Saving for retirement comes with enough decisions to make that it can be overwhelming. There are thousands of investment options to review and choose, especially if you are trying to ensure you have the right asset allocation and diversification in your portfolio. Luckily you don’t have to spend valuable time sorting through an excessive number of mutual funds to find the right mix for retirement. Many investments firms provide broad exposure to all the asset classes you should be invested in while only using a handful of mutual funds. John Hancock is one of those one-stop shops that allow you to get full diversification with a minimal amount of mutual funds.


Before we get into the funds, first let’s talk about fees. John Hancock operates its funds with different share classes. Each share class comes with a different fee structure. Some of the classes have front-end loads, some deferred loads and others no loads at all. If you decide to invest in one of these funds, remember to double check which class of mutual fund you are investing in. Fees have a big impact on your return, so you want to ensure you are not overpaying for management. If you are going to stay invested for an extended period of time in the same fund, the lower annual fees you get when you pay loads might work out for you. Run the numbers to see what works best for your investment time horizon. (For more, see: Stop Paying High Mutual Fund Fees.)

U.S. Stocks

With U.S. stocks you want to ensure that you are getting broad diversification across large, medium and small capitalization companies. In order to do this with John Hancock, you should consider the following funds.

The Large Cap Equity (JLVIX) is pretty evenly split between value, core and growth companies. If you prefer a bit of a value focus you can go with the Disciplined Value Fund (JVLIX) which has a higher percentage of value companies than growth companies. The disciplined Value Mid-Cap (JVMAX) will provide exposure to mid-cap stocks. The Small Cap Value (JSCAX) can add exposure to small cap stocks. (For more, see: Mutual Funds Commonly Found in Retirement Plans.)

International Stocks

For international exposure you can use the Disciplined Value International Fund (JDIBX). This fund is primarily large companies in established countries. If you prefer to also add emerging markets to your portfolio, you can use the Emerging Markets Equity fund (JEMQX).


John Hancock has a good multi-sector bond fund that will expose you to not only government bonds but also corporate bonds, all in one fund. This fund is the John Hancock Income Fund (JHFIX).

Balanced Allocation

If you prefer to just utilize one fund for bonds and stocks versus five or six funds, you can consider one of Hancock's asset allocation funds.  They have a handful to consider depending on how aggressive you want to be with your investments. Here are three that take you from aggressive to balanced to conservative:

  • For an allocation of about 90% stocks and 10% bonds and cash, you can use the Lifestyle Aggressive fund (JALAX).
  • The John Hancock Balanced fund (JBAFX) has a breakdown of about 60% stocks and 40% bonds and cash.
  • For a more conservative allocation of about 20% stocks and the rest in bonds and cash you can use the Lifestyle Conservative fund (JALRX).

The Bottom Line

By exploring the options of a company like John Hancock you can easily save for retirement without having to manage a large number of funds and still achieve the right asset allocation and diversification. Just remember to make sure you invest in the right share class for your needs. (For more, see: 5 Top Rated Mutual Funds for Your Retirement Portfolio.)