big picture investing.jpgIt is a classic example of seeing the trees instead of the forest. Your goal as a retirement investor is to accumulate enough money to pay for a comfortable retirement. However, if you focus on short-term investment performance, you may lose track of the big picture. And that can work against you.

Are You a Micromanager?

Your retirement plan gives you the freedom to make your own investment decisions. In addition, because you can easily change plan investments, you may find yourself becoming a micromanager. That is an investor who changes investments frequently because of daily market movements instead of focusing on the big picture — a long-term investment strategy. But "chasing returns" by moving your money into whatever investment type or stock market sector happens to be doing well at the time rarely pays off in the long run.

The Unknowable Future

The problem with chasing returns is that it is virtually impossible to predict how long a particular investment or market sector will continue to be a top performer. Eventually, another investment or sector will probably take over the lead, and there will be little or no advance warning. That can leave you in the lurch if you changed the investment mix of your retirement plan account based strictly on recent performance.

The Solution: Keep a Long-term Perspective

You may be much better off by the time you retire if you use a big picture perspective when you invest. Concentrate on your goal, and choose an investment mix with the potential to help you reach that goal over time. Your retirement plan offers several investment options, allowing you to choose a well-diversified investment mix for your account. The idea behind big-picture investing is to choose a mix that offers you a realistic opportunity to achieve long-term gains while reducing the overall risk to a level you are comfortable with. After you have chosen your investments, you should not ignore market and economic developments. But you will generally want to stay with your plan unless you decide that changes in your personal situation or risk tolerance make an adjustment necessary. If you are a big-picture investor, you can be much less concerned with what the markets do on a day-to-day basis. You’ll be free to switch your investments, but you won’t feel compelled to make a move every time the markets zig or zag.

For more information on investments, please contact Steve O'Steen at 813-223-6338.


Article is provided by CUNA Mutual Group for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific tax or legal advice. For answers to tax questions, please see your tax professional. For legal questions, consult an attorney.

Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, toll-free (800) 369-2862. Nondeposit investment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the financial institution. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members. CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc., is a registered broker/dealer in all fifty states of the United States of America. The Representative may also be a credit union employee that accepts deposits on behalf of the financial institution.