Last week, the U.S. stock markets had two of the biggest one-day rallies in more than two years. That is always good news to Minnesota company 401(k) retirement plan participants.
There was more good news this morning, when the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.6%. This is the lowest level for this key economic indicator since 2009.
This week’s stock market advance is especially welcome because the prior year-to-date investment returns were negative in 2011. So far in 2011, the S&P 500 is still in negative investment return territory, but not by as much as when the week began.
As you would expect, the financial news media has fallen all over themselves in their efforts to convince individual company retirement plan investors that now is a great time to buy stocks.
I am not afraid to take the other side of that argument. I think that now is an even better time to take advantage of the “free money” that was deposited into your company 401(k) retirement plan account this week.
If you have owned the same mutual fund options in your company retirement plan account since the year began, you now are at a “break even” investment return for 2011 due to the stock market surge this last week.
Now is a great time to sell any of the mutual fund options you currently own that take more risk in the stock market than you are comfortable with.
You surely own at least one or two mutual fund options in your company retirement plan account that are more risky investments than you should own now. This week, you have been given another chance to get out of those mutual funds.
You also own some mutual funds now in your company retirement plan account that are worse investment options than other mutual funds available to you on your company retirement plan menu. Now is a good time to make the change.
As you may remember, your third quarter 2011 statement on your company 401(k) account was a disaster. You have now recovered much of those losses. Don’t make the same mistake again.