Your 401(k) Plan: 3 Ways to Tell If It's Any Good

401(k) plans are often criticized, but how do you know if your plan is bad or good? Find out here.

Mar 9, 2014 at 10:06AM

You may have noticed that 401(k) plans have been under fire lately, with many companies offering subpar investment choices that their employees must choose from. But how can you tell if your 401(k) plan is worth participating in?

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at three ways you can assess your 401(k) plan to figure out whether it can be a key part of your retirement strategy. First, Dan recommends looking at every single investment option the plan offers, dividing them into categories based on whether they emphasize stocks, bonds, or other investments. Then, Dan suggests looking at the costs of each option, sticking with low-cost index-tracking choices where possible. Although most 401(k) plans don't yet have access to the low-cost exchange-traded funds SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEMKT:SPY) or Vanguard Total Stock (NYSEMKT:VTI), similar index mutual funds have many of the same features and can give you the same advantages. Finally, Dan points to the need to choose an appropriate asset allocation from among the best choices in each category, dividing your money in line with your risk tolerance and time horizon.

What to do beyond your 401(k)
Regardless of how good your 401(k) is, you'll want to have outside investment assets to take maximum advantage of key opportunities. Even though the chance to get wealthy from a single investment doesn't come around often, it does happen sometimes, and our chief technology officer believes he's found such an investment. In this free report, Jeremy Phillips shares the single company that he believes could transform not only your portfolio, but also your entire life. To learn the identity of this stock for free and see why Jeremy is putting more than $100,000 of his own money into it, all you have to do is click here now.

Dan Caplinger and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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