The Road to Investing: Hey Old Boss, I Want My Money Back!!!
A few blog posts back I asked for your opinion as to whether a parent saving for retirement and college could be serious about becoming an investor. (Mother: May I Invest Now?) This Community of Fools has taken time to help me navigate through various sites at the Fool and beyond, and I've learned about some great resources for the novice investor. At the risk of appearing stuck, however, I plan to spend time getting my personal finances in order before choosing that first stock. Besides, my CAPS picks are kind of pathetic except for some lucky hits, like Amazon and Netflix.
Packing the proverbial cardboard box at my last company, I took down the photos of the kids, popped the batteries out of the motion-sensitive singing hamster, wrapped up my Abby Normal soap-in-a-jar, and tossed out some of the more well-chewed pens. Careful not to take anything that was company property, I left behind the stapler, the 3-hole-punch, the pager, my 401k, some outdated tech manuals … my 401k???
When I chose my target date fund I intended to set-it-and-forget it, but not abandon it. My Netflix queue gets more respect. In fact I have two such accounts which have remained with previous employers over the course of fifteen years as I have never seen the point of moving them. I can still log into my accounts, and all the old money seems to be there … just not much new money.
Some years ago my oldest employer sent me a package after my departure, suggesting I take action on my 401k and even offering to provide some free advice. That made its way to the recycle bin about as fast as all of the other 'investor action' memos I received from them. But last week here at the Fool I approached a wise investor-type person who shared her opinion of this situation with me (as well as giving me a great new easy-to-follow title for my blog) and said that it's time for me to get some advice about an IRA rollover, especially since I'm probably paying fees on those 401k accounts. It’s possible that my old employers might even be making some money off of them, in which case it’s probably okay that I walked off with the electric pencil sharpener.
I'm going to try to check out some personal finance web sites, locate a good financial advisor fool, and keep you posted on my progress. Your comments are most welcome, and needed!