My Retirement Account Update 

It’s been a while since I shared how my Roth IRA was doing. I checked my retirement account in October 2008 and shared how it went down over 20%. That certainly stung, but I didn’t withdraw money in reaction to the market. 

Since I’m investing for the long term, I realize that sometimes you have to accept the losses.

I’m happy to say things can climbing back up slowly. Here’s a screenshot from Mint of my Roth IRA’s returns for the last 6 months:

2009 IRA Returns

It looks good, but I’m anticipating more ups and downs with this market as I invest for retirement. 

Talking a bit more about the fluctuating returns of the stock market, here’s some information from Behaviorial Gap on the average returns from the stock market:

Average Is Not Normal       

As you look at slide #9, you notice that returns rarely fall into the average range of 9-11%. It can be easy for someone to get emotional based on the markets performance. Don’t do anything rash though. 

How can you prevent yourself from getting emotional and pulling money out from retirement? 

Automating your retirement contributions is way to invest without stressing over how the market is fluctuating. 

Short-term investors read magazines and watch TV shows that keep announcing THE stocks and mutual funds to buy every 3 months or so. Unfortunately this strategy rarely pays off

Long term investors focus on setting up their Roth (or traditional) IRAs, decide what to invest in, and automate their contributions. As you check on it, you may rebalance it to keep you asset allocation on track.  If you have a lifecycle fund, this is already done for you as it adjust as you get closer to retirement.

Have about you?

Have you been steady with your retirement contributions?  Have you taken money out of your retirement fund? If so, why? Any tips or suggestions?