1. Yayyyy!!!!! You took the plunge! I see the expense ratio is .16. That’s pretty low for this type of fund.

    Please tell me you put more than 50% in stocks?

  2. If it makes you feel any better, I went with Betterment because my non-retirement investments started with an initial deposit of $300. I have a $100/month auto-deposit set up.

    When I was just getting started out last year, Vanguard sounded like something the big scary professionals used, while Betterment seemed geared more towards total n00bs like me. Now that I know more about Vanguard, I’d like to roll over my workplace retirement plans to a Vanguard IRA when I leave, though!

    • I once spent almost an hour on the phone with Vanguard. I kept saying, “I’m not really paying you for your help, so I’ll hang up now.” They are just SO nice and helpful. I feel totally supported using them. I just need to get better at using them. I’d love to hear how the rollover goes!

  3. That’s too bad your district is aligned with high-fee options. At least you’re wise to it and exploring better options. We’ve got a Vanguard index fund and traditional IRAs. We’ll pay the taxes now on the pre-growth amount, since we never plan to withdraw a large income due to our relatively low expenses.

    Don’t stress too much about being in the red after a couple weeks–as you know, it’s a long-term game!

    • I’m not stressing. I was just hoping to have a snazzy graphic to add to this post. It was too depressing to post the red downward slope 😉 The high fees are one thing in my district. The fact that my district advocates the use of really expensive advisors to open high-fee accounts is mind blowing. I’m convinced that my coworkers have lost money these past few years and don’t even really understand enough to realize it. 🙁

  4. I’m very happy with Vanguard, and I think it will scale up with you better than Wealthfront or Betterment if you decide to get more diverse with your investments. I certainly like the low fees, but also the fact that I can buy and sell individual stocks in addition to the funds.

    I’m sorry your 403(b) options have been less then stellar. It’s nice to get that pre-tax money working (even if you have to pay taxes on it later).

    • Thanks, Emily! I think there are so many possibilities with Vanguard. That Bogleheads book really opened my eyes. I’m still trying to figure out what is right for us and learn more about my options, but I’m happy to have started. And I hope to get the 403(b) mess sorted soon!

  5. The robo-investors are intriguing – I’ve been spending some time researching as well, but still haven’t taken the leap. The appeal, as I see it, is the low cost, plus minimum investments are lower – one can invest a smaller amount of money at a time.

    We have the goal to max our IRAs (with Vanguard) each year. This year, we used our tax return and I add extra money when we can – only $1000 left to go for 2016!

  6. I’m hoping to open a SEP this year. I’m hoping to be able to fully fund it in 1-2 years. We were going to do that this year but now that we can’t touch Tim’s disability checks… Sigh.

    On the other hand, if we can get used to living without that amount, we can easily fund the SEP once the appeal is over. Of course, that could be a couple of years. Double sigh.

  7. I want to fully fund my IRA and also save at least half of a down payment this year. Next year, I want to do both and add at least another $5000 to my two S&P500 mutual funds. If I finish developing the skill to double my income, I’d like to do all this and more.

  8. TJ

    None of the above. I suspect the Robo-advisors get pushed on blogs because of affiliate fees.

    Your choice of the LifeStrategy fund is exactly what I would suggest for anyone who wanted to be hands off with investing and wanted to set it and forget it.

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