I used to love to look at my investment accounts online and see what had happened in the previous few days and see how much my investments had increased.
Now, not so much.
The one that bothers me the most, I think, is my Roth IRA. I opened it with a lump sum of $4000 in November. I really picked a bad time to open it, I think, as it has now dropped almost $375. However, there was no way for me to have known that. If I could go back and do it again, I would still do exactly what I did. I knew that it was important to have a Roth IRA, and at 26, I should have probably opened one earlier, but I wasn’t educated enough in the world of personal finance to know that. Plus, I had the funds. So it made sense.
I cringe a bit when I see the estimates of retirement funds growing at an average rate of 8%. I suppose that could still happen with my Roth IRA this year. Who knows what’s going to happen with the market. Sure, predictions aren’t good, but I prefer to look at the world as glass half full. I’m not going to pull my funds out of my Roth, so I might as well hope that the value increases.
Now, the big question is whether I should be investing more in my Roth IRA right now or wait and do the lump sum thing again. I think I’ll probably invest in smaller amounts rather than lump sum, but still wait until I have $1000 to invest and then do so, then build up another $1000 and invest. It seems like that might be the way to ride out the market’s highs and lows. I might be buying low, I might be buying high, but at least the two will balance each other out. At least, I think that’s how this whole investing thing is supposed to work out!
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.