How do I Choose Investments?

Before you choose funds (or make any investment decisions) you need to know that investing involves the possibility of loss. That’s why it’s so important to know how much market risk you’re willing to take (your risk tolerance) and how much time your money has to grow (your time horizon) before you start making choices. Your risk tolerance and time horizon will help you determine the right investments for you.

Assess your risk tolerance

As a general rule, if you expect a higher rate of return, you should be willing to accept a higher degree of market risk. If you pick less risky investments, the tradeoff may be less growth potential.

Figure out your time horizon

How much time do you have between when you invest and when you need your money? The amount of time your money has to grow will have an impact on which funds make sense for you.

Choose a strategy to reduce risk

Investing for retirement is usually a long-term commitment, and there are strategies designed to help you reduce risk as you invest for retirement. Each strategy has its pros and cons, and none of them are guaranteed, so it’s smart to talk with an investment professional about which one may be right for you.

Evaluate your choices

Once you know what kind of investor you are and how long you have to invest, it’s time to do your research on funds. Take a look at the funds that are offered by your plan in the fund performance. Always check the objective of the mutual fund and read the fund's prospectus to make sure it’s consistent with your goals. And if you need help, talk to your Retirement Specialist.

Monitor your account

Once you’ve made your investment choices, it’s a good idea to review your account every so often to make sure that it’s still meeting your investment objectives. Investment performance can change the overall mix of investments in your account. Also remember to take another look at your choices if your personal situation changes, like if you change jobs or add to your family.

Get the help you need

Talk to a Retirement Specialist for more information about choosing funds. Or learn more about how we can help.

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