What’s in your retirement account counts!

I have a love-hate relationship with light bulb moments, especially when it comes to personal finance. On the one hand, it feels so great to get your footing and feel like you finally understand what’s going on in the crazy world of money, and on the other, you are kicking yourself for not having figured it out sooner.

This week’s light bulb: I’ve been missing out on earning a ton of money in my retirement accounts. And all it took to fix the problem was a few mouse clicks and a phone call.

I arrived at this realization after my friend recommended I try the robo-adviser Blooom.  Blooom links with your 401k (or 403b which is basically a 401k for nonprofits and government employees).  Through the power of algorithms, it diversifies and reallocates your investments for maximum return. Within one month, Blooom brought the return on my 403b from 7% to 15%!

Once I was in the mindset of tracking my interest and returns, I noticed something way off about my Roth IRA…there hadn’t been any growth in that account at all.

What?!

Blooom doesn’t service IRAs so I had to do this legwork on my own.

I called up Fidelity and figured out that my Roth IRA account was 100% cash, that means that every day each dollar wasn’t changing the value. That means that I was not capitalizing on my biggest asset, being young and able to take advantage of compound interest. Luckily the adviser on the phone was super helpful and sent me lots of information to read and advise on where I could be investing the money in that account. I now have it set up in a fund that is targeted to my retirement age. I also set up an auto contribution so that I don’t have to remember to go in every month and add to that account.

So, what I’ve learned and am happy to pass along to any of you who might have unknowingly done the same thing… It’s not just about saving for retirement and depositing money into your accounts, you have to set yourself up for success and pay attention to your investments, not every day, but check in on them and even more importantly, if something does not look right, ask questions!

Lastly, if robo-advising sounds interesting to you, use my referral link to get 3 months analyzed for free with Blooom. I am loving my experience so far and will post more updates once I’ve been using them for even longer.