Investment Help

If you are seeking investment help, look at the video here on my services. If you are seeking a different approach to managing your assets, you have landed at the right spot. I am a fee-only advisor registered in the State of Maryland, charge less than half the going rate for investment management, and seek to teach individuals how to manage their own assets using low-cost indexed exchange traded funds. Please call or email me if interested in further details. My website is at If you are new to investing, take a look at the "DIY Investor Newbie" posts here by typing "newbie" in the search box above to the left. These take you through the basics of what you need to know in getting started on doing your own investing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Advice for College Graduates

Eileen Ambrose of the Baltimore Sun has excellent advice for new college graduates. I would add a couple of observations.

First, the new graduate should do what has to be done to take advantage of the company match in your 401k. If this means making sandwiches at home and carrying water in a thermos - do it. As an aside, you can make a pretty good sandwich for under $3.

In investing in your 401k, if you are not sure how to pick funds, consider spending an hour with a registered investment advisor (spending no more than $150) and going over your choices. Fund providers (Fidelity, TRowe Price) are brokers, not registered investment advisors. Many will steer you to pricey investment choices. For example, they will recommend their target date funds to uninformed investors that charge upwards of .70%, when they have other funds at much less that capture the returns of the overall market. The difference doesn't sound like much, but it is significant over the 40-year period you will work and contribute to your 401k.

This is the same advice  I gave my youngest daughter recently as she had to choose funds managed by Fidelity.

Secondly, read  I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi. This book will teach you about credit scores, how to set up your bank accounts, insurance  - in short, just about everything a young professional  needs to know to get on the right financial path. Also, it is written in a style that appeals to young professionals - unlike so many financial help books on the market today.

Mr. Sethi's blog, "I Will Teach You to be Rich," will give you a feel for his writings.

Disclosure:   I offer the hourly consulting service described above. Generally it involves either a phone conversation or an in-person sit down to go over the 401k choices and arriving at a definite plan of attack. If necessary, a pep talk is thrown in to emphasize the importance of starting the retirement saving at a young age!


  1. " Fund providers ( Fidelity, TRowe Price,) are brokers, not registered investment advisors."

    I think that's a good start! Many don't realize there is a difference and ignorance can cost you a bundle!

  2. Exactly right, it can cost a lot. I think that many reps don't know how much a difference in fees amounts to over the long run and others do know but ignore it.
    The target date fund was a gold mine for mutual funds in that it was the key for opting into 401ks which, in turn, has increased participation greatly.