My Investing To-Do List

Saving & Investing / Friday, March 31st, 2017

One of the benefits of writing a personal finance blog is that it keeps you focused. Since I returned to The Family CEO earlier this month I’ve had personal finance on the brain in a way I haven’t for a while, and one of the things that has come from it is this to-do list. These are the things that need my attention, investing-wise.

Research Investment Options for our HSA

Three years ago we opened up a Health Savings Account for the purpose of additional retirement investing. I wrote about our plan here and updated you on how it was going here.

Using the HSA as a retirement account continues to work great for us. But we’re three years out and the whole thing is still invested in cash. That would be fine if we planned to use it soon for medical expenses, but it’s awful since we plan to leave it untouched until retirement.

Our HSA company has an investment option so I need to get on the stick and see what they offer investments-wise. Our investing philosophy is to keep it simple and low cost, which is why we are enthusiastic Vanguard investors. If our HSA company doesn’t offer Vanguard investments, or something very similar, I’ll be researching new HSA companies as well.

Look Into Changing the Date on our Target Retirement Fund

We have two main investments for retirement: the value of my husband’s business and our Vanguard IRAs. Our IRAs are invested in Vanguard’s Target Retirement 2025 fund.

I love the simplicity of target retirement date funds, which are complete portfolios in one fund. They are also rebalanced for you each year to keep your allocation of stocks and bonds appropriate based on when you plan to retire. The investments inside the Vanguard funds are actually other funds, and since they are index funds, the expenses are low. I love that part too.

When we opened these IRAs, we chose the Target Date 2025 fund because my husband will turn 63 year that year and that seemed about right. He will probably work longer than that, but who knows? We didn’t want our mix of stocks and bonds to be too conservative if he chose not to work longer.

But lately I’ve been feeling that the investment mix in the 2025 Fund is probably too conservative for us, for a variety of reasons. I need to flesh that out a bit more and, if we decide that’s true, move those IRA investments to a fund with a Target Date of 2030 or maybe even 2035.

Invest the Cash in my Dividend Investing Accounts

I have a small-ish investment account made up of two IRAs that I rolled over from an old 401(k) plan I participated in. Since this is a (very) small part of our retirement investments, at the time I rolled the money over I decided to have some fun with it and invest it in individual Dividend Aristocrat stocks. You can see all the posts I’ve written on this little investing adventure here.

I’ve checked the balance on these IRAs once or twice a year since I stopped writing updates here, but I haven’t really dug into the details of account until this week when I took a closer look. Specifically, I wanted to see how much in dividends I had earned in the last two and a half years, since dividends were my main reason for investing in those stocks.

I’ll update you on the performance of the stocks in a future post, but while doing my digging I discovered that my account settings for one of the companies I was invested in was set to not automatically reinvest the dividends. That meant that every time that company paid dividends they were going into a cash account.

I corrected the setting error so dividends will be reinvested going forward, and I was about to invest the $150ish dollars in my cash account back into the stock it came from. But then I considered that it might be fun to pick a new Dividend Aristocrat stock instead. This is something I’m really looking forward to.


So, there’s my to-do list. I’ll report back to you as I get these things done. And if investments aren’t your thing, I’ll be back next week with a new found money report for March.

What’s on your financial to-do list these days?

P.S. In honor of re-launching The Family CEO, I’ve spent some time this month redesigning the blog. I’m loving it’s simpler, cleaner look. I think it’s working better on mobile devices too. If you’re reading this in email and have the time, click through to the site and let me know what you think. I’ve also started a new Pinterest account just for personal finance topics. You can find it here.

5 Replies to “My Investing To-Do List”

  1. Wealth management sounds easy if you have wealth. But you have to start somewhere. Just make sure to make small and steady investments and be “boring” like investing in an index fund. The key is to just get started and be disciplined. The power of compounding will eventually take over. You don’t always have to try to beat the market.

  2. Julie, I’m so glad you’re back with more Family CEO posts! I just happened to click your blog’s icon on my favorites page last night and was happy to see four recent posts. Our daughter graduates from college tomorrow and our oldest son is a college junior. Your daughter’s already graduated, right? It’d be fun to read about how much budgeting and investing advice your kids are seeking/getting from you once they’re on their own. Our daughter has started her new job and is eagerly open to advice (so far). Also, I’d like to hear more about your dividend strategy. Are you looking at the individual stocks or is there somewhat of a Dividend Aristocrats fund available? I like the idea of some passive dividend income for our later years but hesitate to buy individual stocks with the market up so high. Thanks for returning to your blog! :)

    1. Hi Carol! Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation. I hope your weekend was as beautiful weather-wise for your celebration as ours was here. My daughter graduated from college three years ago (amazing!) and is pretty open to advice. We’ve helped her navigate health insurance, a car purchase, retirement investing, and taxes so far. And I will be happy to update my dividend investing on the blog. To be clear: my dividend investing is mostly for fun. It’s not an integral part of our retirement investing. I’m intrigued by those who build up big dividend portfolios for retirement income, but overall I feel investing into more diversified index funds is a better path for us. I’ll work on a more detailed post about that. Thanks for your comment!

  3. We all need an investing to do list. But most importantly we just need to get started. The key is to take the first step and be disciplined. Over time as your investments compound you will start to see the results. But don’t always try to beat the market as an index fund approach can work just fine.

  4. We all should have a list like this. However, getting started is half the battle. Just take the plunge and don’t be scared. As long as you start setting aside a defined amount you will be better off than most.

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