What’s in Our Wallet: Investing Edition

If you’ve been following along for a bit, you may know that we have been publishing a “What’s in Our Wallet” series to give some visibility into how we set up our household finances.  Here is our next installment… the Investing Edition!

New here?  Check out our previous posts here:

Credit Card Edition

Banking Edition

So… what’s in our investing wallet?

  • Vanguard.
  • TIAA-CREF (soon to be Vanguard).
  • HealthEquity.
  • eTrade.
  • Vanguard.


Just kidding, here is our real answer:

Retirement Account Investing

Mrs. Adventure Rich’s 401(k)

I love where I work for a lot of reasons.  One such reason is the fact that my 401(k) is through Vanguard (yay!).  This means that I can max this baby out while taking advantage of the great rates (read: very low expense ratios).  My company offers an interesting match.  They match 100% of the first 3% I contribute… then 50% of the next 2% I contribute.  Basically, in order to take full advantage of the match, I need to contribute 5% and they add their 4% chunk of change.  But I do a bit more than that 5%…  2017 will be my second year fully maxing out (I almost did in 2015, but maternity leave messed up my planning a bit and I was short about $2,500).

Mr. Adventure Rich’s 403(b)

…soon to be Vanguard IRA!  Mr. Adventure Rich has a 403(b) housed with TIAA-CREF through his former employer, a small liberal arts college.  Mr. Adventure Rich (thankfully) unknowingly checked a box in his employment packet and began investing when he first started his career in 2006.  He promptly forgot about it for several years, investing throughout the 2008 crash and beyond.  Some of his returns are INSANE!  Thank goodness he never realized he was investing or touched the investments!  His employer added a 5% match, which he took advantage of from the beginning.  When we got married, we ratcheted up the savings rate until he was maxing out (post-debt payoff) the year he left this job.

Now that Mr. AR has a new job, we are working to roll this over to a Vanguard IRA in order to simplify and take advantage of the ah-MAZING-ly low index fund expense ratios.  (VTSAX info herehere and here).

What’s next with Mr. Adventure Rich’s investing?  He will be eligible for his current employer plan later this year.  We will take a look, invest to the company match, then either add more to the IRA, add more to the employer plan (doubtful since I think the IRA will have better expense ratios…) or look to fund a possible real estate investment.  The options abound!

Adventure Rich Family Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you notice, I put the Health Savings Account (HSA) in the “Retirement Account” category.  If you have not heard about “hacking an HSA”, please go read the “HSA- The Ultimate Retirement Account” article by the Mad Fientist.  It is well worth your time, I promise.

For years, we had a ridiculously good health insurance situation through Mr. Adventure Rich’s former employer.  His former employer was a small non-profit college and did not take ANYTHING out of his paycheck for health insurance.  No idea what they did on the back end and his salary wasn’t exactly through the roof, but this was a MAJOR benefit during the first few years of our marriage.  However, it meant we were not eligible for an HSA since the plan was not a High Deductible Health Plan (“HDHP”- required for an HSA account).

When he left his job, we switched to my health insurance, an Anthem Blue Cross HDHP and opted into fully funding the HSA with part of the contributions coming from my employer (another reason to love where I work!).  The HSA custodian is HealthEquity, which offers an array of investment options including Vanguard funds.

Taxable Account Investing

Mrs. Adventure Rich Company Stock ESPP

A few years back, my company began offering an Employee Stock Purchase Plan at a 5% discount.  At the time, I had few expenses and figured I would play ball.  I believe in the company I work for (we are a strong, Fortune 40 Company) and I decided to take advantage of the discount.  I no longer actively invest here, but I have stock is currently valued higher than when I bought it and I figure I’ll keep reaping the benefits of owning a piece of my employer (bring on the dividends).  The funds are held in eTrade and I have had good experiences with them (though my experience is limited… beyond logging in to check my account, I have only used eTrade for one “sell” to help fund our house purchase).

College Account Investing

Adventure Rich Junior’s 529 Plan

Back in 2016, Mr. Adventure Rich and I received a tax refund and decided to start a 529 plan.  We do not actively invest in the plan at the moment, but I am glad we have a small start for our son and it is a good place to put monetary gifts he receives on occasion.  The 529 plan is with Vanguard (can you tell we are fans?)  In California, where we lived when we invested in the 529, there is no tax deduction so we decided to open the account with Vanguard.  Michigan’s plan (through TIAA) has a state (not federal) tax deduction.  If we choose to actively invest again, we may need to look at the TIAA 529 and weigh the higher expense ratio against the tax benefits.

So there you have it, our investment accounts in a nutshell.  How about you?  Where are you invested?  How about your HSA?  We are tied into HealthEquity through my plans offering… but anyone have another favorite HSA custodian?

Always an Adventure,

Mrs. Adventure Rich