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Investing in my Roth IRA for 18 years

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Feb 13, 2011 1:45 am

I need some help and advice about my investment portfolio. I am not very savvy with the entire investment process, but always knew to invest in an IRA. My portfolio is a moderate growth.

I am 43yo today.

I graduated from college and began my career in 1990. In 1992, I began contributing into a traditional IRA with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
The maximum allowable contribution back then was $2000.

Every year I have been diligent in contributing into my IRA - always contributing the maximum.
In 1998, the ROTH IRA was introduced and I moved my entire traditional over to the ROTH.
From that point on, I only contribute the max into my Roth.
In the meantime, I rollover my 401K to a traditional IRA account - about $50,000.

In 2005, I moved my acct from MSDW to Janney Montgomery Scott.

In 2007, I took out $39,000 from my Roth to purchase a house.
This $39,000 was the money I put in - therefore no penalty.

In 2010, I pulled my entire IRA net from Janney - I did not trust my stock broker.
The total amount taken out was $128,000. I was dumbfounded.

I contributed almost $100,000 into my IRA (contributions + 401K) and today it is worth this little.
My stock broker basically made me $60-$70,000 in 20 years
($128,000 + $39,000 = $167,000 - $100,000 = $67,000)

My former stock broker blames the low amount due to the harsh economy.

How can this be? 18 years with this one broker. Does this sound right to anyone??? Can this be due to the bad economy? This really smells!

Feb 13, 2011 7:35 pm

So you've come to a forum for brokers to complain about your broker?  Hmmm.  I've seen this post and your other post and the answer to your question is this, we don't know.  You have not provided enough information to make a judgement nor is this the appropriate place to discuss these issues.  Now I can point out a few errors in your thinking, such as making a 67% return over 18 years.  Number one, only a very small portion of your money has been invested for 18 years, a small portion for 17 years, a small portion for 16 years.... and so on.  Also, the last decade has been a net negative.  Google sequence of returns to find out why this is important.  I am assuming that your move from Morgan to Janney was following your broker, why did you trust him in 05 but not now?  Did you ever look at your returns before?  You make it sound as if this is the first time in 18 years you have ever looked and surprise!  That is difficult to believe.  Talk to your broker and ask him to explain to you what you have questions about.  That is your first step.  Stop asking anonymous people on the internet to validate your feelings based on limited biased information.