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By virtue of rebalancing to its long-term target allocation, the Target Retirement Fund can benefit from an old-fashioned buy-low, sell-high approach."Left to their human nature, investors unfortunately tend to do the opposite.
"Investors need to remember that volatility isn't necessarily bad," Mr. "It depends on an investor's objectives and if he or she is being 'paid' for the volatility.""If you look at the global financial crisis in 20, you saw some very good things happening from a participant behavior standpoint," Mr. "Most individuals stayed fully invested in their target-date funds.
We also avoid trendy alternative asset classes, which may water down the diversification benefits that can be provided by a higher-quality investment-grade-only fixed income portfolio without offering material advantages.
Vanguard's attention to keeping costs low also benefits a participant's bottom line.
And while clearly there were some unnerving moments and capital losses that occurred on the way down, by remaining fully invested, investors in target-date funds were able to capture the seven-plus-year bull market in equities that we've experienced since the depths of the crisis."Source: Vanguard March 2009.
One reason many plan sponsors select target-date funds (TDFs) as their plan's qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) is to curb emotional investing.
Elections and referendums, terror attacks, natural disasters, monetary policy developments, and regulatory changes are but a few of the contributors to market ups and downs.
TDFs can help your participants avoid emotional reactions to such events—reactions that could disrupt their plans for retirement.
TDFs are structured to help remove the emotion from investment decisions."TDFs are a diversified, all-in-one solution, designed to weather economic climates within the context of an investor's age," explains John Croke, Vanguard's head of multi-asset product management.
"Younger investors, theoretically, can withstand more volatility because a larger percentage of their total wealth is in human capital versus their financial holdings.