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What do I need to know about retirement planning, if I know nothing?

I'm late to start investing for retirement (early 30s) and don't know where to begin, other than a vague sense I should invest in mutual funds and maybe bonds and eventually real estate. What do I need to know before putting my money somewhere? [more inside]
posted by three_red_balloons on Jul 8, 2014 - 13 answers

When to report mutual funds sold in late December

I'm Canadian. I redeemed some mutual funds in very late Dec 2013. The redemption appears on my Jan 2014 statement. I have capital gains from the redemption. Should I report these capital gains now on my 2013 tax return, or next year on my 2014 tax return? [more inside]
posted by tracert on Apr 6, 2014 - 5 answers

How often to change investment allocations?

My 401(k) plan at work gives me many, many options for automatic investment. I have an aggressive, but diversified portfolio of mostly equity mutual funds, and a diversified mix of assets outside the employer plan. I am investing for the long-term, but wonder when to reconsider the allocations for automatic investment where, after a quarter or two, you see certain allocations underperforming relative to the other allocations. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Jul 12, 2013 - 14 answers

When to bail on bad investments

I need advice on when to get rid of some bad investments with deferred sales charges. [more inside]
posted by OHSnap on Apr 2, 2013 - 3 answers

Mutual fund families that are most tolerant of timing

Hello. I'm interested in mutual fund timing, but most fund families (Pro Funds and Direxion notwithstanding) hate the idea and throw up all sorts of limits to prevent one from doing this. Are there any reasonably tolerant fund families out there? I'm looking specifically for minimal "minimum time held" and the ability to bounce back and forth between funds, especially between a money market fund and bond funds. I know this is a bit of a Hail Mary, so thanks for any info.
posted by mrhappy on Jan 27, 2013 - 10 answers

The ultimate first-world problem

I'm a young person with no debt and a pile of money to invest. The catch: I'm not real confident about the long-term health of the US economy. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 24, 2012 - 25 answers

What is the best option for automatic investing?

What is the best option for automatic investing? [more inside]
posted by Blue Jello Elf on May 5, 2012 - 10 answers

How do I figure out a mutual fund cost basis for my tax return?

How do I figure out a mutual fund cost basis for tax purposes? [more inside]
posted by zembla3 on Mar 3, 2012 - 5 answers

got this bearish market and not a thing to do with it

The market is down and everybody is telling me to BUY BUY BUY. What should I invest in? [more inside]
posted by 200burritos on Aug 11, 2011 - 20 answers

Roth IRA conversion from 401(k)?

Should I roll over my 401(k) and then convert it immediately to a Roth IRA? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 11, 2011 - 6 answers

Yes, I know this is Officially Not Recommended Financial Planning

I'd like to cash out a Roth IRA and make those funds available to my parents. But because early withdrawal is a No Good Terrible Bad Idea, I can't find much specific advice on the subject. I don't have a financial planner right now. You are not my financial planner, but perhaps you can help me check my work in figuring out the ramifications? [more inside]
posted by desuetude on Nov 30, 2010 - 13 answers

Emerging Markets

How can I passively invest in China, Brazil, and India for the long-term? 10-30 years. Help me understand the risks associated with these emerging markets. Should I simply dump my cash into iShares like EWZ or FXI and let it sit? Should I invest in individual companies? Index funds like the Vanguard Emerging Markets? Any thoughts on these investments for the long term? I am a passive investor that usually dumps money into Vanguard index funds. Isn't investing in China and India over the long term kind of a no-brainer? Help me understand what is involved in emerging markets and how I can get better returns than my Electric Orange account.
posted by jasondigitized on Aug 17, 2010 - 7 answers

Release me from Schedule D!

CapitalGainsFilter: I got less than $20 from my mutual fund distributions, my only capital gain this year. Must I fill out Schedule D on my (US Federal Income Tax) 1040? Schedule D gives me a migraine, I'd rather stay away if possible. [more inside]
posted by Rash on Mar 11, 2010 - 6 answers

How risky are bond mutual funds?

