How diverse should I be with $5,000?
I'm 19 years old. I've maxed my Roth IRA for this year and am currently a sophomore in college. I have also been making monthly payments on my tuition for the past 3 semesters. I have almost half of my freshman year paid off.
My parent's told me that if I invested $5,000 of my own money, they would match the $5,000 and pay off the rest of my freshman year.
Because of this, I feel comfortable putting money away and would prefer to do so for a longer period of time (15-20 years).
My question is, how diverse should I be with my money? I was considering something like the Russel 3000 or S&P 500, but is this too broad or too diverse for a 15-20 year period? Should I even consider global markets?
I'm looking for something that's stable. I don't expect to be a millionaire or anything close to it from this initial investment, however, I would like to see some sort of growth over 15-20 years.
Split it 50/50 between U.S. stocks and international stocks.
Sure you can use the Russell or S&P500 for the U.S. part. Then add a total international fund for the other half.
Other than adding to it, try to leave it alone for that 15-20 years. You may be surprised at the growth.
Keep up the good work at college...
Hope that helps!
Great job on maxing out your Roth IRA! You are already a step ahead of most investors your age.
If sounds like you would like some decent growth without putting too much risk into the investment.
- Ensure you are properly diversified (low-cost ETF funds are recommended)
- Get advice on a moderately allocated portfolio (debt/bond vs. equity/stock funds)
A properly balanced portfolio can include global markets but should also include a core domestic index holding.
Since you have a Roth IRA at the age of 19 you are already on the right track. Do not get derailed by putting money into the S&P 500 or the Russell 2000 (or 3000) at this time because U.S. equity indices are near all-time highs and we will sooner or later have another severe bear market like 2000-2002 or 2007-2009 where you will lose more than half of your money within roughly two years. Instead, put your money in something which is really safe. After the stock market has collapsed, you can consider gradually buying U.S. and international equity and bond funds.
If you go to http://myra.gov/ you will find that you can get 2.375% guaranteed by the U.S. government. That is the best way to go prior to a stock-market collapse.
Another hazard in losing half your money is that it might discourage you from making future investments when prices are true bargains. Be patient. When everyone you know is telling you why you shouldn't buy stocks because they are too dangerous, that will be your signal to gradually start buying them.
Congratulations on starting your investment plan early. Your future self will thank you. It makes sense, assuming like you do a long time horizon (over at least 10 years) that you invest rather aggressively, meaning leaning heavily toward equities. I like the idea of a passive index ETF like the Russell 3000 or S&P 500 or you can look towards one of the lower cost retirement date funds from a mutual fund provider like Vanguard or Fidelity. Those funds would offer some diversity instead of just stocks.