401(WTF?)

It's called "YOUR 401(k)", but these videos will help you navigate your account whether it's a 401(k), 403(b), 457, TSP, or IRA.


table of contents:

*The concepts covered in each video build upon each other. I suggest you watch them in order to get their full benefit.*

 

SUBUNIT: General Info

your 401(k) #1: history

The retirement planning system has changed dramatically. Learn why 401(k)s exist and what it means for you.

YOUR 401(K) #2: 403(B), 457, TSP, & IRA

Have something other than a 401(k)? Don't worry, I've got you covered. In this video, I'll explain the "cousins" of the 401(k) - the 403(b), 457, TSP, and IRA. 

YOUR 401(K) #3: Compound interest

A video about the driving force behind your 401(k). Albert Einstein called it the eighth wonder of the world; the rest of us call it compound interest.

 

SUBUNIT: Money Going Into Your Account

your 401(k) #4: contributions

Ever wondered "How much should I put into my account?" You're not alone! This is one of the most common retirement questions. Check out this video to learn about contributions - yearly maximums, as well as methods for calculating how much you should be putting away.  

your 401(k) #5: employer match

The money you contribute to your account is often just one part of the equation. If you're lucky enough to have an employer match, make sure to check out this post! Here, you'll learn how much you need to contribute to "max your match".

YOUR 401(K) #6: ROTH VS. TRADITIONAL

Traditional or Roth? One of the most heated debates in the financial planning world. And it all revolves around everyone's favorite topic - TAXES. Specifically how much you pay and when. This post explains the major differences between the two, and has guidelines to help you choose which type of account is best for you.

 

SUBUNIT: INVESTMENT OPTIONS

your 401(k) #7: asset classes

We've covered the money that goes into your account. Now you have to choose how to invest it! Remember, your 401(k) in itself is not an investment; it's just an account that holds your investments. So, check out this video to learn about the four main types of investments, or asset classes - cash, equities, fixed income, and alternatives.

your 401(k) #8: cash & inflation

First up in the asset class category: cash. In this video, you'll learn what the most common types of cash assets are and how you can invest in them. You'll also learn about cash's worst enemy: inflation.

your 401(k) #9: Intro - mutual funds

Moving on to the equities and fixed income asset classes, starting with a basic introduction to mutual funds. You should probably know how they work, right? They make up the bulk of the investment options in your retirement account, after all. 

YOUR 401(K) #10: actively managed

Mutual funds come in two main flavors: actively and passively managed. We'll explore actively managed funds in this post, including small to large cap funds, value to growth funds, and everything in between. 

YOUR 401(K) #11: INDEX FUNDS & ETFS

Unlike their actively managed counterparts, passively managed funds are essentially on autopilot. The fund's portfolio is created to match the stocks tracked by a particular index and mimic that index's return. That's why passively managed funds are more commonly called index funds. But don't confuse them with ETFs!

your 401(k) #12: dividend funds & Company stock

In this video post, I'll round out the rest of the equity asset class. We'll cover the other types of equity funds - dividend funds, international and emerging market funds - and company stock.

YOUR 401(K) #13: TREASURIES, TIPS, & MUNI BOND FUNDS

Here, you'll get a more thorough introduction to bonds and bond funds. We'll focus specifically on government bonds like Treasuries, TIPS, and municipal bonds.

your 401(k) #14: corporate, junk, & convertible bonds

In this post, we'll cover bonds issued by companies, including how they're ranked by quality from investment grade to junk. We'll also discuss convertible bonds that can be converted into stock, and multisector funds.


bonus: using a reverse retirement calculator

     Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to use a reverse retirement calculator. This nifty tool helps you estimate how much you should be saving every month to make sure you reach your retirement goals!