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View Poll Results: Have you lost more than what you put into your 401(k)?
Yes, I lost more. 10 24.39%
No, I am still in the green. 19 46.34%
I am about even. 9 21.95%
I am not sure, I can't figure out the math. 3 7.32%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-24-2009, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,757,486 times
Reputation: 1075

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I haven't had too much experience with 401(k)s. So I am wondering how many of you have made more money than you have put into the 401(k)?
Or have you lost more than what you put in.

For example, Say you have contributed $400/month for 5 years. That totals to $24,000. Do you still have that 24K or is it less?
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,589 posts, read 9,957,632 times
Reputation: 904
Have way more than the principal I put in... I did take a big hit this last year (down 30%), but still lots more than I would have ever had without it - that's the value of long-term investing... with the current market conditions, its an excellent time to keep buying.. the market will recover over time and this is the time to be buying low... dollar cost averaging into a 401(k) is a great method in times like this.
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,031 posts, read 28,774,505 times
Reputation: 16227
I lost about 35-40% last year, enough to wipe out the last 5-7 years of earnings. But overall I'm up a little.
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:29 PM
 
20,194 posts, read 22,078,370 times
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If you had investments during the Clinton years, you should be okay... BUT if you started investing 4-5 years ago, you should be at a net loss... you have to compare when you started to invest to where you are at now... not how the market is doing currently... right now is a dang good time to invest (only if companies don't go bankrupt now or in the future... becareful of where your investments are)....
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:05 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 78,284,330 times
Reputation: 18590
Nothing magic about "era" -- it is about FUND SELECTION. If you put your money into funds that were highly exposed to the BROAD market declines you are probably down. If you put your money (or moved YOUR money) into categories of investments that had less RISK there is every reason to believe that you have not suffered losses. BUT if you leave / only put your money into LOW RISK categories you WILL NOT beat inflation...
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
5,978 posts, read 18,588,898 times
Reputation: 5073
My estimate is that I've lost the better part of all my employer's (2 of them) contributions. Mine still seem to be intact, but not for long if the market stays the way it is.
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:18 PM
 
27,752 posts, read 58,188,040 times
Reputation: 22374
Started 401k as soon as it was available to me 10 years ago...

Company matched 25 cents for every dollar up to 3% of pay.

Almost 6 years ago company dropped match...

I've lost everything I've put in since 2004 and then some

See no reason to continue without company match and limited funds choice. Stopped deferral last week...

Only one fund of 35 positive for the 10 years I've been in 401k... PIMCO bond.

I care about capital preservation... never looking to get a windfall or win the lottery.

I'm a little bitter because the company ownership changed a couple of years after I started 401k... only vested 40%... lost 60% and there wasn't a darn thing I could do about it... tried to get my money into a IRA and was told we couldn't because of the IRS same Desk Rule... we were all working the same jobs as under old management. 18 months later, we get a IRS letter ruling saying we can move our 401k... this was right after the High Tech Bust and lost a lot...

What I don't understand is why isn't mandatory for every plan to have a safe harbor FDIC fund as an option?

Second thing I don't understand is why they now impose round trip limits when money is switched between funds in the 401k... if I am truly responsible for managing my 401k... don't tie my hands.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 01-25-2009 at 09:34 PM..
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:22 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 78,284,330 times
Reputation: 18590
Default If you feel the way you say..

Quote:
Originally Posted by bibit612 View Post
My estimate is that I've lost the better part of all my employer's (2 of them) contributions. Mine still seem to be intact, but not for long if the market stays the way it is.

...don't just watch the money 'evaporate' -- MOVE IT TO STABLE VALUE (money market) fund(s)!!!!

While some firms try to sell 401Ks as a "set it & forget it" way to invest that is a BONE HEADED way to look at YOUR MONEY!!!!
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:45 PM
 
Location: St Louis
2 posts, read 3,258 times
Reputation: 10
Ultrarunner the reason you want to continue without company match is to pay less income taxes. Having the money removed from your check before you receive it helps with the theory of "Pay Yourself First." You will not have this benefit if you simply put the money in an IRA account.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,757,486 times
Reputation: 1075
Thanks for all the answers. Looks like people are still in the green. But a chunk of you guys are in the red. I wonder where everyone will be say a decade from now.
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