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Investing is simply choosing who you want to get to use your money to try to grow.

If you're focussed on returns, unless you have significant control over the companies you invest in, investing anything but a low-overhead tracker of a well-known index is not investing but just plain betting.

If you're not just focused on returns though, you should invest 'on principal' in what you believe in.

I always believed that small companies would in general do/be better, therefore I would've invested in small-caps. Some people want to fund a more eco-friendly world and invest in CleanTech funds. Now if you believe want a world with more startups, you can invest in that.

But yes, having a managed 401k is giving your money to a bunch of dispassionate bureaucrats which in general is not that smart of move.

[EDIT: I didn't know that 401k has tax benefits which might offset the overhead of the bureaucrats.]




How on Earth can you speak about the intelligence of contributing to a 401k if you didn't know their tax benefits?


Not everyone on Earth is an American :)

As wpietri correctly assumed, I thought that a 401k was by definition a managed fund and my comment was directed at managed funds in general.


Also, after switching employers, you can roll your 401k over to an IRA and invest in whatever you want.


It wasn't my comment, but I suspect his focus was more on the managed funds that most people use in 401ks rather than the 401k account type itself.

That's a reasonable suspicion. Warren Buffett's involved in a million-dollar bet on the same topic: http://longbets.org/362/




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