Your 401k losing money? Here's what to do

Dow Jones

The stock market continues to be a concern with many people and as a result, one of the most popular search engine queries I get here on Gather Little by Little is “My 401k is losing money. What should I do?

To be forthright, investing is not my area of expertise, and I prefer to let other professionals manage my investments in the form of mutual funds and my employer’s 401k program. I have done enough reading and research though to know a few key things about retirement accounts and 401k programs in particular.

Should I get a loan to invest?

Wall Street Bull
Photo by: Seth W.

This guest post is from Ryan at Millionaire Money Habits, a website dedicated to discussing how to build wealth and retire rich by developing the habits of self-made millionaires. Make sure you sign up for his RSS feed! If you are interested in writing a guest post to be featured on a Saturday please contact me.

Imagine that you knew in 2007 that Apple’s stock would be up 135%. If you would have borrowed $100,000 to buy Apple shares in Jan. ‘07, you would be sitting on a nice $135,000 profit, minus taxes, fees and interest on the loan. That’s a nice deal for not using any of your own money.

Making Money in Real Estate with Fixer-Uppers

Beach Fixer Upper
Photo by: Peter Gene

This is a guest article by Terry Sprouse, author of the book Fix ‘em Up, Rent ‘em out: How to Start Your Own House Fix-up and Rental Business in Your Spare Time.. For more information on the fixer-upper house business visit his blog at He was formerly a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. His hobbies include rainwater harvesting and solar energy projects. Interested in writing a Guest Post for Gather Little by Little please contact-me!

Why you should keep your money in your 401k plan

Dinner with Friends
Photo by: nbreazeale

We had some friends over for dinner the other night. We try to get together with them about once a month. Pretty much every time they come over, Mike either asks me questions about his 401k or brings over some 401k paper work he needs some help with. Mike is a really hard worker who builds patios and decks for a national outdoor room company. He knows a tremendous amount about building houses, rooms, patios, decks, and fixing cars but he knows little to nothing about finances or investing. Mike, his wife and their three girls have been friends of ours for a long time, and I don’t mind helping him out at all.

Investing the Easy Way

Investing section of paper
Photo Credit: PocketAces

Moolanomy is doing a book giveaway this month and this article is my entry. I’d encourage you to share your story, even if you don’t have any experience. As you’ll read, I don’t have much either.

You have until November 30th! Don’t have a blog? No problem, head over to Pinyo’s giveaway article and you can add a comment about your experience instead. …

10 Mutual Funds For A Greener Future

Green World

This article is just one of more than 14,000 blog articles being published on the internet today as part of Blog Action Day. The entire M-Network is participating and writing articles to participate in this incredible effort.

There are many ways you can make a difference in the environment and make your money greener including eliminating paper, driving more energy efficient cars, etc. I would like to focus on investing. There are a number of new mutual funds that you can invest in that will not only make a difference in the environment but will also provide you with strong returns.

Net Worth: How To Include Your Retirement Account


I received in a great question from a new reader yesterday, and frankly it’s one I struggled with a bit when I first put my Net Worth statement together:

I just discovered your site, and it looks as if it’s going to be very useful to
me. There is just one thing I need to clarify: how do you count a 401K towards your net worth?

I have a 401K of about $41,000. I also have a Roth IRA that’s just over $10,000.

7 Reasons Why Borrowing From Your 401k is Bad, Bad, Bad!

Retirement Life

Most companies, at least the larger ones, offer 401k programs. One of the perceived benefits of having a 401k is the ability to borrow money from it. On the surface this seems like a great idea. You get to take out a loan against your own money, and pay yourself the interest (generally prime + 1%). It also doesn’t show up on your credit score (I personally don’t care about my credit score, but I am sure many of you do).

If these were the only things to consider, than I would agree, great deal. But there are some significant downsides to 401k loans:

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