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401Kafe/ IRA Junction

02/28/01 02:23:19 AM PST
by Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan

Here are two websites you can turn to for information about your retirement plan.

No matter your age, planning for your retirement is certainly a necessary concern. In addition, if you have a retirement plan, it can be difficult to keep track of all the bells and whistles that go along with it. If that's the case for you, two useful sites that contain a selection of well-written articles explaining the many facets of retirement planning are www.401Kafe.com and www.irajunction.com, both of which can be accessed via www.mpower.com.

401Kafe.com

IRAJunction.com

These sites are similarly designed and contain various sections thatinclude commentary, news, community, tips, education, and tools. Some of these sections contain identical content, but as may be inferred from their domain names, one covers 401(k) plans, while the other covers individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Not only that, recent news items that affect your retirement plans are available, as well as general articles that increase
awareness of issues critical to your enjoying your golden years.

EDUCATION

The education section is the most valuable tool available on both these sites. It is divided in each into the following three parts:

1 Wall Street 101
2 401(k) ABCs/IRABCs
3 Bear's Cave.
Wall Street 101 discusses the basics of investing and explains everything in layman's terms. Most topics necessary to get a firm understanding of retirement planning are covered. The quiz that is included is an added benefit, because it gives you the opportunity to test your knowledge. Topics you will be able to find in this part cover risks, diversification, and asset allocation. The ABCs section discusses how IRA and 401(k) plans work, their advantages, and why you need them. The "Bear's Cave" section talks about the principles of bear markets -- a topic you rarely come across but that is just as important, if not more, as knowing about bull markets.

It's always beneficial to get an idea of how much you can possibly lose during a bear market. In the Bear's Cave, you get an opportunity to determine this amount. Simply enter the amount you have invested -- the percentage allocation -- among various asset classes in the window provided. Once you enter these percentages, assuming you have an initial investment of $10,000 on January 1973, the value of this investment as of September 1974 will be displayed, after a bear market. Techniques you can use to reduce your losses during bear markets are also discussed here.

Other useful features include a message board where you can post questions about 401(k) plans and IRAs. It's also worth your time to visit the tips section, where you can read answers to specific questions that readers have asked. If you would like to ask a question, you can send one in, and each Tuesday, answers to questions are posted.

Both 401Kafe and IRA Junction are free community websites provided by mpower.com, a site that provides fee-based investment advice to 401(k) plan participants. The websites' plans include offering information on other retirement tools such as the 403b and 457.

CONCLUSION

Anyone interested in gaining more knowledge about his or her retirement plan should spend some time going through the various articles available on these sites. The articles are easy to read as well as entertaining. You also have the opportunity to join in discussions with other members of the community and talk about issues related to retirement planning.

Technical Editor Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan plans to retire as soon as possible and not let anyone know where. In the meanwhile, she may be reached at Jayanthi@Traders.com.




Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan

Staff Writer

Title: Staff Writer
Company: Technical Analysis, Inc.
Address: 4757 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Phone # for sales: 206 938 0570
Fax: 206 938 1307
Website: working-money.com
E-mail address: Jayanthi@traders.com

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