5 bulletproof funds for your 401k

These funds have a proven record of success in helping investors with a variety of investment strategies meet their retirement goals.
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Apr 2, 2012 8:44AM
I'm 53 and between the government enabled and wall street caused recessions of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s I have lost hundreds of thousands even with a diversified portfolio and conservative principles of investing. If not for inheritance from my parents I would be basically back where I was in my 30s. I'm sick of our government and wall street who use us to fill their pockets with no skin in the game for themselves then get bailed out. Right now hundreds of wall street executives  and law makers should be in jail for what they have done to this country legally raping it and its hard working citizens. But they make the laws and they have done no wrong. Tell that to the millions of us who have been duped with 401ks and mutual funds,variable annuities,junk bonds,derivitives,etc, which make money for the firm regardless of what the indices do. F you Uncle Sam and Wall St,
Apr 2, 2012 6:02AM

If you have a degree in economics all this might actually be helpful, but to the financially challenged, all this advise doesn't mean a whole lot. 


If you are like most people and put your retirement savings in a company sponsored 401-K and trusted the experts to invest properly, you now have no chance of retiring because you lost 40% to 50% a few years ago when we were handing out billions to the same crooks that caused the collapse.


My advise, don't trust your retirement to the stock market unless you have quite a bit of experience in trading and finance, or have a financial advisor that can watch your investment closely for you.


May 11, 2012 9:29AM
The problem is that a lot of you uber-libs took hippy classes in college and don't know anyhting about markets. How do people earn money? They work and invest. And they learn what to invest in by reading and undertsanding what the funds objectives are. Instead of whining, spend that energy on making yourself better. Oh, and a news flash for you, if you don't invest for your own future, you want have a future because our politicians are spending your Social Security. If you don't like free markets and capitalism, move to Cuba.
May 10, 2012 11:49PM
wonder why everyone over looks the vanguard wellesly fund? its about as solid as you can get

May 11, 2012 10:22AM

Who's the fool recommending GM bonds?  Doesn't he remember what happened to the last suckers who owned them before the government took over?


For the short of memory, our dear leader seized GM, screwed the bondholders (i.e., the secured creditors) and gave a large chunk of the remaining assets to the UAW (i.e., unsecured beggars).


Buy Ford or foreign.

Apr 2, 2012 12:14PM
Save $1.00 out of every $10.00 you earn and you will never miss it , never touch it, allow it to earn interest compounded until you reach retirement age. You will be able to retire comfortably at a reasonable age.
May 11, 2012 1:16PM
Bulletproof, my ****. Even carrying cash in your pocket carries some risk.

Wherever you invest, tomorrow a quarter of it might be gone. There is no truly safe place to put your money without it losing value due to inflation. That's how the system works, to keep us running on the hamster wheel.

Fire your financial adviser and do your own research. Take your time. Don't react impulsively (making any spending decision on the spur of the moment is disastrous), and don't get carried by greed, by gambling away huge sums of money in the stock market on the hope that you'll get rich without doing any work.

Apr 2, 2012 12:09PM

I lost 35% in 07/08 but went right back in the spring of 09.  As such i have made ALL of my losses back with a 9-11% increase at the end of 2011.  This year I'm up nearly 10% but believe there will be a correction of 5% in Q2 or Q3.  Having said that I will be buying oil and natural gas mutual funds during that "sale".  I'm now moving out of all bond funds other than high yield corp and emerging market funds. 

I agree with fukucla, the average person doesn't know much about retirement funds but it takes little effort to see what the "experts" view collectively specific to the best large cap, mid cap, dividend and emerging market stock funds.  Just as important is the fact that the investor sticks with the 6-10% witholding into the 401K so that when there are big drops they are still buying (on sale).  The stock market seems to the the only place that American shoppers run away when things are on sale.  If tools or women's shoes were 50% off, you can bet your azz blue collar men and women would be buying.  Problem is most that have seen how good the market has been over the last three years will get in and then wonder why they get the big correction.  The market numbers are pretty high folks, quit selling low and buying high! 

