Getting To Know Your 401k

December 16, 2011 · Posted in Finance 

Everyone has a 401k and everyone seems to follow the basic 401k tips which tell them to to invest all their money into the plan for the long term and hope for the best. But, that is as far as most people go. They do not take the time to learn about their plan and try to figure out how to get even more out of it.

So, before retirement has come along and you find out that your money wasn’t invested as well as it should have been here is some basic information on 401ks to help you out.

You probably know that your 401k can save you taxes. All of the money that is invested into the plan is invested into the plan before it can be taxed. But where exactly is that money being invested?

In most cases it is simply invested into a mutual fund which may or may not be the best choice for you. It may be that the funds which you are investing your money into are seriously underperforming the market. After all most mutual funds are in the business of getting new investors, not making sure that they are a great investment.

That is why if you have the time and want to learn you can go much farther by managing your money yourself. If your company offers a self directed 401k option where you can decide where your money is going to be invested into then it is defiantly something to consider.

Another thing that you might want to start looking into is investing into real estate with your plan. While you cannot directly buy real estate in a 401k you can invest into something called a REIT or a real estate investment trust and make money from real estate.

This is a trust that invests into real estate. It basically buys things like commercial buildings and apartment buildings and profits from the income and from the appreciation that they produce. Then each investor benefits as their investment makes money.

This can help you to diversify your holdings a little bit so that you are not as dependent on the ups and downs of one market.

For more on 401k plans visit this site on some basic 401k info

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