Earlier in the year, I set the goal of opening a taxable investment account by my birthday. I was spending a lot of time researching Betterment and Wealthfront. It seemed like robo-investors were a pretty painless way to up my fairly pathetic investment game. Now that thirty has come and gone, here’s where things stand in my little part of the investment world:
Taxable Savings Account
I was going to take the plunge into Wealthfront because I wasn’t taking a very big plunge. My plan was to play with about $3,000 as a means of getting my feet wet. I cannot overemphasize how counterintuitive the risk of investing seems to me. But, alas, I know that squirreling away my dollars for cents isn’t keeping up with inflation or doing me any good. The peace of mind is nice, though. Regardless, Wealthfront hasn’t happened. At least not yet.
Then there was the Betterment option. Wealthfront made lots of promises about no/low fees for teeny accounts (read: mine), but I actually know–in the virtual sense–more Betterment users, and I’ve seen a few more blog posts favoring Betterment over Wealthfront. Still, I didn’t go that route either.
Instead, I went with option C. I opened up a Vanguard LifeStrategy Mutual Fund. While I think I might be able to find a lower-fee option through Vanguard, this LifeStrategy option ticked all the boxes for me. $3,000 got me in the game. There’s diversification, automatic rebalancing, low fund fees, and no account fees with online statements. Plus, I drank the Bogleheads Kool-Aid when I finished the book over the spring break. Setting up the account was a piece of cake. Vanguard continues to be ridiculously friendly and responsive to all of my inquiries, and the website is a font of information. I’d like to tell you that it’s been all sunshine and roses since I opened the account, but since the funds weren’t transferred until the end of the month, I’ve been stuck in the red. While that isn’t exactly the start I was hoping for, I am quite to have this goal crossed off my list.
Yes, I Have a Roth
We are still planning on maxing out our Roth IRAs for 2016. I do need to transfer money into that account soon. In the past, I’ve saved my money in regular savings and then transferred before the deadline. Because I’m still that nervous. And because a guaranteed 1% seems so exorbitant compared to a number with a negative in front of it. But truly, I know that this hesitation is only holding me back in the long run. So, for my next goal, I’ll deposit this money more consistently rather than one lump sum at the end of the year.
No, I Don’t Have a 403(b)…Yet
When I tweet about my investment follies and fears, I get a lot of advice about opening a regular IRA or a 403(b). I have a pension plan, so I’m not going to the IRA route. Currently, our district has aligned itself so closely with AXA–and special advisors who will literally make the two-click AXA transfer for you for additional fees–that I’m in no hurry to jump in the 403(b) pool. However, a rumor has been circulating that we might have investment options with Fidelity soon. Vanguard would be my preference–because, swoon…Vanguard–but anything is better than the ridiculously high fees of AXA. I have a call in to our business office to get more details on my options. I’m hoping to get the ball rolling on this come summer, but it will only come to fruition if our investment options improve. Otherwise, I’ll keep adding to our taxable savings account and pursuing alternate savings and investment options.
So Tell Me…What savings or investment goals are you working on?