News Center

Starting early: Joseph Schmal

by Community Manager

‎07-31-2014 10:09 AM

Joe SchmalName: Joseph Schmal

 

Age: 35

 

Title: Senior business support analyst

 

Served in: Air Force

 

When did you start investing? I started investing every month once I started earning a paycheck after college.

 

How did you start investing? I just stuck everything into a Standard & Poor’s 500 index fund (after tax) and didn’t pay much attention to it until I separated from the military. At that point, I opened a USAA Roth IRA and had to pick some funds. That prompted me to do some research. Since joining USAA as an employee, I’ve converted my Roth into a brokerage account and have been more active. Now, it even includes a few individual stocks that I’ve researched, although they make up a small percentage of the total.

 

What is your risk appetite? I’m still fairly aggressive and invested mostly in equities. In 2008, I watched my savings shrink as the market dropped, but I continued to invest in equities and watched the market recover to record levels. If I hadn’t stayed the course, I would’ve missed out on regaining my unrealized losses.

 

Are you investing with a specific goal? I leave my 401(k) in the hands of active portfolio managers and put it in an asset allocation fund, which automatically changes the allocation of assets as you get closer to retirement. My Roth IRA is the account I like to trade with. It’s a huge bonus that none of the trades have tax implications since capital gains and reinvested dividends are tax deferred. On the advice of my advisor here at USAA, I’ve shifted some from U.S. equities to emerging markets, which have lower price-earnings ratios and seem to be a good value for the long term.

 

Any advice for new investors? For young investors and those on active duty who have less taxable income due to tax-free allowances (combat pay, etc), I’d say to contribute the maximum amount to a Roth IRA every year. The only higher priority for me would be if your company matches 401(k) contributions — that’s money you should take advantage of.

 

207884-0714

Joe Schmal carousel

Community Managers

Briana Hartzell

Briana Hartzell

Briana knows all about moving. This Navy wife has helped her husband relocate to four different naval air stations in the last three years. A former USAA employee, Briana is co-founder of The Triple Dish, a blog focused on food, fitness and military life.

View Briana's Profile
Wendy Poling

Wendy Poling

Wendy is a social media strategist and founder of MyMilitaryLife.com, featuring a popular military spouse blog and the hit podcast Navy Wife Radio and now Military Life Radio. She is the wife of a submariner who has also served in Afghanistan.

View Wendy's Profile
Charles Pratt

Charles "Chazz" Pratt

Charles "Chazz" Pratt III is a former U.S. Army Captain who made the Military-to-Civilian career transition in 1994. In his book, The Fort Living Room Transition Course, he shares valuable tips & tricks to help you succeed. Since his transition from the military, he's worked for several Fortune 500 companies, including Pfizer, Genentech, and St. Jude Medical, among others.

View Chazz's Profile
Scott Halliwell

Scott Halliwell

Scott Halliwell is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

View Scott Halliwell's Profile
Joseph Montanaro

Joseph "J.J." Montanaro

Joseph "J.J." Montanaro is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

View Joseph "J.J." Montanaro's Profile