Identify Your Knowledge

Be an appropriate investor. If you know the type of investor you are (DIY or someone who needs help), you can create a strategy that best fits your situation. Investing doesn't have to complex. It just needs to be appropriate.

Risk Tolerance

It doesn't matter if your investment philosophy is DIY or you choose target date funds or managed/model/risk-based portfolios. Knowing your tolerance for risk will help you. This quick guide will give you an idea of what type of investor you are and your ability to handle the ups and downs the market can bring. And don't cheat — your patience and discipline depend on it.

    Risk Type


    This chart will give you a general idea of a portfolio mix you might use, based on the answers you provided. It's not meant to be investment advice, just a guide for where you think you are right now.


    Investing and Your Retirement Bucket

    Your retirement bucket has an outside, an inside and a handle. The outside represents your retirement dreams. The inside contains income for making those dreams come true. And the handle? That means you are responsible for filling your bucket.

    Investing in the stock market can produce an additional source of income for your bucket — as long as you invest appropriately for your age and situation. Appropriate investing means growing your savings when you're younger and preserving those savings when you near retirement.

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    Asset Allocation Graph

    Asset Allocation Rules the Day

    Typically, investors will be more aggressive the further they are from retirement. As they get closer, they will take fewer risks. Your retirement plan includes various types of investments that allow you to follow this strategy.

    Choose Your Target Date

    If you are a professional, do-it-yourself investor with years of industry experience, you probably don't use a target date fund and can skip this section.

    What is a target date fund? It's a collection of diversified investments that are selected to match an investor's estimated date of retirement. Typically, the fund is more aggressive the further away from the date of the fund and will become more conservative as the date of the fund approaches.

    At the end of the day, how you choose your investments is up to you. If you are just starting out, keep it simple and select a target date option.

    Target Date Table
    The Creative Side of Investing

    The Creative Side of Investing

    Investing is a science and an art. By having patience, practicing discipline and keeping it simple, you can create the successful outcome you desire.

    Investor Tips From the Dean

    Investor Tips From the Dean

    Sometimes when the market is going down, we get the itch to abandon our stock positions and jump ship into more conservative investments. But pretty much any decent financial professional will tell you that jumping in and out of the market is a recipe for disaster in the long run.

    Missing just the 10 best days in the market over a 10-year period could mean significantly less growth for your portfolio. Staying patient and not reacting to short-term market moves can pay off in the long run.

    On the flip side, staying overly aggressive as you near retirement because "the market is way up" can be a bad move too. Stocks are volatile and you don't want to hurt your chances of a successful outcome because there is a market pullback.

    Have you heard us say "Be appropriate"?

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    Identify Your Knowledge

      An investment is: an asset deposited (or saved) for the purpose of generating future growth or profit.


      A stock is:


      An investment is: an asset deposited (or saved) for the purpose of generating future growth or profit.


      You're on the right track

      As we've said numerous times, this doesn't have to be complex. Once you know the basics of investing, creating success in your retirement plan can be as easy as those questions you just answered.