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I am just getting into investing, and am looking for some initial input:

Lets say I have $100,000 to invest... and I'd like to keep my finances as simple as possible. What investment options are typical for basic investing of large sums of money (and not having to constantly monitor it)? I know there are sites like Etrade, there's penny stocks, regular stocks, portfolios, government plans... but I really have no clue where to start...

I have a 401k plan with T. Rowe Price, should I use them for other investments too?

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    There are going to be a lot of opinion-based answers for this. Could you rephrase into something more specific so that you get a definitive answer that can be marked as "THE answer"? – BobbyScon Jun 17 '16 at 20:30
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    Welcome to Money.SE. This question is pretty broad, and likely to be closed as such. You offer no other details. How can anyone possibly offer an intelligent answer? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jun 17 '16 at 20:31
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    What are you intending to use the money for, what's you time horizon, how liquid do you need it to be, what's your risk tolerance, what do you expect the economy to do, what are your beliefs about what the market will do in response.... .. there are meant correct answers depending on your specific needs and assumptions. – keshlam Jun 17 '16 at 21:42
  • 'No clue where to start' - I'd bet OP can't answer 'what is your risk tolerance?' – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jun 17 '16 at 22:57
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    No offense but if you have that kind of cash and asking strangers to how to invest it then.. You're better off not investing at all until you do your own research. – NuWin Jun 19 '16 at 3:45
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Your question is very widely scoped, making it difficult to reply to, but I can provide my thoughts on at least the following part of the question:

I have a 401k plan with T. Rowe Price, should I use them for other investments too?

Using your employer's decision, on which 401k provider they've chosen, as a basis for making your own decision on a broker for investing $100k when you don't even know what kind of investments you want seems relatively unwise to me, even if one of your focuses is simplicity.

That is, unless your $100k is tax-advantaged (e.g. an IRA or other 401k) and your drive for simplicity means you'd be happy to add $100k to any of your existing 401k investments. In which case you should look into whether you can roll the $100k over into your employer's 401k program.

For the rest of my answer, I'll assume the $100k is NOT tax-advantaged.

I assume you're suggesting this idea because of some perceived bundling of the relationship and ease of dealing with one company & website? Yes, they may be able to combine both accounts into a single login, and you may be able to interact with both accounts with the same basic interface, but that's about where the sharing will end. And even those benefits aren't guaranteed. For example, I still have a separate site to manage my money in my employer's 401k @ Fidelity than I do for my brokerage/banking accounts @ Fidelity. The investment options aren't the same for the two types of accounts, so the interface for making and monitoring investments isn't either.

And you won't be able to co-mingle funds between the 401k and non-tax-advantaged money anyway, so you'll have two different accounts to deal with even if you have a single provider. Given that you'll have two different accounts, you might as well pick a broker/provider for the $100k that gives you the best investment options, lowest fees, and best UI experience for your chosen type/goal of investments.

I would strongly recommend figuring out how you want to invest the $100k before trying to figure out which provider to use as a broker for doing the investment.

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It sounds like you are soliciting opinions a little here, so I'll go ahead and give you mine, recognizing that there's a degree of arbitrariness here. A basic portfolio consists of a few mutual funds that try to span the space of investments. My choices given your pot:

  • 60% in VTSAX
  • 20% in VLTCX
  • 20% in VTIAX

I like VLTCX because regular bond index funds have way too much weight in government securities. Government bonds earn way too little. The CAPM would suggest a lot more weight in bonds and international equity. I won't put too much in bonds because...I just don't feel like it. My international allocation is artificially low because it's always a little more costly and I'm not sure how good the diversification gains are.

If you are relatively risk averse, you can hold some of your money in a high-interest online bank and only put a portion in these investments.

$100K isn't all that much money but the above portfolio is, I think, sufficient for most people. If I had a lot more I'd buy some REIT exposure, developing market equity, and maybe small cap. If I had a ton more (several million) I'd switch to holding individual equities instead of funds and maybe start looking at alternative investments, real estate, startups, etc.

  • This would be a better answer if it referenced the kinds of funds rather than specific find. – keshlam Jun 18 '16 at 5:57
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    "$100K isn't all that much money" - 50% of retired seniors have less than $61,000 in savings. OP sounds young, 35 years at a real 7% (i.e. 10% CAGR less 3% inflation) and his $100K becomes a real $1,067,000, and puts him in top 10% of retirees. $100K is big. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jun 18 '16 at 10:43
  • @JoeTaxpayer Haha, true enough. I wouldn't ignore a briefcase with $100 grand in it or anything. I just meant it's not enough money that diversifying into small asset classes makes much difference or that buying individual stocks makes sense. keshlam, this question has been modified from the original and now my answer is less appropriate than it was. – farnsy Jun 19 '16 at 6:52

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