Managing your money can certainly be a very scary thing for some people, and when it comes to 401k’s, many people don’t know where to begin. It seems like wherever you turn, people are giving you different opinions or advice. Some people will say you should keep a long-term perspective, while others say you need to constantly actively manage your savings. SO, how often should you actually be checking your 401K? Well, here at Valley Oak Wealth Management we provide you with accurate, strategic advice to manage and invest your money in a way that you feel comfortable with. After taking our detailed risk assessment test, we can accurately judge what we think will be the best angle of approach for your portfolio.

Now, let’s talk about monitoring your 401k

For long-term investment, there is not much need to check your account regularly as long as your account has been setup right. (We will set it up right!) *If you are unsure or scared about managing your account yourself, studies show that assets managed by professionals show a 3.32% more in returns than accounts not managed by outside help.

If your portfolio is well setup then you really only need to check the account every 6-12 months. You want to make sure that you’re taking the right amount of risk for your goals, and that you have a diversified portfolio. (do you have the right amount of stocks vs bonds? Do you have a reasonable amount invested overseas? Etc.) We will help you figure out the suitable portfolio balance and give you knowledge that someone is watching over your account.

It is also a good idea to check the accounts if something happens in your life. Not necessarily an event or downturn in the stock market, but something more personal. Maybe you lost your job? Inherited some money? Found out about a health issue that you might need money for in the future? These sort of life events can come as a surprise to you, and you probably didn’t account for it when you were making your initial investments in your portfolio. As a result, you may need to make some adjustments. Our team will let you know exactly what we think is best when adjusting your account.

As you near the retirement age, you should think about checking in on your accounts more often, but MAKE SURE you don’t check it every week and drive yourself crazy! Simply pay slightly more attention to it and make sure that its meeting your reasonable goals that we have helped you set.
Certain types of investments will require hardly any “maintenance” at all. Such investments are called “asset allocation” funds or “target-date funds, lifestyle funds, or life cycle funds.” These funds virtually do all the work for you. They can do rebalancing for you, and they can even get more conservative the older you get. Investments like this can be extremely helpful, but it is still a good idea to check in on them every so often to make sure they’re doing what you had intended for them to do.

*Investopedia – smart ways to manage your 401k

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendation for any individual. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Rebalancing a portfolio may cause investors to incur tax liabilities and/or transaction costs and does not assure a profit or protect against a loss.