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I am 30 year old guy and I am interested in investing my money for retirement. Currently, I get 401K from my company. I am also putting $200 a month into Roth IRA account. I also have a savings account which pays a very very very low interest. Where can I invest my money where it is safer than stocks?

Thanks,

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    Understand that as a general rule safer investments tend to have smaller potential for returns. If you invest too "safely" you are going to have trouble offsetting inflation. – JohnFx Jul 21 '11 at 15:23
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Does your employer provide a matching contribution to your 401k? If so, contribute enough to the 401k that you can fully take advantage of the 401k match (e.g. if you employer matches 3% of your income, contribute 3% of your income). It's free money, take advantage of it.

Next up, max out your Roth IRA. The limit is $5000 currently a year.

After maxing your Roth, revisit your 401k. You can contribute up to 16,500 per year.

You savings account is a good place to keep a rainy day fund (do you have one?), but it lacks the tax advantages of a Roth IRA or 401k, so it is not really suitable for retirement savings (unless you have maxed out both your 401k and Roth IRA).

Once you have take care of getting money into your 401k and Roth IRA accounts, the next step is investing it. The specific investment options available to you will vary depending on who provides your retirement account(s), so these are general guidelines.

Generally, you want to invest in higher-risk, higher-return investments when you are young. This includes things like stocks and developing countries.

As you get older (>30), you should look at moving some of your investments into things that less volatile. Bond funds are the usual choice. They tend to be safer than stocks (assuming you don't invest in Junk bonds), but your investment grows at a slower rate.

Now this doesn't mean you immediately dump all of your stock and buy bonds. Rather, it is a gradual transition over time. As you get older and older, you gradually shift your investments to bond funds.

A general rule of thumb I have seen:

100 - (YOUR AGE) = Percentage of your portfolio that should be in stocks

Someone that is 30 would have 70% of their portfolio in stock, someone that is 40 would have 60% in stock, etc.

As you get closer to retirement (50s-60s), you will want to start looking at investments that are more conservatie than bonds. Start to look at fixed-income and money market funds.

  • Wow! what a great advice! I specially like the 100 - age formula. Currently, I am matching the 401K contributions. I also have Roth IRA account for Spectrum Growth with T-Rowe Price. Currently I only contribute $200 a month. I guess I can increase that limit 400 per month. – johndoe Jul 20 '11 at 19:22
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This is a very open ended question with no concrete answer as it depends on your personal situation.

However, for starters I would suggest picking up a copy of The Investment Answer. It's a very light read, less than 100 pages, but it has some amazingly simple yet very concrete advice on investing and answers a lot of common questions (like yours).

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There are many questions and good answers here regarding investment choices.

The first decision you need to make is how involved do you intend to be in investment activity. If you plan to be actively investing by yourself, you should look for questions here about making investment choices.

If you intend to be a more passive investor, look for posts by "Bogleheads", who focus on broad-focused, low cost investments. This is the optimal choice for many people.

If you are not comfortable managing investments at all, you need to figure out how to find a competent and reasonably priced financial advisor to meet with and guide your investment strategy. This advice generally costs about 1-2% of your total managed assets annually.

protected by Dheer Feb 20 '14 at 10:27

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