Which investment and/or saving option will help me generate the most funds to put toward a down payment?

I am 26 and I have no debt. With my current job, I can comfortably put money into my 401(k), ESPP, and HSA. I don’t own a house, and I am not saving enough for a down payment on a house. I wanted to save my ESPP investments for a possible down payment in the future, but I am enjoying the growth in the stocks right now. Should I ease off on contributing to my 401(k) plan, or should I stop participating in the ESPP and save that money for a house? My goal is to save at least $10,000 in my 401(k) every year, in addition to the company match, and eventually max out my 401(k), my HSA contributions and my ESPP contributions.

Investing, 401(k), Real Estate
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December 2017
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While every situation is circumstantial, based on the information given here you should forget the ESPP for the time being. DO NOT ease off 401(k) contributions. Remember that time in the market will always beat timing the market. The power of compounding is enormous, especially since you have 33.5 years left before you can withdraw those funds without penalty. There are plenty of ways to grow your savings without taking on nearly as much risk and keeping the funds liquid (depending on your timeframe) such as lattered CDs, money market funds, and high interest savings accounts. In the meantime while you are saving, look into first time home buyer programs in your state to discover ways to leverage assistance programs.

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