For a few years now, I have been Lazy about transferring a 401k to a Rollover IRA. I have no excuse. I know I could invest in a brokerage with very cheap exchange traded funds (ETFs). Instead of paying the nearly 1% in expenses, I could probably pay around 0.25%. As long as I’m coming clean here, it’s not just one 401k, but three of them. And it’s not just a few dollars, it’s around $80,000. In short, it’s not exactly an insignificant move.
Last week, I finally applied for a Zecco IRA. It has a $30 a year fee, which I calculate to add 0.036% in expenses for the $80,000. With that cost, I would get the ability to execute trades commission-free. This means that I can rebalance my portfolio as often as I would want and the biggest cost would the spread between the buy and the ask prices. That would be enough to prevent me from shifting money too often.
After waiting such a long time to get going, I wanted to act right away. I was determined to not be Lazy for once. I called up New York Life, the company in charge of the largest 401k I have and asked them about rolling over the 401k. The process requires them sending a check to my home. I would then take that check and ship it to Zecco. I can’t believe this is still the case in the land of electronic transfers. I was expecting it to be faster. I was expecting that it might be more secure.
Why is the time to hesitate now? The stock market is so volatile. I don’t want my check to be in the mail during this time. In some ways I’m trying to time the market. I think stocks are cheap and I don’t want to miss a recovery. I have the feeling that things might settle down in the next month.