Squander No. 3: Pour it all into your employer’s stock
For this lesson, let’s go back to December 2002 when Enron filed for bankruptcy protection. Some $1.2 billion in 401k assets allocated to company stock by loyal employees disappeared into thin air, an event as equally slimy as any one of its oil spills. Many of the company’s most loyal kept all or huge portions of their savings in Enron stock.
Meanwhile, Enron executives had lied about the true financial state of the company, disallowed employees to sell stock and walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars. Moral of the story: Do not allocate more than 10% of your 401k assets in company stock. If matching funds come in that form, sell the shares and spread the proceeds among other holdings. Show loyalty by showing up on time, giving 100%, and attending the annual holiday party—just don’t put a lampshade on your head.