My balance is going down, should I be concerned?
Market performance has been positive over the last decade, with the US share market achieving the longest bull market in history. However, recent volatility (markets going up and down) has resulted in a bit of a correction and will have tested the resolve of many investors. What does this mean for you?
It’s important to understand your investments and the levels of risk involved. Although saving for retirement is usually a long-term goal, it shouldn’t be a set-and-forget process. News reports on changes in market performance can prompt concerned investors to check savings balances and change funds without considering long-term trends.
There are some ways you can be confident your investments are working the way you want. If your circumstances have changed, for example you’re looking to buy your first home or are nearing retirement, then you should take a moment to review your investments.
- Do you know what investment option your money is invested in? The Scheme offers four investment options. Three of these, Conservative, Balanced and Growth, are diversified funds. This means they invest in a variety of assets such as shares, property, bonds and cash, although in different proportions. The fourth option, Cash, as its name suggests, invests only in cash. Make sure you know what investment option you are in and the impact markets may have on returns. The Commission for Financial Capability’s Sorted website provides a Retirement Planner that can help you see whether you are on track financially for the retirement lifestyle you want.
- Have you spoken with an expert? Financial advisers can help you make the right investment decisions. The right financial adviser can save you time and help you achieve your retirement savings goals. The Financial Markets Authority website provides helpful information about choosing the right financial adviser. If you are concerned about the markets, considering changing funds, investing more money or perhaps withdrawing some of your savings, then speaking with a financial adviser can help refine your goals, and provide tailored advice for your specific situation.
- Are you a risk taker or do you like to play it safe? You can access online tools to help work out what fund you should be in and understand the impact markets may have on your investments. Take a moment to consider what sort of investor you are by visiting Sorted.org.nz and complete the Investor Kickstarter Quiz.
- Need to withdraw money in the near future? If you are thinking of withdrawing your money for retirement, it’s important that you understand your savings may be reduced if investment markets weaken. As you approach a life milestone you may wish to alter your investment options to better reflect your risk profile. To help you make the right decision, discuss your circumstances with a financial adviser.
- Get to know the website. The Scheme website www.teachersretire.org.nz gives you control over your savings. When was the last time you logged in? Accessing your online account enables you to view investment returns and account balances, adjust your fund options, update personal details and tailor how you would like to receive your investment information.
1 April 2019