Clark Howard: Guide for Beginner Investors

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Investment Guide for Beginning Investors

There is no easier choice than a target retirement fund. You select the year closest to when you want to retire and simply put all your money into it.

The money goes into a variety of things like big company stocks, little company stocks, international stocks and a bunch of different types of bonds. Bonds are where you are the bank lending someone money.

Some target retirement funds include commodities and real estate as part of the mix. As you age, the investment choices get steadily more conservative. You don’t have to do a thing other than invest your money. Here are my favorite Target Retirement Fund companies.
 


Targeted Retirement Funds

With these funds, you pick the year you expect to retire — let’s say 2035. You buy that portfolio and over the next 30 years the company you choose picks a mix of stocks and bonds to get you the best return with the lowest overall risk. As you get closer to 2035, your investments get less risky.

Fidelity Freedom Funds

  • fidelity.com
    Invests in a combination of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents
    Years available: 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045, 2050, plus the Fidelity Freedom Income Fund for those already in retirement
    Expense: between 0.71% and 0.91%
    Minimum investment: $2,500 minimum to open an IRA; $2,500 minimum to open an investment account

T. Rowe Price

  • troweprice.com
    Invests in a combination of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents
    Years available: 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045, 2050, 2055
    Expense: between 0.67% and 0.84%
    Minimum investment: $3,000 minimum to open an IRA; $2,500 minimum to open an investment account

Vanguard Target Retirement Funds

  • vanguard.com
    Invests in a combination of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents
    Years available: 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045, 2050, plus the Target Retirement Income Fund for those already in retirement
    Expense: 0.21% or 0.22%
    Minimum investment: $3,000 minimum to open an IRA or general account
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