How Do I Keep My IRA From Losing Money?
Investments held within an IRA plan usually don’t incur taxes until you withdraw them at retirement, however if fees become an issue they could reduce returns and cause your IRA’s value to decline significantly.
Staying patient and continuing to invest, even during times of market instability, are keys to long-term success.
1. Diversify Your IRA Portfolio
Diversification is a practice designed to lower risk without reducing return potential; in simple terms, this means diversifying across various asset categories in order to limit loss and stabilize returns on your investments.
As you are likely aware, investments fluctuate in their values over time. If all your investments were in one category that lost value regularly, selling would become necessary and could prevent you from capitalizing on many opportunities that come your way.
Diversify your IRA portfolio by investing across various asset classes such as stocks and bonds, while within each asset class diversifying with options like fund managers or product issuers. It may also be wise to diversify globally (such as international funds) to reduce market volatility.
2. Re-Balance Your IRA Portfolio Regularly
IRAs allow you to choose from a wide range of investment products, such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and property. Therefore, it’s essential that your savings be dispersed among multiple stocks, bonds and assets; otherwise any one sector or class could take an unexpected hit and derail your savings altogether.
Rebalancing your IRA portfolio can help keep it on course with its long-term goals, even during volatile markets. A straightforward rebalancing method involves selling off investments that are outperforming while purchasing ones that are underperforming, according to Watson.
Target Date Funds provide an efficient solution by automatically rebalancing for you based on your age or years until retirement, but it’s also possible to rebalance your own IRA by regularly selling off high-performing assets and investing the proceeds into underperforming asset classes; just be wary about selling taxable accounts as it could trigger capital gains taxes.
3. Don’t Let Market Volatility Stop You From Investing
Market volatility can have a detrimental impact on your Roth IRA account, but how you respond is key. Withdrawals made during an economic downturn could cost money in lost investment gains and custodial fees as well as missed opportunities at lower price points.
Financial plans can help prevent you from making snap decisions in response to market fluctuations and declines, including those driven by emotional decisions. Dollar-cost averaging can also help reduce or remove emotion from decision-making; and switching your IRA over to a TIAA traditional fixed index annuity could reduce its vulnerability against volatility and declines**
4. Be Patient
Watching your individual retirement account balance diminish can be upsetting, but IRA losses don’t have to be permanent. By diversifying your portfolio and regularly rebalancing, as well as being patient, you may be able to avoid losing money with an IRA.
An Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, provides tax advantages for retirement savings. There are different kinds of IRAs – traditional, Roth and SEP. Each type offers its own contribution limits depending on income levels or other considerations.
As much as it might be tempting, withdrawing investments during a market crash could backfire on you. Withdrawals could result in selling stocks at less than their purchase prices and incurring losses when selling back at market peak values; plus the market should recover long before retirement is approaching and distributions need to begin being taken.
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