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Day off, goal progress, clueless about investing

November 22nd, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Today I'm taking a makeup day off for an earlier day that I had to work, which the rest of my office got to take off. I kept AA with me; I actually did ponder taking her to daycare because she loves it so much, but with the cold weather, any excuse to stay indoors! Anyway, she finally figured out how to crawl(!!) last Friday, so I think she's having plenty of fun just working on that by herself, as long as I talk to her and make her laugh occasionally. I like having my sunny little girl around and hearing her cooing and muttering to herself as she busies herself with her many projects.

I did my fifth weekly workout last night and weighed in. I only lost 0.2 lbs., but considering that I felt I had bigger meals on several nights than necessary, I'm not upset by that result at all. I'm trying to get in shape and get used to a healthy lifestyle overall, so it's not about losing a bunch of weight all at once. The weigh-ins are mainly to keep me mindful of what I'm trying to do.

I've caught up on a lot of financial stuff; the problem with getting so involved in my finances and making all these spreadsheets is that when I get really busy, everything falls behind and is a pain to sort out. But I'm nearly current on everything now. Soon I have to get some housework done; there's a big pile of pots and pans with my name on it!

One thing I've been wondering about is the best way to start Roth IRAs for all of us. I want to start with $100 per month per person, and some places with good reputations (like Vanguard) seem to have minimums (theirs is $3000), while others (Fidelity) seem to refer vaguely to transaction fees. E*trade, where AS has her traditional IRA, looks like it has no minimum balance and no fees on many of their accounts, so I'm thinking about going with them. Does anyone have an opinion? Should I just save up money and go with Vanguard once I have enough for the minimum? That means I'd only be able to open a Roth for one of us in 2011, since I'm only planning to set aside about $3600 next year.

I feel so confident about knowing how to budget and pay down debt. This next step, learning how to invest for the future, is really scary and a huge leap in financial knowledge. Frankly I'm not enthusiastic about it because it just feels like gambling, and I've never been very lucky in games of chance. But I realize that the only hope anyone has for a comfy retirement is to try and get their savings to compound.

5 Responses to “Day off, goal progress, clueless about investing”

  1. MonkeyMama Says:

    I'd recommend T Rowe Price.

    They have a really good retirement fund (I am invested in Retirement 2045? Something like that?). You only need to commit to $50/ month I believe, to open an account. You can start with $0.

    Once you build up enough, you can always transfer to another company like Vanguard. They do have some fees on low balance. Something like $10 per year. The fund has performed so well that I have come out far ahead of any fees.

    On the flip side, you can just open a regular savings account (ROTH), and transfer the funds when you get $3k. That may be even easier. Most banks/CUs will let you open a savings ROTH. Then you can start contributing, before you have enough to invest where you want to. The minimums on these can be pretty low.

  2. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    First of all - congrats to AA on crawling !! :-)

    Investing IS scary. I'm in kinda the same predicament now. At the moment I'm shying away from mutual funds as I don't like paying fees of 1.5 to 2% in Ireland. That means the fund has to grow by 2 % just to break even. I might as well leave it in an ordinary savings account.

    Which is where most of my savings will go. I'm also intending to buy shares tho. Very risky I know. I bought Benjamin Grahanm's The Intelligent Investor which I have yet to study. Basically the plan is to buy shares in large companies with strong brands/competitive advantage and not to sell them. Basic I know. I'm still not sure if I'm prepared to put all the effort into studying the stocks of the companies which will be required.

    I guess I'm not really any use to you - just rambling !! haha.

  3. Looking Forward Says:

    Aww, baby on the move! Smile
    I second Monkey Mama. T. Rowe Price. I set up a ROTH for myself and DH a little over a year ago because you can set it up for $50/month minimum. I would have liked to go with Vanguard, but it would have been a LONG time before I had $6000 to plunk down. Plus I like the dollar cost averaging idea. And last year the market was super low and I though I've got to get in and just get things started. I have Growth and DH is set up with one that follows the DOW. Their website is easy to negotiate and they have many funds with very good ratings from MorningStar.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Thanks you guys! I've had a look at T Rowe's website and it looks easy to get started, so I think I'll go with them come January. Smile

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I know I'm late to the game, but I heartily also endorse T Rowe for a starter ROTH. They have excellent customer service!

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