Don’t Let Hurricane Sandy Hit Your 401(k)

Manage your stock market risk now.

New York City is a long way away from your home in Minnesota.  But the city and the people who work there play a huge role in the investment performance and the management of your Minnesota company 401(k) retirement plan.

The New York Stock Exchange was closed today like just about everything else in New York City.  Later tonight, lower Manhattan is expected to see up to 11 feet of storm surge at high tide.

Historically, the one thing that Wall Street hates the most is uncertainty. On October 16th, I wrote about how October is usually a major inflection point for stock prices.

Now add to the October list of concerns this historic hurricane event, the Presidential Election next week, and the poor company earnings announcements of the last three weeks. The near term stock market direction does not get more uncertain than the combination of these current events.

For most company retirement plan investors it is never a good time to take a few minutes to review their current 401(k) retirement plan account statement. Most company retirement plan sponsors and company retirement plan providers are not motivated to provide easy access to timely financial advice information.

Most individual financial advisors have no game plan to preserve the principal in an individual company 401(k) retirement plan account. Buy-and-hold is not going to work going forward; just like it did not work during the last several stock market corrections.

Now is a good time to make absolutely sure that you don’t give back your stock market gains of the first ten months of 2012. Know what mutual funds you currently own, why you own them, and have a plan to manage your stock market risk now.

Late October 2012 is turning out to be a time of great emotional stress on individual company retirement plan participants.  Spend the time now to have a game plan when the stock markets reopen later this week.

Hurricanes, elections, poor company earnings, and another potential economic slowdown are all going to claim financial victims. Don’t let your company 401(k) retirement plan account be one of them.

Ric Lager
Lager & Company, Inc.

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