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401(k) Investment Strategies

Part of the 401(k)s For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You usually have some say in how the money in your 401(k) retirement account is invested, even if your employer manages the 401(k) account. If you're the sole decision-maker, the following tips on how to invest your funds are even more important:

  • Come up with a plan. Know what you're doing and why: Don't invest blindly, hoping that it'll all come out well in the end.

  • Establish realistic expectations, and then pick funds that have the potential to meet your goals. Learn from others, but build the portfolio that's right for you.

  • Remember that higher risk doesn't guarantee a higher return.

  • Avoid funds that have dramatic up-and-down swings, particularly if you're nearing retirement.

  • Invest in a mix of asset types, because no one knows which investments will be hot at any point in time.

  • Find a professional to help you choose the best investments.

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