the funds I've chosen specifically are doing well? I have monthly deductions from my paycheck going into it so I find it difficult to separate that "noise" from any earnings I might have made from market activity.

Side note - In an attempt to capitalize on the market drop yesterday and diversify my investments (my 401k, I realized, is mostly foreign) I'm trying to move money into an Index Fund. Fidelity.com is very busy. The site keeps timing out on me.
6 comments or Leave a comment
suburbaknght From: suburbaknght Date: February 28th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm assuming your using the Epic 401k program through Fidelity. If not and you're using a third party retirement plan then these instructions won't work and I'll actually need to beat you with a large, heavy fish for ignoring company match.

1) Go to www.401k.com This is Fidelity's site and should be where you set up your 401k, neh?

2) Log in. If you don't remember your ID or pin code then pray to God that Epic sent them your correct SSN or you're going to be on the phone for half an hour trying to figure out how to speak to a human being. Did I mention I hate their phone system that won't connect you to an operator without inputing numeric information?

3) You should now see each of your investment accounts and how much money is in each of them.

4) Want more specific information? Click on the Account holder name ("Epic System Corp.") to get to the account management screen.

5) That said, don't check on this information. At least not with any regularity, meaning more often than once every six months. When you see your money and investments you want to play around with it. That's the best way to lose it.

Next time we can talk IRAs.
abmann From: abmann Date: February 28th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, yeah I've done that. The changes in the stock price usually reflects price at previous day's closing which is useless for mutual funds. I want to see overall change, minus contributions, for the past X months.

The fund info itself has those silly graphs that don't really mean anything so I tend not to trust them.

I should be able to click and get just this info, or even overall change with my contributions. This seems basic for the average investor.

PS: Never look at you portfolio the day after a market drop. :)
suburbaknght From: suburbaknght Date: February 28th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wait, you're talking about the spillover fall from China? That doesn't mean you're losing money (you shouldn't even be thinking about touching your 401k for forty years. What does it matter to you if it took a 5% dip?). It means stocks are on sale. The best thing to do in this instance is A) increase your contribution this month or B) if you're feeling ballsy, start an account with ScottTrade or Etrade or some other discount online brokerage firm and by actual stocks.

Foreign stocks are on sale! Asian stocks especially. Nintendo stock is a predicted long term riser. Japanese car companies! Chinese oil! Small cap foreign stocks are always cheap to pick up (small cap is, by defnition always cheap) but now's a chance to score some of the big boys. Spend a few hours in research this weekend. It'll pay off.

For some reason I'm feeling especially jewish today.
abmann From: abmann Date: February 28th, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, the spillover. 3 of 5 funds I own are (were) foreign investments. I've been meaning to diversify for a while. I changed a foreign investment into an index fund. By doing this, I'm taking advantage of the overall dip in our market due to the fall in Shanghai because index funds reflect the overall curve in the market. Low market means low index which means lower cost. It was win-win for me to do it today.

I'm not about to buy more foreign stocks. I have enough that got pummeled yesterday. And no, I didn't actually take a huge loss by selling a fund. I actually sold on that was less affected by Shanghai than any other market... Canada.

I know what I'm doing as far as when and what to buy. I just acted on choices I made months ago, not out of fear for anything.
suburbaknght From: suburbaknght Date: February 28th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Makes sense.
suburbaknght From: suburbaknght Date: February 28th, 2007 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I realized I didn't answer your question about past performance.

Follow the above instructions through step 4 to get to the pie chart.

New 5) Click on the "Year to Date Change" tab.

6) At the bottom of the index card screen is a link that says, "View an Online Statement." Click it.

7) Choose monthly, quarterly, a specific statement, or input your own range.
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