A 26-year-old in need of help with 40...

A 26-year-old in need of help with 401K allocation and contribution question

Posted in the 401K Forum


Ellicott City, MD

#1 Nov 16, 2011
Hello All,

I'm 26-years-old and looking for assistance setting up my 401K. Our (small) company 401K program is done through ADP (managed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney).

I know I should have a "growth" portfolio at my age, but I have no idea how much percentages to allocate to the following options below. Any and all advice is appreciated, as there is no pre-set "growth" allocation plan that I can select (and I don't really have the knowledge needed to go through each fund myself).

Also, is a 7% paycheck contribution pre-tax enough? My company makes a 3% annual safe-harbor contribution.

Thanks all,

Morgan Stanley Liquid Asset Fund
Calvert Income Fund - Class A
Oppenheimer International Bond Fund - Class A
AllianceBernstein Balanced Wealth Strategy - Class A
AllianceBernstein Conservative Wealth Strategy - Class A
Invesco Van Kampen Comstock Fund - Class A
AllianceBernstein Wealth Appreciation Strategy - Class A
Davis New York Venture Fund - Class A
Invesco S&P 500 Index Fund - Class A
Calvert Equity Portfolio - Class A
AllianceBernstein Small/Mid Cap Value Fund - Class A
Alger Mid Cap Growth Institutional Fund - Class I
MainStay U.S. Small Cap Fund - Class A
Wells Fargo Advantage International Equity Fund - Class A Oppenheimer Global Fund - Class A

Livermore, CA

#2 Mar 8, 2012
Hi Jen,
Regarding contibution level: I suggest that you look at the matching contribution level of your company, and at a minimum, contribute enough to take full advantage of it. If your finances are such that you can contribute more, certainly do so.
On your question on allocation/fund selection: FundOptics.com can help. You receive BUY and SELL signals for the funds in your profile, with the growth/volatility you are comfortable with (I suggest Medium and High), and move from one fund to another when the time is right. Active management of your 401K can give you far better performance than a static portfolio allocation with a Buy and Hold strategy.
Hope this helps.

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