Gulp! My Wife’s 401(k) is Down 39% Year-to-Date!

October 10, 2008

Just for the heck of it, I checked the balance of my wife’s 401(k) this morning. According to Fidelity, our “personal rate of return” for 2008 is -39.4%!

Fidelity has this to say about their “personal rate of return” calculation:

Your Personal Rate of Return is calculated with a time-weighted formula, widely used by financial analysts to calculate investment earnings. It reflects the result of your investment selections as well as any activity in the plan account(s) shown. There are other Personal Rate of Return formulas used that may yield different results. Remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Am I worried? NOPE! Am I disheartened? Maybe a little. However, all this makes me want to buy more so that I can take advantage of this gigantic sale that’s going on right now. For a long-term investor, that’s exactly what this is: A GIGANTIC SALE!

11 responses to Gulp! My Wife’s 401(k) is Down 39% Year-to-Date!

  1. Not bad. I did one better and pulled up my past year returns, which went back to october of 2007, and I’m down 54%


  2. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. You could be down 50% before its over. But, don’t worry – it will come back – so they say.

  3. Well, now I don’t feel so bad being 42% down.

  4. I received a little bit of luck in all of this. My wife left jobs recently and I am in the process of rolling over her 401k to a vanguard account. The old 401K was sold about two weeks ago before the recent heavy downturn and is about to be placed in a Money market account at vanguard as I figure out what funds I am going to buy. I can’t wait to figure out which bargains I can find

    Otherwise, I have been hit hard just like most people. I can only hope that we are close to the bottom of this and we are close to starting the long road to recovery

  5. My Fidelity stuff was down about 40% yesterday. Haven’t checked today. I just wish I had money that I could use to buy some stuff – but I don’t.

  6. I thought that sounded crazy, so I looked at my own ROI % YTD in quicken, and it says -31.46%

    I didn’t do quite as bad as you, but that might be my 10% bonds.

  7. JLP, that sounds really familiar!! Er, wait, I don’t have a wife. I am the wife.

    I’m just glad I have the income to still contribute regularly, and retirement is far off. If my savings went to $0, I still wouldn’t be too bad off. Others though, aren’t so lucky.

  8. just to make all of you feel better, mine is -62.12% at merrill lynch as for last friday. hang in there.

  9. Wow. Interesting experiment.

    -37.4% here.

    Glad I changed my contributions to 55% cash about 2 or 3 cycles ago. That was up from about 10% prior, when I was much more heavily weighted in emerging markets and international equities.

  10. My 457 gave me a return of -49%. I’m glad I found these comments, I feel a lot better that I have company. As long as we don’t sell, we’re ok.

  11. Wow! and I thought I was doing bad with my investments being down 30% this year. These comments make me feel like I did well, comparatively. -30% still feels like a lot, though.