Mary Pilon

is New York-based sports reporter at The New York Times and is writing a book about the history of Monopoly.

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#etfs

OMG and WTF! 401(k) + ETF = SCHW »

Let’s try and put that into English for those of you who haven’t been having as much fun with fund reports, spreadsheets and SEC comment letters as I have. (Whee!) 

On Wednesday’s C1, I report on Charles Schwab’s new 401(k) initiative. So 401(k)s are what we put retirement money into. (Or try to, at least.) But what we invest them has long been an area of contention. Do we invest in actively-managed mutual funds? Or index funds? Shove it all in a mattress? OR…as Schwab is proposing…do we invest them in exchange-traded funds, or ETFs? (For more background on these newbies, good primer material here.) 

ETFs are new. With that comes innovation and controversy. And what happens when we put that into the hands of ma and pa investors? Only time will tell. 

And yes, “McCool” is his real last name.