Apr 2, 2012 11:30AM
@mark (markinmin):  The only people who lost 40-50% of their 401k's are people who decided to sell their positions when the market hit its low point.  Many of those people would actually have experienced a net gain by now had they maintained their positions and kept buying shares in those same investments (at steeply lower prices) during the run-up to where we are now.  I agree with your point about having a financial adviser (which is what I am), as many people need to have someone with the knowledge and experience to talk them off the ledge before they make catastrophic decisions with their investments.
Apr 4, 2012 12:50PM
There are some really good fund managers, but you generally pay much higher fees for their funds. And even the best fund managers, such as Bruce Berkowitz and Bill Miller, have terrible years from time to time.  For the long term, most individual investors are probably better off buying and holding a diverse portfolio of index funds or ETFs  from low cost companies such as Vanguard. Because of the miracle of compound interest, re-investing dividends and capital gains makes a huge difference over time.
Apr 9, 2012 11:41AM
I'll get right on adding those funds to my 401k investments... oh wait. I have no control over what stocks are available in my 401k and I honestly can't think of a 401k out there that does allow you to pick. Between that and the word "bulletproof", the author lost all credibility so I didn't even bother reading the suggestions.
Apr 2, 2012 11:24AM
I find it interesting that not a single American Funds mutual fund was even sniffed at.  To borrow just one example from American Funds, which was previously mentioned in a post by knjeot s, Capital Income Builder, which has been around since 1987, has averaged 7.12% over 10 years, and a very nice 9.69% over its lifetime, with expenses at a very reasonable 0.61%.  The writer of this article really needs to be fair in giving American Funds their due.
May 11, 2012 6:17PM
Nice page---weak reccomendations---average person could do better by selecting a mixed group within vanguard.
May 29, 2012 10:03PM
There is no such thing as "bullet-proof" particularly when you invest money with Wall Street thieves.
Apr 2, 2012 4:43PM
Nuveen has been pretty good over the years with their munibond funds that are tax frees, some cases both state and federal. I have found all the old tried-and-trues like AT&T, ConEdison, Johnson Johnson and Chevron etc have always paid a decent dividend even in the worst of times. I was taught to buy good stuff and hang on to it. For those of us who never had 401K's we had to depend on our own choices not the "experts". It pays to do your homework in earnest and often so you can "rebalance" time to time, pay attention don't depend on somebody else to do it for you, learn a lot just by reading reading reading, sad that many young folks are not taught the basics of sound financial choices.  I sure wasn't a finance guru (I'm a retired hairdresser) but my retirement is in better shape than many others who earned 3X more because I learned enough to make some good choices (and some bad along the way too) and didn't live over my head, I ain't rich but I ain't starving, . As far as the gov't, well the system was never designed that us average Joe's are supposed to get rich, that'll never happen in my lifetime, The Lord Giveth, the Gov't taketh away.
May 29, 2012 9:24PM
Bulletproof gambling. that's just funny...
May 11, 2012 11:47AM
This is so funny the goverment force loans on people who could not afford them, than they were sold to wall street who knowing they were lemons made lemonade and sold them an we all got screwed
Apr 2, 2012 11:54AM
@greedisglorious:  Trust me, there are enough people out there calling me during times like these that I don't need to take to message boards to "drum up business."  Just telling it like it is.  Sorry to hear about all those people you know who have had negative experiences, but there are some investments out there that probably haven't recovered, and there are things like target date funds that are too popular for their own good, which rebalance at set intervals to gradually shift out of equities and into debt positions as retirement age approaches.  That sort of target date strategy can really backfire in downturns when the rebalance triggers kick in and lock in losses for shareholders.  Sorry the people you know made poor investment decisions that resulted in not being able to recover from lower share prices, but just further proof that the average person planning for retirement is ill equipped to make those types of decisions on his own.
May 11, 2012 1:25AM

OMG!!! What half wit believes this crap anymore.  Bullet proof fund. rofl    Liars and cheats everyone of these money grubbing wall street wannabes.  Game over creeps. Lights out. No sane person is going to invest ANYTHING in wall street 401k crap.  We won't be fooled again.


Viva Occupy Wall Street

Apr 2, 2012 12:14PM
Mr RPM hit the nail on the head.  People have the exact opposite reaction to stock price fluctuation that they do with other goods.  You don't pull into the gas station hoping for higher prices, so why wait until stock prices go higher to invest?  Doesn't make sense, but that's the way things tend to go.  Investing is, or at least should be, a long-term strategy, and over a long period investors will experience multiple market cycles.  The key is to stick to your strategy and remember that market corrections present excellent opportunities to pick up additional shares at discounted prices, which always pays off in the long-run.
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