How risky should I be with my 401(k) investments?

I recently started my first full-time job at a company that offers a 401(k) with a match. I am a pretty savy and knowledgeable investor, however, I'm not sure how risky I should be with my investments considering it is my first and only retirement account. Do I risk losing some of my funds for higher gains, or is it not worth jeopardizing my retirement?

Retirement Savings, Investing, 401(k)
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March 2017

You don't say how old you are, but if you are starting your first full time job, I will assume you are in your early 20s. If so, put away as much as you can and invest it all in equities. Yes, they are more volatile than bonds, but that's a good thing because they also have higher long-term return. In your lifetime you will live through several bear markets; don't worry. In fact, a bear market just allows you to buy more shares with the same money. Just don't confuse paper losses with real losses. If your investments decline and you don't sell, you won't take a loss.

Keep in mind that investment risk is just as normal and natural as weather. Markets move in the short-term to the whims of supply and demand, and human emotion. But markets are made up of individual companies that produce steady revenue and earnings. Their real value tends to increase, regardless of what their market value does in the short-term. Don't be concerned about short term market risk if you are investing money you won't need for 40-plus years. Instead, invest in good quality companies and hold for the long-term.

March 2017
March 2017
March 2017
March 2017