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Why Target Retirement Funds Cannot Substitute Stocks (Part 1)

23 November 2007 - Features - Editor

How many current advisors about stocks and investments will be around in 2030, to say nothing of 2045? Why are these distant lights in the horizon of eternity significant? There are two reasons: firstly, many of us are scheduled to retire around these periods. Secondly, some of the most popular target retirement funds that seek to take resources away from individual stocks are set to mature during these years.

Management costs of passive funds are always relatively low, but top target retirement funds present exceptional values in this respect. You can join for as little as $1000, and even $100 suffices for discretionary monthly increments in savings. Why bother with stocks any more?

It would be a marvel if anyone could be certain about 2008, to say nothing about 2030, 2045, or beyond! Target retirement funds are no better than the most volatile stocks when it comes to speculating about life in the unknown future. You can list any number of individual stocks that should be around for the next 50 years at least, but will all target retirement funds that are no more than of 1990 vintage, deliver on their promises for so long? Runaway social security costs and fiscal mismanagement are the only certain bases on which future financial needs can be predicted. The Great Depression saw senior citizens hit hardest: they could neither make ends meet, nor find feasible earning opportunities. No target retirement fund protects you from tax hikes, high inflation, and effective cut-backs on benefits that could besiege 2030 and 2045.

Who is Incompetent to Decide on Stocks?

Misleading claims and inadequate targets plague conventional financial services, even if they are offered at comparatively low fees. The compulsions to make retirement resources appreciate at the highest possible rate are as pressing as the imperative to save early and diligently. This kind of maximization is nearly impossible from passive investing. Thoughts of leaving selections of bonds and stocks to others, and sticking with such judgments no matter what transpires on the ground, are simply pipe-dreams. These could shatter when it is too late to take corrective actions.

Reflecting on various shades of opinion is integral to gold standards in picking stocks and other securities. However, the dynamism of the global business environment will not allow the average investor to stash money away in passive funds. The formula of high proportions of stocks early in an earning career, with gradual slants towards bonds as retirement approaches, sounds logical when people responsible for selling target retirement funds, underscore such attractive promises. However, can we forego the short-term opportunities of event-based appreciation, or of trading on margins? The lure of stocks beckons everyone, and any numbers of entered trading rings with unexpected track records of success.

Why Target Retirement Funds Cannot Substitute Stocks (Part 2)

 


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