2015 - A bad year for the 401K

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by DoubleWide, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. DoubleWide

    DoubleWide

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    With the start of the new year, I looked at my 401k and saw that 2015 was a bad year. Almost half of the funds lost money. Previously most of these had been decent to good performers. What happened? I'm not an investor. I just pretty much try to spread my money out across enough funds with a decent track record to be diversified. If it was a stock, I know I may not want to abandon it if there's a possibility for the company to recover, but does that logic actually hold true for mutual funds?

    For 2016, I'm upping my retirement game so I'm trying to figure out what to do. I ditched a couple of the smaller poor performing funds. I'm still spread across 16 funds at varying levels. Maybe I'll talk to a professional, but professionals also lost me money this year. Either way, we've got the weekend to discuss.

    And yes, I have silver, lead, steel, plastic and paper just in case.
     
  2. Gonzoso

    Gonzoso

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    I think you should be watching your investments on a more regular basis and dropping them at the first sign of a problem.
     

  3. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

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    I think I heard 2015 was first down year for the Dow since 2008.

    wp
     
  4. DesertEagle.45

    DesertEagle.45 USMC 8531 Lifetime Member

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    I made money with three of my funds and lost with two of them, overall it was a net loss year but only down $390. With as long as I have until I retire I wish it would have gone way down and stayed down there so I could buy more low.
     
  5. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    Yes!!!


    ..........and No
     
  6. Danny Reid

    Danny Reid

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    I actually did alright with mine. I shuffle my allocations a few times a year and have done pretty well all things considered.
     
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  7. Lampshade

    Lampshade

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    Oy vey. Dumping funds because they had a down year is exactly what you don't want to be doing. Its the market, it goes up and down. Losses aren't realized unless you sell.

    Its a long term game. Might want to read "The Elements of Investing."
     
  8. kiole

    kiole

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    Day trading your retirement fund should end well.
     
  9. GoBigOrange

    GoBigOrange

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    Mid way through the year I shifted funds from the poor performing to the good ones and I still didn't do well. I think I ended .05 positive for the year.

    A few years ago my rate of return was almost 20%. Nothing we can do about it from what I can tell.
     
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  10. HERB

    HERB

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  11. HERB

    HERB

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    2015 may look very good after 2016.
     
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  12. Lampshade

    Lampshade

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    When you switch a poor performing fund for a fund that is doing better what you are essentially doing is selling low and buying high.
     
  13. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    .........or not
     
  14. DoubleWide

    DoubleWide

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    So if you have money split between 2 funds. One performs and one doesn't. You should never switch? You also have to remember the fund managers are switching stocks on you anyways. Still researching, but I'm pretty sure occasional readjustment is good, just don't day trade that way.
     
  15. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    I semi keep an eye on the Market. As the 1/4ly statements show up I either open them or not depending on the Market performance at the time. I'm quite divested in various Index Funds and my long term financial goal is to live long enough to spend the money I have been investing.
     
  16. Naelbis

    Naelbis

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    Just remember that investments firms are not there to make YOU money, they are there to make THEMSELVES money. If you make money in the process it is just a happy accident for them (Unless you have so much money that they work directly for you). Keep that in mind and you will be a much calmer and wiser investor. Keep an eye on your funds, but don't overdo it. Usually sitting tight is your best bet unless the fund develops a history of under performance.
     
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  17. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    This is what I do. If I hear or notice the market doing well I look to see if my investments are doing well. If I hear or notice that the markets are doing poorly I look to see how my investments are doing and usually observe that they are doing about the same as the market. And I'm happy.

    If the market has a great year and my investments do poorly I'd switch something but this has never happened since I've started investing.

    I agree with the above posters that said don't get rid of a mutual fund just because it did poorly this year. All that means is that if the market would have done well that particular fund would have done great. It was probably a slightly risky fund. The funds you had that did well were low risk.

    It depends on your age, but having some high risk and some low risk is probably is good thing. The older you get, the safer your finds get. It's not rocket science by any means.

    My Dad use to tell me all the time, it's not timing the market, it's time in the market.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  18. John Rambo

    John Rambo Raven

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    One school of thought, after working out a ratio you want to keep in the value of your investments (40% into A, 60% into B), is to sell off a portion of the things you're up on and invest into the things you're down on in order to maintain your percentage. Though, that may or may not work so well with funds since some funds have sucked since their inception and others hammer you with fees. But it is a viable long-term strategy.

    Personally, I put my 401k into a fund that weathers bear markets fairly well. Thats come at the expense of a few points when the bull market was in full force, but I also didn't get hammered when the stock market lost 10% before it could hit the stops and its doing okay in the endless sideways trading.
     
  19. wjv

    wjv RIP Stan Lee.. . .

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    Mine did quite fine.

    But i check them monthly, or if there is a market event and re-balance as needed. I don't understand people who ignore what is probably one of their most valuable investments, for a year or more, and then are shocked to discover that they lost money.
     
  20. RenegadeGlocker

    RenegadeGlocker SuperOwner

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    Up 4%, weakest year since 2008, but better than negative. Most of the uncertainty of 2015 is over, hopefully 2016 will be smooth sailing.