jfrazierjr wrote:Orchard wrote:Azhrei wrote:kat2cute wrote:Luckily, I didn't have a huge amount invested, but that fact makes me hesitant to withdraw it because of the $10 trader fee for selling (which is a big chuck when you only have $250 worth of stock)
It's only $250. Leave it there and watch it mushroom in about 9 months. (Well, depending on what you invested it in.)
Not being a financial expert, that's my advice. Do you have any idea how much its hurting to leave my 401(a) and 403(b) alone? I've contributed a fair chunk of change (as has my employer) to these accounts, only to have them lose thousands of dollars in under a year. OUCH! But I know that in the LONG RUN, I'll be glad I was buying NOW while the stock market was low. I don't open the statements, I don't look at them, and I don't even think about it if I can help it. I just tell myself that things will be better in 30 years or more when I NEED the money, and then I'll be really glad I invested a lot of money when things were at the bottom. Buy low...
You should be far more worried about possible changes in law that would effectively abolish 401k programs by the Democratic controlled Congress. Unless we are seeing the emergence of a vastly different economic paradigm(this is assuming the government does not force such upon us!), the stock market will recover and still beat any existing government investment growth rate by 2-4 times over the long term(20+ years). One thing to consider is that the stock market(DOW Industrial Average) is now at about the same level it was around 1997 or so. Some of the best money market return rates hover around 14% per year on a 20 year cycle. Now, unless we have a depression on the scale of the 1929 crash, you don't need to worry about the long term growth rate... and if we DO have such a crash, you still should not worry about it because you will be to busy trying to find a job at 1/4 your pay if you can get one.
Of course, that's assuming we all have a long term, of which I am not so sure.... but that is a totally different philosophical(religion actually) question.
Well, if we don't have a long term, then I'm not going to be worried about having lost a bunch of money. But if we do, and I didn't save, then I'm screwed. It's Pascal's Wager, only this time the eschatalogy of things is the gamble, not deity. If I bet on there being a long term, and I'm right, then I've been wise by preparing for it. On the other hand, if I bet on there being no long term and don't prepare and there is, I'm screwed. On the flip-side, if I don't prepare for large-scale disaster (emergency preparedness) and it happens, then I'm screwed, but if I do prepare for it, and it doesn't happen, I've lost very little. Again, it's better to bet on the possibility of things for which you need to prepare for, since the consequences of failure to be prepared are frequently catastrophic.
As far as law changes--I'll agree that it's possible that congress might change things up enough that my current savings are screwed--but I'm hoping that I'll have enough warning to pull out before that happens. That's all I'm going to hope for.