Change of job: what to do with the savings in the 401k plan

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(Update 17-Apr-2019) I recently changed job again and also did some adjustments on old 401k, after leaving much of them alone since 2009. I did moved some money from small 401k to an IRA account (those employers asked me to move the money out). I made some mistakes during the IRA investing, and was reluctant to move the money if an employer would let me leave the money there. But recently I found out this “overly passive approach” is not helping me for long run.

(Original 01-Jul-2017) I talked a bit on this topic in the past (see a post here). The one thing I may add is: I didn’t do very well in most the IRA (self management, mostly buy / sell stocks in the small scottrade IRA account). The value mostly bounced back since I bought the Huntsman (NYSE:HUN) in last couple years, but I lost quite a bit trading the coal stocks (and Palm stock) back in those days. So I decided to put money into Vanguard funds (and IRA account) in 2014 when the old 401 plan asked me to move my money (I worked on a contractor job in part of 2013, for 7 months).

Today I received a letter from my old employer Arch Coal, the director of benefits about change of the asset manager for the 401k plan. Note Arch Coal went through a bankruptcy in last few years, also note bankruptcy alone has no effect on employee’s 401k plan (the money is separate). But I did compare arch coal’s 401k plan performance vs the Mercy plan (managed by Fidelity, the No. 1 or 2 asset manager), and Arch’s performance is not as good. So this is something I will think about: 1) roll it over to my current employer; 2) roll it over to Vanguard; 3) leave it as is (the new manager is transamerica).

I have not decided it yet. Still thinking…

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