Why is My IRA Losing So Much Money?

If you are investing through an IRA for retirement, your balance may fluctuate throughout the year – an expected and normal part of investing. As long as it aligns with your long-term financial goals and risk tolerance, fluctuations are no cause for alarm.

Being on the receiving end of an IRA balance decline can be unnerving, so we’ve provided here some explanations and strategies to cope with it.


When your IRA value suddenly decreases, it can be alarming. Don’t panic though. In most cases, if you’re still in your 30s or 40s and won’t tap the account for another 20-30 years, a dip in value shouldn’t be too significant of an issue. Economy moves in cycles and over time your portfolio should rebound back into profitability.

IRAs are tax-advantaged accounts designed to store investments like stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Money contributed into traditional, Roth or Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs is tax deductible while earnings won’t be subject to taxes until your withdrawal them upon retirement.

Your IRA could be experiencing value loss as a result of market fluctuations, especially given their long-term nature. Successful investing requires patience and an extended time horizon; those who stick with it over the long haul typically come out ahead over time – however this isn’t guaranteed; if you are concerned about its performance contact the entity holding your account (such as bank, brokerage firm or robo advisor).


As the economy falters, your individual retirement account (IRA) may also suffer in value due to assets like stocks, bonds and exchange-traded funds which fluctuate in value over time. But studies show that by adhering to your investment plan long term your IRA could rebound.

An Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, provides tax-advantaged savings accounts designed to help people save for retirement. An IRA may contain investments such as stocks, mutual funds, real estate and more – unlike 401(k), it can be opened by anyone regardless of workplace retirement plans in existence.

To maximize the potential of your IRA, it’s advisable to diversify its investments across asset classes while keeping an eye on market trends. You can choose your own investments or choose target-date funds or robo-advisors which meet both risk tolerance and time horizon. Keep in mind that values of IRAs may fluctuate regularly which could make opening your quarterly statement somewhat disorienting.


The recent stock market rout has done more than hurt billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos; it has also erased trillions of dollars from Americans’ retirement accounts.

IRAs can hold assets such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that increase in value over time – so when those investments increase in value your IRA balance will as well. Conversely, when values decrease your balance will fall proportionately.

Rollovers are an increasingly popular way to move money between retirement accounts, but it is crucial that you understand exactly what they entail before proceeding with any.

Direct rollovers involve switching directly from your current plan administrator or IRA provider to the one you’ve chosen, without incurring taxes as a result. But indirect rollovers may not be so straightforward – when plan sponsors send checks as part of an indirect rollover they withhold 20% in taxes before sending you back a check with an amount you must deposit within 60 days into an IRA (or another account) otherwise taxes may become payable.


As upsetting as it can be to see your IRA balance diminish, don’t panic: There’s nothing to fear here.

No matter how low the market may be, it is vitally important to remain invested and avoid making emotional decisions that could harm you in the long run. Particularly crucial is not selling investments just because the stock market has declined as this may cost you in lost growth opportunities.

Fees can also have a substantial negative effect on your retirement savings account. According to CBS research, an American worker investing $4,000 annually into an IRA with an 8 percent return over 30 years would see her account reach nearly $582,000. But paying 1.5 percent in fees (just half as much as her lower-fee alternative), her account will only grow to around $522,000.

Be sure to consider all costs related to investing, such as annual account maintenance fees and trade transaction charges, among others.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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