Things to consider:
Amount of funds (can't stress this enough) available
My advice to you? Use the 401k your company offers, and depending on your age either be in equities (god knows why they are rising right now) or be about 50/50. Again depending on how much money you have.
if they don't offer a 401k, get an IRA with anyone that isn't a jackass.
Unless you have real money. In which case you already have a lawyer and an accountant, ask them who they use.
Often times people get in WAY over their heads with too little money, and end up making jack. When something as simple as a CD would have yielded a better NET/NET gain based on their situation.
risk tolerance is high, I'm 34, so I have a ways to go yet.
Right now it's just a couple K in my roth IRA. It will probably be another year before I can really add to it. It was converted from an IRA, which was rolled over from a previous employers 401k ( I only worked there 1 year in 2004).
Employment security is as good as it can be these days in the US.
Debt is better/lower than average, I've been working on paying it off. I don't know what equity means outside of the context of my house.
My credit score should be very high. My record is clean/perfect. I have a 13 to 14 year history and my revolving credit to debt is about 15.5 to 1.
Married filing jointly and my wife owns a very tiny S corp.
I have a home with some equity.
I do have student loan debt too.
My company does have a traditional 401K, 50% match up to 8%. I am fully vested. I contribute 8%. I always have and always will do the 8%. I'd like to put anything over that in my roth as that is a better deal. However my company's 401K has stuff in there you can't invest in on your own unless you are totally fv(K1ng loaded. So I might still be better off putting everything in there.
Yes indeed I haven't had much money in there and a CD would have done me better.
If my company offered a roth 401K I'd really be in business, I'd just put everything in there.
Now on a separate note, I am also going to need to find a low risk short term investment. I want to start a "car fund". This is where I make a car payment to an account where I can EARN interest rather than pay it. I'd like to find something better than a savings account making less than 1%.The account would build up over several years, then I would spend 95% of it or so, and then build it back up again.
In addition to that I also need to build up a savings account which I can borrow from as needed so as never to carry over a balance on a credit card again.
So it will be a year or 2 before I start contributing to the roth, but I want to find something good for the money to sit in for now. At the moment it's in a S&P small cap value fund, which hasn't been the greatest, but it's been doing good the past month or so. But like I said, I really truly think interest and dividends are going to be way better than counting on increases in market value.