As a relatively new worker, is it better for me to go with my employer's investment plan, or to invest for retirement myself?
Answers | 3
Next, look at the underlying expense of each fund option. You can enter the Ticker Symbol (or search based on the fund name) at Morningstar.com. Towards the upper right it will tell you the fund expense and whether that's high, low, average, etc. If most of the funds have high expenses, you can do better on your own through an online discount broker like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard, Betterment, etc.
Usually in life the more we pay for things the better the quality, but that's not the case with investing. You want to keep your expenses as low as possible since those expenses eat into your returns and can have a big impact over many decades. You'd rather have that money working for you and growing than going towards unnecessary fees.
Keep in mind, good company retirement plans have very low fees and good investment options. You can think about it like shopping at Costco or Sam's Club -- being part of a larger group gives you access to funds you couldn't use on your own, and for a lower cost.
Generally, as an employee the opportunity to save more money is with your employers plans, but if you quality a Roth may be a good option too.