In the past weeks, we have seen some wild fluctuations in the stock market. Oil prices briefly dropping to negatives, and interest rates going lower than ever. Along with that craziness, we’ve all watched our retirement plans drop in value recently, the most in over 10 years; these are the times you tend to notice the value of your retirement plan. A lot of people were “on track” but are now below their target goals for retirement savings. That can be unsettling, especially when you’re not familiar with mutual funds — or any of your investment choices in your plan. When I talk to most people, they briefly summarize their retirement account allocation as “risky” or “safe” — but when we then take a deep look at their portfolio, it’s not exactly what they thought it was. Because of this, I wanted to take some time to give some few tips on reviewing your investment portfolio during these uncertain times.
1. Find a financial advisor that is right for you
Find an advisor. Sounds simple, right? Most advisors are happy to meet with you and review your investment plan to help make sure your mutual funds are invested properly. Specifically, in the best options that fit your risk tolerance. If you already have a relationship with an advisor, perhaps through another account or even a family member, reach out to them and ask. They should be able and willing to give you feedback on your plan — as long as you provide them a recent statement and your mutual fund selection options. If you’re not sure how to find this information on your investment plan, check your most recent statement, or log in to the website for your plan.
2. Understand your own risk tolerance
Get an understanding for risk while you are reviewing your investment portfolio. For example, how did you feel when the market dropped earlier this year… did you feel sick to your stomach? Maybe you should tone down your “aggressive” portfolio. Or, maybe you’re saying to yourself: “I didn’t bother to look and I still don’t care.” In that case, maybe we could look to see how aggressive you are — and make further adjustments. There are lots of ways to make sure you have the proper fund choices to fit your profile.
3. If you don’t like your current investment plan with your company, you have options
What if you hate all the investment choices in your current plan, or at least are looking for more flexibility? There’s an option there, too — it’s called an “in-service distribution.” This allows you to take a cash distribution and/or roll over the assets to an IRA while staying employed. Yes, you can move your money over to an IRA with a financial advisor while still being employed. This would open up your entire investment universe when it comes to options, or if you have a specific retirement plan in mind. Every plan out there is different — and has different rules — so be aware. According to Investopedia: “Not every retirement plan allows in-service withdrawals, but about 70% of those available in the US do offer this option under certain conditions.”
If you’re looking for a local financial advisor that’s ready to help, feel free to get in touch!
Review your plan’s Summary Plan Description. This document describes the plan’s features, including distribution options. Other sources for this information include the plan’s administrator or participant support services.
Information in this material is for general information only and not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation prior to making any financial decision. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.