4 votes

401k-Just started job

I just started my job and they are already enrolling me into the 401k program. I was pretty excited when I saw the up to 4% contribution by the employer on top of mine. However, the investment choices are bad.

What would you recommend? Would it be wiser to forgo the 4% bonus and open up a Roth IRA and follow the Peter Schiff strategy? Should I just buy gold or silver? Should I contribute up to the 4% limit? There are some international bonds but heavy exposure to Eurozone and Japan and financials.

I've looked around and haven't seen any good advice.

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Here are the international stocks

Rerex and biiex are the two international mutual funds offered. Any comments?

Also, I agree with many of

Also, I agree with many of the posts below. Right now with the current administration and financial angst, have as little as possible in the 401k because it is basically a government owned account when the time comes that they want to raid them and SS. I repeat myself, buy gold and silver and stuff that shit under the mattress.

Southern Agrarian

I'm doing

I'm doing conservative/moderate blend investments that have low yield and low risk. I don't want to "multiply" my money, I just want it to be there when I come back to remove it. Also, put as little into it as your employer matches then plan out how much (%) you want to invest outside of that (gold, silver IRA). I had this same question when I got my job two months ago. An IRA isn't some account with a company that needs signatures and can be as easy as storing a 20 stack of silver eagles in your safe. Don't be fooled by investment companies asking you to start an IRA with them, all you need to do is buy physical silver/gold and hold on to it, presto, you have an IRA. ASE's and AGE's and a few other foreign bullion coins count towards an IRA though and the tax laws on selling them down the road differ so you might look into that.

Southern Agrarian

Precious metals are the best

Precious metals are the best way to "store" money. For multiplying money, nothing beats starting your own small business.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

Go with Midas resources they can help you get a precious metal

401k but maybe better to buy precious metals and keep in a safe place since Obama might want to take the 401k's

They just did that in Spain (seize retirement accounts)

Last year Germany made it easier to declare old people unfit to manage the retirement accounts.

Free includes debt-free!

Please define what you mean by "bad."

Please define what you mean by "bad." What is your investing experience? What are the investment options available to you? How much risk are you willing to take? How long do you have before you retire?

These are just a few of the questions I would ask you if you were sitting in front of me. I've been in the business for nearly 25 years. I do not want your business, but if you can answer these questions, I might be able to give you a reasonable answer.

*****The Federal Reserve is neither.*****

News about 401k

Like Spain, The Fed & Treasury Will Pull Out Nuclear Option & Raid Private Pension Funds. read more at


Congress has explored the Idea and Obama has had meetings on 401k confiscation. Which is swapping out the funds for a government annuity.

Surviving the killing fields of Minnesota

Todays brainwashing: GMO's are safe

If they try to hijack 401K plans there will be a REVOLT - UNLESS

...there is some kind of "national emergency" so bad that the sheeples will say "go ahead and take my money to save us."

Right now as the sheeples are watching "Dancing With The Stars," it's very likely the unelected evil-doers (defense contractors, central bankers, CIA, Joint Chiefs, Israeli lobby etc), are cooking up another Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

They want that 401K money and the IRS can easily claim it is not ours but theirs since we have not yet paid taxes on it.

I do have a 401K from my old employer (I'm laid off now) and believe you me, I am plenty afraid of what these rats want to do with our money.

I'd still do the 4% match tho (no more than that), and then do what Michael said: DIVERSIFY.

To me, the ultimate diversification means metals, metals, metals.

For example, diversify with gold ounces, half ounces, quarter ounces and tenth ounces.

Divirsify with American gold Eagles, Austrian Philharmonics, African Krugarans, Canadian Mapleleafs.

Then diversify again with American Sliver Eagles, Austrian Philharmonics, and Canadian Maple-leafs and silver rounds like from Northwest Territorial Mint etc.

Maybe even some bars along with your coins.

Then I'd diversify some more with some pure copper rounds.

Maybe even some platinum and palladium too.

Now THAT'S diversification!

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

good points...but I think

good points...but I think gold is a ripoff in price compared to Silver. Silver truly is the most precious metal in the world. It has endless uses and is the most conducive metal. It comes out of the ground at a 10:1 (and falling) ratio to gold, but trades at a 50+:1 ratio.

Buy silver Eagles and pre 1965 US 90% silver coins.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

do not get a 401k. You are

do not get a 401k. You are asking for trouble. The Government is going to STEAL IT.

Starting in a 401K today is

Starting in a 401K today is like paddling out on your surfboard while a Tsunami is approaching the beach. You're just wasting your time.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

LOL. Perfect. Well, for the


Perfect. Well, for the OP, here's hoping a rising tsunami lifts all surfboards.

the surfboard would probably

the surfboard would probably end up in better shape than his 401k

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

I accept cash, not interested in gambling or pensions


Free includes debt-free!

Loaded question.The 4% will

Loaded question.

The 4% match will only be yours if you meet the vesting period; this is typically 5 years worth of working hours. Check w/your company for your vesting period.

If you think you'll be there long enough to meet it, then contribute the full amount and get the 4%. Free money. Don't pass up free money, ever. This assumes, of course, that the country/economy/company doesn't collapse before then, and that your 401k won't be hijacked by legislation and forced into some kinda Treasury purchase program to monetize the debt which fuels the government's insatiable spending addiction.

If you're outlook is more short-term than the vesting period, or more cynical about the future prosperity of country/economy/company, then, in conjunction with other factors, other options may make sense.

For instance, if you're in a low tax bracket, the benefit of tax deferral that a 401k offers may not be worth the cost of locking up your funds, especially in light of the limited investment options 401ks offer.