How risky are bond mutual funds? [more inside]
posted by david1230 on May 10, 2009 - 3 answers

green roth IRAs du jour

What are some environmentally and socially concious mutual funds that I should be switching my $2k roth IRA to? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 13, 2009 - 6 answers

Invest for the future vs. Debt reduction

Investing 201: Given the economic news of late, If the value of my mutual funds drop and the interest rate of my debts go up would it be prudent to liquidate the mutual funds to pay off my debts or should I "stay the course" despite this? Financial details inside... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 29, 2008 - 8 answers

Do socially responsible investments earn less?

Do socially-responsible mutual funds perform better or worse than similar non-screened funds? [more inside]
posted by espertus on Jun 7, 2008 - 12 answers

Have Dime, Will Invest!

Looking for Mutual Funds/Investments with low initial investment fees. [more inside]
posted by goalyeehah on Mar 20, 2008 - 9 answers

Is now the right or wrong time to invest in diversified mutual funds?

Is now the right or wrong time to invest 50k in diversified mutual funds? [more inside]
posted by lapsang on Nov 19, 2007 - 18 answers

Should I put my Eggs in a Risky Basket?

IRAfilter: Am about to get a traditional IRA to roll some retirement funds into from an expired employer plan. Got stuck when I was asked which mutual funds to select. [more inside]
posted by ikahime on Jul 17, 2007 - 10 answers

Selling shares within a Roth IRA

What are the rules about selling shares held in a Roth IRA? Warning: still a bit of a finance n00b... [more inside]
posted by electric_counterpoint on Jul 13, 2007 - 17 answers

Your fund did not outperform its benchmark...

Fund benchmarks vs. the fund itself. How do I invest in my fund's benchmark rather than the fund itself? [more inside]
posted by spicynuts on Jan 12, 2007 - 13 answers

Beginning investor, seeking basic opinions and links for more research & self-teaching!

Total beginner to investing and finance, researching how to start investing maybe $2K each year, mostly in socially responsible mutual funds -- and how a young, healthy person should balance retirement investment with other kinds of investments. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 27, 2006 - 10 answers

6 Months to Invest... Starting NOW

The clock starts today. I just sold a house yesterday and ended up with a decent chunk of change. On next year's tax form, I'm going to have to pay taxes on the gains, but I have 6 months to make the tax money work for me... [more inside]
posted by LGCNo6 on Oct 25, 2006 - 16 answers

Analyzing mutual fund performance

How do I best analyze the performance of my mutual funds? [more inside]
posted by contessa on Sep 25, 2006 - 13 answers

It was all going so well...

I'm confused - I want to plan for my retirement and have got as far as applications for a 401k and a Roth IRA; but then it all goes hideously wrong.... [more inside]
posted by forallmankind on Aug 13, 2006 - 19 answers

Investing beyond an IRA

How can I invest more than $4000 per year toward my retirement without annually paying taxes on the gains? [more inside]
posted by letitrain on Jun 29, 2006 - 16 answers

Calculating mutual fund profits with pre-authorized contributions?

Is there an easy way to figure how much profit one has made from a mutual fund portfolio where additional fixed contributions are made each month? [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte on Jun 23, 2006 - 7 answers

How does one pick stocks?

I'm seeking advice on and a short term investment strategy that won't offend Grandad. [more inside]
posted by godawful on Apr 25, 2006 - 41 answers

ETF Returns

When researching Indexed ETFs or Closed-End ETFs with the intention of buying, should I be looking at the fund's Yearly NAV Return or the Market Value Return as an indicator of success? [more inside]
posted by spicynuts on Nov 23, 2005 - 2 answers

Unloading a loaded mutual fund

FinancialFilter: Should I sell my DSC mutual funds now or later? [more inside]
posted by acoutu on Oct 25, 2005 - 8 answers

What Is the Most Financially Profitable Way of Investing $5,000?

What is the best thing to do with a small amount of money, around $5,000? Savings interest is almost a joke, CDs look attractive or maybe even mutual funds. Preferably the safer the better, as in investing it all in a high-risk mutual fund and losing it would make me cry. I've checked out "Investment FAQ" and it seems as if CDs are the best. I know little about investing but making money doing nothing intrigues me. What would be an expected return on such an investment? Is it even worth locking the money up for something like $10 a month? [more inside]
posted by geoff. on Mar 3, 2004 - 19 answers

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