In volatile economic times like the one we are living through now, it’s more important than ever to make sure your assets are preserved.
Whether you’ve been saving for retirement your entire life or have started saving more recently, you want to make sure the money you worked hard for is working hard for you. Investments are important to help your money grow, but it’s equally important to balance your portfolio so you also have some guaranteed sources of income during your retirement years.
This post will walk you through a couple of ways that may help preserve your assets while seeking growth potential for your funds.
The old adage says don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and the same is true when it comes to your financial portfolio. A mix of stocks, bonds, cash and other investments, like real estate, when suitable, can help preserve your investments when the market is down — and may help them grow when the market is doing well.
Bonds typically pay a lower, more steady income, as they fluctuate much less. Stocks can be riskier, as they rise and fall with a company’s profits and losses, but they have higher return potential in the long term.
You also can consider purchasing more than one type of stock or bond to diversify your portfolio further. One option is international stocks or bonds, which don’t rely on the economic conditions in one specific geographic area, for example.
Some people like to keep careful track of which stocks they’re invested in and how they’re performing — for others, there are mutual funds, which bundle a collection of investments into one. You can get stock mutual funds, bond mutual funds, or a fund that invests in a combination of both. There even are mutual funds that invest based on company size, business sector (e.g., technology, health care, etc.), and geographical region.
Mutual funds are either managed — meaning a professional financial manager is choosing and monitoring each investment — or indexed, meaning that they rise and fall along with the financial market in which they are invested. Mutual funds can help diversify your portfolio even further, as they spread your money over a wide variety of investments and don’t require your time or knowledge to manage.
The right balance for you depends on how close you are to retirement, how much you have saved already, and how soon you need access to the funds.
While keeping some higher-risk, higher-reward potential options like stocks can be a good option for the long term, it also can be important to balance your portfolio with products that guarantee you income and help shield you from market losses.
One example of this type of product is an annuity, a contract you purchase from an insurance company that gives you a set payout amount, either in one lump sum or on a regular basis — monthly, quarterly, or annually. Annuities are similar to 401(k)s and IRAs, except they are insurance products with no income rules or annual contribution limits.
There are several types of annuities, including fixed annuities and variable annuities. A fixed annuity acts more like a bond and is guaranteed to earn a certain rate of interest and provide a steady payout. Fixed annuities are not tied to the stock market and can be either “immediate” — purchased with a lump sum and starting payouts shortly after — or deferred, meaning they are paid into over time, more like a traditional retirement account.
Like stocks, variable annuities have the potential for higher returns and a greater income, but they also are higher risk. That’s because they are based on the performance of an associated portfolio of mutual funds that are connected to the performance of the stock market. A variable annuity builds up during its “accumulation phase” and starts to pay a regular income during its “payout phase.”
We hope you have found this information helpful, but it is only an overview. At Bangerter Financial, we can help you evaluate your current situation and discuss options to help you make the most of your retirement. Give us a call at 916-965-1879.
This is for informational purposes only, does not constitute as individual investment advice, and should not be relied upon as tax or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your individual circumstance. Because investors situations and objectives vary this information is not intended to indicate suitability for any particular investor.
Diversification does not guarantee profits or guarantee protection against losses.
Potential cash flows/returns/appreciation are not guaranteed and could be lower than anticipated. Direct investment in an index is not possible.
Investing in alternative assets involves higher risks than traditional investments and is suitable only for sophisticated investors. Alternative investments are often sold by prospectus that discloses all risks, fees, and expenses. They are not tax efficient and an investor should consult with his/her tax advisor prior to investing. Alternative investments have higher fees than traditional investments and they may also be highly leveraged and engage in speculative investment techniques, which can magnify the potential for investment loss or gain and should not be deemed a complete investment program. The value of the investment may fall as well as rise and investors may get back less than they invested.
Mutual Funds are sold by prospectus. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing in Mutual Funds. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained directly from the Fund Company or your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest.
Investing internationally carries additional risks such as differences in financial reporting, currency exchange risk, as well as economic and political risk unique to the specific country. This may result in greater share price volatility. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
Fixed Annuities are long term insurance contacts and there is a surrender charge imposed generally during the first 5 to 7 years that you own the annuity contract. Withdrawals prior to age 59-1/2 may result in a 10% IRS tax penalty, in addition to any ordinary income tax. Any guarantees of the annuity are backed by the financial strength of the underlying insurance company.
Indexed annuities are insurance contracts that, depending on the contract, may offer a guaranteed annual interest rate and some participation growth, if any, of a stock market index. Such contracts have substantial variation in terms, costs of guarantees and features and may cap participation or returns in significant ways. Any guarantees offered are backed by the financial strength of the insurance company. Surrender charges apply if not held to the end of the term. Withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken prior to 59 ½, a 10% federal tax penalty. Investors are cautioned to carefully review an indexed annuity for its features, costs, risks, and how the variables are calculated.
Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing in Variable Annuities. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the variable annuity contract and the underlying investment options, can be obtained from the insurance company or your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest.
The investment return and principal value of the variable annuity investment options are not guaranteed. Variable annuity sub-accounts fluctuate with changes in market conditions. The principal may be worth more or less than the original amount invested when the annuity is surrendered.