Thus, depending, it may be wise to contribute nothing at all, instead electing to take the full amount in your paycheck and use the net proceeds to open a brothel in Las Vegas. Or whatever. Sky's the limit, kid.

So many options, so many considerations. Quite a loaded question to begin with.

When you seek advice on investments, I promise you this: Finding someone who tells you what you want to hear doesn't take long.

Thus, my advice (how's that for irony) is this:

Figure out what's important to you; figure out what you know or do best within the realm of what's important to you; and then put the money to work towards that in whatever manner your conscience approves.

After all, it's all just paper or numbers on an excel spreadsheet anyways, until you convert it into something more valuable than that.

So, the short answer to your question?

"It all depends."


Not all 401(k)s have a vesting schedule.

In fact, many have you 100% vested from Day One.

*****The Federal Reserve is neither.*****

Great point about vesting

I had forgotten about that.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Excellent points about the vesting period & tax rates

I left those out.

So many variables to consider but these are definitely right at the top of the list.

As far as my 401k goes, I just pretend like it isn't there. Same for Social Security. If it is there when I retire (I doubt I'll ever be able to), all the better. It'll be icing on the cake.

DailyPaul has a 401k? Or is

DailyPaul has a 401k? Or is it from a previous employer?

Michael Nystrom's picture

Previous employer

A looooong time ago.

lol! someone downvoted your

lol! someone downvoted your comment, saying a long time ago? how does that even make sense?

i +1'd you to bring it back. not that it matters. just found it funny...

If I may inquire, is there a

If I may inquire, is there a specific reason you haven't rolled it over to an IRA?

Yes, I understand that fear

Yes, I understand that fear SIERRA. However, that's one of the benefits of rolling into an IRA instead of leaving it in the 401k. The 401k is an institution's account. They just have your portion earmarked for you, but they administer it and you have to jump through hoops to get money out, etc. It is more at risk there, in terms of institutional control, than in an IRA.

When rolling into an IRA at any major brokerage firm, you gain immediate control. You can withdraw at any time (subject to applicable taxation of course), and you have a wider array of investments from which to choose if you keep it invested. Or, you can leave it in a money market, etc, and just use it as a savings account. To each his own.

But it's typically to the benefit of the individual investor to roll over to an IRA once they are no longer active with the company through which the 401k was accumulated. The rollover is not a taxable event, either.

There are certain circumstances where it doesn't make sense to rollover to an IRA, however, such as in certain situations involving NUA; or in situations where an employee is near the age of 55 and a half and plans to withdraw (they can do so from 401k plans without penalty, vs IRA has to be 59.5 in order to withdraw without penalty).

Please go look up Reagans

Please go look up Reagans executive order he wrote in 1988. During times of a national economic emergency the government can confiscate all IRA's 401k's etc. None of them are safe. If you think you are going to get your paper moved around when this is going on you are crazy. This economic "collapse" will be planned.

Ann Barnhardt

By the way, I think it's worth reading Ann Barnhardt's take on 401Ks. I certainly don't endorse everything she says (she's pretty radical regarding a lot of things) but I think she's worth a listen when it comes to economics.


This book is pretty good. The Great 401k Hoax

14 reviews, free look Inside! on amazon. And you can get a copy for $4 delivered:


Tip: buy from someone in the 10-30,000 ratings range, or less. Couple hundreds and their a small-time book seller like me :)

Tweeting occasionally as himself @cudnoski on the twitter.

Michael Nystrom's picture

My advice


Take the 4% the company is giving you - it is free money. Contribute up to that amount so you get the free money.

I was helping a young friend of mine with this last weekend. She's 25, and I'm 45 this year. When you get to be this age, you see that there are cycles. Cycles of panic & fear, then of booms and recovery.

The 1970's were a similar time of panic and fear. Everyone thought that the dollar was over, that gold was the new thing, and the world was going to end. It didn't happen. Things got worked out. People who are selling the doom and gloom have a financial interest in it. Don't ever forget that. No one has a crystal ball to the future. When gold topped out at $850 in 1980, there were people screaming buy! Buy! all the way back to $250. Lots of people lost lots of money because they didn't do the one thing I advise you to do at the beginning: Diversify. No one knows the future.

I know things look bleak. Thinks looked bleak in 1979, too. Carter was president; Iran took our hostages; The USSR invaded Afghanistan (!).

As far as where to put the money - 99% of the people on this site will disagree with me, but put your 401K money into either 1) A treasury fund or 2) A money market fund. Most plans are limited, but you should have at least those two choices.

Again, this is not to be your life's savings. It is a hedge. It is a way to make 4% guaranteed. Ride out the turbulent times. Wait for stocks to fall and hit a bottom, then switch out into a stock fund and ride it back up. I've seen it happen. I was a stockbroker in the 90's. There was one client who bought Citigroup when it was $2 per share in the early 90's, after the recession, and it looked like they were going bust. During the recovery, the stock went way up - into the 50's if I remember.

So he took about $10K and turned it into $250K, just by waiting, watching, and being patient.

The best thing you can learn is to think for yourself. Don't listen to people with a plan. Learn about the market. In order to learn, you need more than the opinions that you'll find on this site. Weigh them. Hedge. No one is right 100% of the time, including me.

Good luck.

"Wait for stocks to fall and

"Wait for stocks to fall and hit a bottom, then switch out into a stock fund and ride it back up."

Ah, would that it were so simple... Alas, odd lot theory has nearly elevated from theory to axiom. Individual investors never buy at bottom. Invariably, we find that is when they are selling everything.