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Five Things to Tell Your 401k Participants in This Down Economy

Five Things to Tell Your 401k Participants in This Down Economy

by Frank Roche on October 10, 2008

in Business

Sell, sell, sell.

Those words seem to be front of mind with all investors these days. And your 401k participants are not different. They’re worried about the market and they’re worried about their retirement. Here’s what to tell your 401k participants:

  1. This too shall pass. No matter how bad it seems, this financial crisis will end and people will invest again.
  2. You lock in your losses only when you sell in a down market. You don’t lose money until you sell of your stock holdings at a loss. Otherwise, it’s only a paper loss.
  3. We weren’t kidding about diversifying. Asset allocation is essential at every stage of your life. You need to know your risk profile. The Dow lost 678 points yesterday. Do we ever need to remind you again?
  4. Now is not the time to bail out of your 401k. Yeah, the market is bad, but you still need to save for your retirement. You still get the tax advantage of saving in a tax-deferred plan.
  5. Don’t listen to your uncle. Everyone has an uncle that tells them how to invest. Ever notice how he’s usually wrong? This time he’s really going to be wrong. Don’t stop saving for your retirement and use the money to build a survival shelter. Just don’t.

It’s no fun right now folks. And it’s going to get worse. But let’s make sure we pay attention to the longer picture. Meanwhile, I’m stocking up on soup.

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