Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I need to learn how to invest

I was an economics major as an undergrad, but you'd never know it now :-/ I mean, I know and understand the basics and I know why saving for retirement is crucial, but I have _no idea_ what to do with my Roth IRA, which I just moved to Fidelity to have it in the same place as my 401k and so I wouldn't get hammered on fees. Story of my Roth IRA. I had some found money in 2006 that I needed to do _something_ with by December 31. It was found money because we thought it had been spent on college but it turned out it hadn't been. I put it with Merrill Lynch because my family had some accounts there and it was a temporary solution. Eventually, I got nickled and dimed there and found that they made i too hard to contribute, so I didn't. In April 2007 I moved it to Citibank, holder of most of my other financial accounts. That was a decent solution, it was easy enough to contribute (although I was a brooke student so I didn't often) but then when they spun it back off to SmithBarney, the fees were ridiculous so I decided it was time to move it. Enter Fidelity.

I couldn't liquidate it and then move so I'm still holding the same two funds that I have forever and which have done nothing. Now that's not surprising, a lot of funds are doing nothing right now but I don't even understand what I'm holding because they were chosen for me. I admire a coworker who is basically a day trader, but I'm more of a hands off investor. I'm using Fidelity Freedom Funds for my 401 k because it seemed to be a very good idea and I understand what my fund holds. I'm worried about doing the same with my Roth because I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket.

Here are my current Roth IRA holdings:
I've been doing some reading because I want to be more knowledgeable and I want to make a smart decision about what fund(s) to buy and hold. Some reading:
I'm aware of sites like Motley Fool, of course, but I don't know where to start. I just mooched a copy of Suze Orman's The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke (non-affil) and am hoping that will be a good starting point. 

Any other suggestions?

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