Browsing: investing

The value of patience


Investors, as a group, make plenty of mistakes. When it comes to investing, bad decisions are not the exception, but the rule. Investing mistakes stem from a variety of influences: ignorance, gullibility, fear and greed, to name a few. But I find impatience to be one of the most pervasive, and underappreciated, drivers of bad investment moves. The burning desire to act immediately, to do something, anything, right now, underlies many of the bad decisions investors make. The desire to act is part of the American way. We’re all responsible for our own fates, goes the thinking. Life is full…



Q. I am looking for some feedback on information received from a financial adviser. I have been in the L2020 fund. The financial adviser is primarily for military and federal employees. He indicated that the L2020 fund currently has 60 percent in stocks (C, S and I funds) and 40 percent in fixed income (G and F funds).  He had suggested conducting an interfund transfer to allocate 65 percent to stocks and 35 percent to fixed income.  The formula would be 25 percent C, 20 percent S and 20 percent I funds, equaling 65 percent.  The second equation would be to put…

Penalty for transferring back into TSP


Q. Three years ago, I let myself be persuaded to withdraw 50 percent of my Thrift Savings Plan and place it in a private qualified retirement account. I did this at age 61, and this was my one-time withdrawal, so there were no penalties. I regret doing this. Before I retire, can I transfer this money back into my TSP without any issues? The other option is to use this private account to purchase a fixed annuity and draw off of it during the first years of my retirement thus leaving the other half of my savings (in Thrift) alone…

Timing the market: Worth the risk?


Q: I have all of my money in stocks and I have never tried moving it into anything else. What if I was pretty certain that the stock market was going to have a negative adjustment? Should I move my money into something else temporarily until it starts to rebound? A: You’re talking about market timing; the answer depends upon the probability of being right in your prediction, the benefit to you of being right and cost of being wrong. For most investors, particularly those relying on their investments to fund retirement income someday, market timing is a poor bet.

L funds and the 'lost decade'


Q: I just read the “lost decade” article in Money Matters and I am wondering why you did not mention the L Funds. I have all my Thrift Savings Plan funds allocated to L Funds as recommended to me since I  am in my 10-year window of retirement. Is that a mistake? Should I also diversify into the other five individual  funds? A: I’m not a fan of the L Funds, but I can’t say that using them is a mistake. The problem I have with them is that it’s difficult to know whether the robotic allocation shifts they make are…