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Starting early: Ian Bartonicek

by Community Manager

‎07-24-2014 05:00 AM

Ian Bartonicek
Ian Bartonicek


Age: 33


Title: Senior channel manager


Served in: Coast Guard


When did you start investing? I started investing in my junior year at the Coast Guard Academy.


How did you start investing? I started by fully funding a Roth IRA with a handful of USAA mutual funds. I funded it for that year and the previous tax year, which at the time was $6,000. That was back when the Roth IRA contribution limit was $3,000 annually. It is now $5,500 annually.


What is your risk appetite? I consider myself a pretty risk-averse investor, but given my age, I know I’m seeking long-term growth of capital so I have most of my money in more aggressive assets like stock mutual funds.


Are you investing with a specific goal? My goal is for my wife and I to live comfortably in retirement. For us, this translates into a nest egg of around $2 million by 2045.


Any advice for would-be investors? From my experience, there are three things that are critical to be a successful investor:

  1. Diversification: Don’t focus your investment on one sector or industry. Mutual funds provide investors with a cost-effective source of diversification.
  2. Dollar-cost averaging:  Purchasing a fixed dollar amount of securities at a regular interval, ensuring that more units are purchased when prices are low and fewer units are purchased when prices are high. This strategy minimizes downside risk and helps investors contribute to their portfolios on a regular basis.
  3. A long-term time horizon: You’re investing for the future, which is years, if not decades, away.


Another piece of critical advice is to beware of expenses. Very few money managers beat the market over time, so most investors’ best bet is to buy low-cost index funds.



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