T Nation

IRAs: How to Make Them Grow?


#1

Okay, here's the story: I started an IRA in 1998 with $2000. It is now $1993.88. It never got over $3000. I have not added anything to it over the years because I haven't had any extra money to add. I also haven't paid attention to it because that's the way I set it up. I didn't want to pay attention to it, I just wanted it to grow. Now that I'm older and smarter and want to pay attention, how do I make it grow?


#2

Add more money every year. Don’t count on the stocks themselves providing a great return.


#3

That is obvious. What I want to know is the best way to invest my money in my IRA to get the most growth.


#4

yeah to get some decent profit, you should add some money. I have $7000 right now in a mutual fund (for retirement purposes) and am going to add more when I can every so often. I know it’s different from an IRA, but still… admittedly I’m not the very knowledgeable on all this, so I’m interested in some tips as well.


#5

i clicked this thread thinking it was a recruitment drive for the Irish Terrorist group…


#6

[quote]PB Andy wrote:
yeah to get some decent profit, you should add some money. I have $7000 right now in a mutual fund (for retirement purposes) and am going to add more when I can every so often. I know it’s different from an IRA, but still… admittedly I’m not the very knowledgeable on all this, so I’m interested in some tips as well.[/quote]

And it looks like I can’t change anything online since this isn’t an “employer sponsored” account. Anything I do I have to do in writing or phone. Screw that. Might as well pull it and move it to e*trade or somewhere I can do stuff online.


#7

[quote]Grneyes wrote:
That is obvious. What I want to know is the best way to invest my money in my IRA to get the most growth.[/quote]

Higher quality funds generally yield better returns, but they also require a larger investment. My IRA was about 14K in Vanguard’s Super executive deluxe package or whatever it was called.

Otherwise, I think the key for most IRA’s is patience, sad to say.


#8

[quote]Grneyes wrote:
Okay, here’s the story: I started an IRA in 1998 with $2000. It is now $1993.88. It never got over $3000. I have not added anything to it over the years because I haven’t had any extra money to add. I also haven’t paid attention to it because that’s the way I set it up. I didn’t want to pay attention to it, I just wanted it to grow. Now that I’m older and smarter and want to pay attention, how do I make it grow? [/quote]

IRA’s in U.S. assets are bad investments for retirement. By the time you retire your IRA will have lost most of it’s purchasing power. Precious metals, Swiss Frank, Australian/Canadian Dollar, Yen, other Asian currencies, Energy, Miners, Agriculture, are all better investments for retirement security.


#9

[quote]Grneyes wrote:
That is obvious. What I want to know is the best way to invest my money in my IRA to get the most growth.[/quote]

LOL, if I could answer that question with any degree of certainty, I would never have to work a day in my life again.

And 10 years ago the answer would be completely different than today.

[quote]Grneyes wrote:
Might as well pull it and move it to e*trade or somewhere I can do stuff online. [/quote]

You will lose anywhere from 10-40% if you withdraw this money now just in taxes.

If you are going to roll it over, look into, and roll it into a ROTH. Otherwise, just leave the 2k where it is, and forget about it for the next 30 years. Don’t continue to contribute to it. Start a different savings plan.


#10

[quote]TooHuman wrote:
IRA’s in U.S. assets are bad investments for retirement. By the time you retire your IRA will have lost most of it’s purchasing power. Precious metals, Swiss Frank, Australian/Canadian Dollar, Yen, other Asian currencies, Energy, Miners, Agriculture, are all better investments for retirement security.
[/quote]

Do you work in the real world yet, or are you still in college?

Because your perspective screams “limited exposure” to what you are speaking on.

Also LOL that some rando internet poster can predict what the markets are going to do over the next 30 years. Who are you? Brother Chris?


#11

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Grneyes wrote:
That is obvious. What I want to know is the best way to invest my money in my IRA to get the most growth.[/quote]

LOL, if I could answer that question with any degree of certainty, I would never have to work a day in my life again.

And 10 years ago the answer would be completely different than today.

[quote]Grneyes wrote:
Might as well pull it and move it to e*trade or somewhere I can do stuff online. [/quote]

You will lose anywhere from 10-40% if you withdraw this money now just in taxes.

If you are going to roll it over, look into, and roll it into a ROTH. Otherwise, just leave the 2k where it is, and forget about it for the next 30 years. Don’t continue to contribute to it. Start a different savings plan.

[/quote]

This is Grneyes. I meant roll it over. Move it to a different investment company so I could do stuff with it online instead of by snail mail and by phone. Isn’t there a penalty when you change over to a ROTH from a mutual fund?

IH and I are going to see X-Men now. Will be back later.


#12

This IRA only has one option? If so it must be set up with a mutual fund, not a broker. I say dump whoever it is, roll it over to Schwab or Etrade where you have tons of options.

I think, long term, energy is a good bet. How about a Vangard or Fidelity energy fund? We have an aging US demographic, how about a good Healthcare mutual fund?


#13

[quote]PB Andy wrote:
I have $7000 right now in a mutual fund [/quote]

I’ve got like 500 grand! YOU LOOOOOOOSE! HAHAHAHAHA

Now I’m just going to sit back and hope Jewbacca doesn’t post.


#14

[quote]Grneyes wrote:

[quote]PB Andy wrote:
yeah to get some decent profit, you should add some money. I have $7000 right now in a mutual fund (for retirement purposes) and am going to add more when I can every so often. I know it’s different from an IRA, but still… admittedly I’m not the very knowledgeable on all this, so I’m interested in some tips as well.[/quote]

And it looks like I can’t change anything online since this isn’t an “employer sponsored” account. Anything I do I have to do in writing or phone. Screw that. Might as well pull it and move it to e*trade or somewhere I can do stuff online. [/quote]
I just use Vanguard.


#15

Yaaay Beans is here. OK CB, what is a good start for a 22 year-old with all this shit?

I just looked at my Vanguard… I actually have $2,900 just sitting there in a Prime Money Market Fund (which isn’t going to grow), and then $5000 in a growth mutual fund.


#16

[quote]PB Andy wrote:
OK CB, what is a good start for a 22 year-old with all this shit?

[/quote]

You’re ahead of the curve.

A good start involves:

  1. Thinking in terms of “my career” and not “my job”
  2. Learning how to save 10% or more of your income
  3. Living within your means (yes this means NOT buying the fucking infinity while living with mom and dad, but getting a shit apartment, a civic and saving for a HOME.)
  4. Understanding that your 401k & IRA are long term, and not chasing the market. If you are young, and can handle risk, go aggressive, once you hit 40, start pulling back to more moderate approaches. And once your an old man, just look to hedge inflation.

But that 7k you have is a good start. Very good. Don’t fuck it up by taking from it for stupid shit.


#17

[quote]imhungry wrote:
Isn’t there a penalty when you change over to a ROTH from a mutual fund?

[/quote]

I believe you just pay the tax on the income either now or spread over 3 years, but don’t quote me on that. I’m not 100% about it.


#18

[quote]on edge wrote:
This IRA only has one option? If so it must be set up with a mutual fund, not a broker. I say dump whoever it is, roll it over to Schwab or Etrade where you have tons of options.

I think, long term, energy is a good bet. How about a Vangard or Fidelity energy fund? We have an aging US demographic, how about a good Healthcare mutual fund? [/quote]

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. I already have a savings account and stocks through e*trade so I figured I would stay with them.