No need to move retirement account
I have about $96,000 in an account with Morgan Stanley that I rolled
over after a company I worked for was sold. I then went to work
for another company. I have since left the second firm and there
is about $30,000 in that retirement account with Fidelity, but still
under the company name. Would it be in my best interest to roll
it all to Morgan Stanley? Neither account has grown by leaps and
-- Vicki Vigor
Consolidating your retirement accounts with one provider can make it easier, and sometimes less expensive, to manage those accounts. But, ignoring for the moment annual fees and expenses, the return on the account depends on how the money is invested, not where the money is held.
The fact that the plan sponsor's name -- your former
employer -- is on the Fidelity account is not a cause for concern.
I have a retirement account from a former employer that has that
employer's name on the account as plan sponsor, and I haven't worked
for that employer in over six years and feel no compulsion to move
the account. Talk to Fidelity if you're worried about the security
of the funds in that account.
Keep an eye on annual fees and expenses, both for
the account and in the investments. Paying high annual fees in a
mutual fund is a drag on your realized return. Lower-cost options
can help you improve your realized returns.
Periodically reviewing the performance of your investments
and deciding on rebalancing or reallocating those investments makes
perfect sense. In general, people don't spend enough time on these
tasks. Take the time to review your accounts; decide whether it's
important to change allocations based on your financial and life
goals. Bring in a professional if you feel overwhelmed with the
Editor's note: Dr. Don has a retirement account
To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the "Ask
the Experts" page, and select one of these topics: "financing
a home," "saving & investing" or "money."