- Key takeaways
- Fidelity vs Vanguard Comparison For 2020
- How risk tolerance affects the amount allocated to stock
- Roth IRAs: a review
- Vanguard vs. Fidelity Investments
- How age affects how much to invest in stocks
- Cash investments
- A Roth IRA offers tax-free withdrawals
- REFERENCE CONTENT
- How financial situation can affect how much to invest in stocks
- What kind of investor are you?
- Vanguard Investments 📈 My Vanguard Portfolio
- Related topics
- Get started
- Health savings accounts (HSAs)
- Put your money to work
- When choosing investments, think about how comfortable you are with risk.
- Make sure that the amount of any stocks, bonds, and short-term securities in your asset mix reflects your time frame for investing and the associated need for growth.
You've contributed to an IRA—congratulations.
Fidelity vs Vanguard Comparison For 2020
The next step is to invest that money—and give it the potential to grow. Fidelity believes one of the best ways to do that over the long term is by considering an appropriate amount to invest in a diversified portfolio of stock mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or individual stocks as you plan and implement an investment strategy that fits your time horizon, risk preferences, and financial circumstances.
As a general rule, the more time you have to save, the greater the percentage of your money you can consider allocating to stocks.
For those closer to retirement, a healthy allocation to stocks may still be appropriate. These days retirement may last for decades, so the money will likely still need to grow for many years even after you retire.
It's important that the stock exposure you select matches your comfort with risk, your investment timeframe, and your financial situation.
How risk tolerance affects the amount allocated to stock
With creating your asset mix, you should feel comfortable that the ups and downs of the stock market won't undermine your ability to reach your long-term goals.
That way you'll be less likely to panic and sell when stocks fall—because doing so can lock in losses and could make it harder to recover and reach your goals.
How much risk can you stomach? Take a look at the worst case market scenarios for the 4 different investment mixes shown below. During the worst market year since 1926, the conservative portfolio would have lost the least—17.67%, while the aggressive portfolio would have lost the most—60.78%.
Roth IRAs: a review
The chart also shows how each investment mix performed over a long period of time, in different markets. The average return: 5.89% for the conservative vs.
9.47% for the aggressive mix.
Choose an investment mix you are comfortable with
Data source: Ibbotson Associates, 2019 (1926-2018). Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Returns include the reinvestment of dividends and other earnings.
This chart is for illustrative purposes only. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Time periods for best and worst returns are based on calendar year.
Vanguard vs. Fidelity Investments
For information on the indexes used to construct this table, see Data Source in the notes below. The purpose of the target asset mixes is to show how target asset mixes may be created with different risk and return characteristics to help meet an investor’s goals. You should choose your own investments based on your particular objectives and situation. Be sure to review your decisions periodically to make sure they are still consistent with your goals.
How age affects how much to invest in stocks
Why every year counts
Hypothetical pretax growth of one IRA contribution
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This hypothetical example assumes the following: (1) one $6,000 IRA contribution made on January 1, (2) an annual rate of return of 7%, and (3) no taxes on any earnings within the IRA.
The ending values do not reflect taxes, fees, or inflation. If they did, amounts would be lower. Earnings and pretax (deductible) contributions from a traditional IRA are subject to taxes when withdrawn.
Earnings distributed from Roth IRAs are income tax free provided certain requirements are met.
A distribution from a Roth IRA is tax-free and penalty-free, provided the 5-year aging requirement has been satisfied and one of the following conditions is met: age 59½, disability, qualified first-time home purchase, or death. IRA distributions before age 59½ may also be subject to a 10% penalty. Consider your current and anticipated investment horizon when making an investment decision, as the illustration may not reflect this.
A Roth IRA offers tax-free withdrawals
The assumed rate of return used in this example is not guaranteed. Investments that have the potential for a 7% annual rate of return also come with risk of loss.
Age can also be used as an initial guideline when determining how much to invest in stocks when you're investing for retirement.
That's because the longer the money will be invested, the more time there is to ride out any market ups and downs.
That could help realize the potential for growth in your investments, which may be an important factor in saving enough for retirement. In general, the younger you are, the heavier your investment mix could tilt toward stock—as much as you are comfortable with and fits with your time horizon, risk preferences, and financial circumstances.
The chart shows how a $6,000 IRA investment could grow to $64,059 over 35 years.
All else equal, as you get closer to retirement, you may want to adjust your allocation. Being too aggressive could be risky as you have less time to recover from a market downturn.
As a general rule, in the absence of changes to risk tolerance or financial situation, one's asset mix should become progressively more conservative as the investment horizon shortens. However, investing too conservatively could limit the growth potential of your money.
So, it may make sense to gradually reduce the percentage of stocks in your portfolio, while increasing investments in bonds and short-term investments.
But don't forget that growth remains important even as you approach and then enter retirement—after all, your retirement could last 3 decades or more.
But with retirement nearer, investors must balance that need for growth against the need to protect what they have saved.
To learn more about building an asset mix that fits you, read Viewpoints on Fidelity.com: How to start investing
How financial situation can affect how much to invest in stocks
If your goal is retirement in 20 years, your ability to take risk in a retirement account would be higher than in the account you use to pay your monthly bills.
Your retirement account has time to recover from setbacks, and any immediate losses could be recovered. In your bill-paying account, a loss could very well jeopardize your ability to pay rent next month.
If the outlook for your financial situation seems uncertain, it can make sense to have a relatively lower allocation to stocks.
What kind of investor are you?
Don't have the time, expertise, or interest it would take to choose investments and maintain an appropriate mix of investments in your IRA?
Vanguard Investments 📈 My Vanguard Portfolio
Consider a professionally managed target date or asset allocation fund.
Target date funds let an investor pick the fund with the target year closest to their expected retirement. The target date fund manager then selects, monitors, and adjusts the investment mix over time. Asset allocation funds can be another simple way to diversify your portfolio using a single fund. In these funds, the manager sets and maintains a fixed asset mix.
For those doing it on their own, a diversified mix of investments is important.
That way, a portfolio isn't dependent on any one type of investment, although diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. If you want to do it yourself, consider funds that hold a mix of investments in companies both big and small, from different parts of the world, and in different industries and sectors.
Low-fee investments that simply track the broad market through a benchmark index, may also be worth considering.
When saving for something really big, like retirement, it's important to get invested as soon as possible.
That's because time is one of your biggest assets when investing for the long term.
Here are 3 ways to help get started when investing in an IRA.
- Use our tools.
Get an analysis of your current portfolio, assess your financial situation, and find ideas to help you create an appropriate investment strategy in our Planning & Guidance Center.
- Choose investments.
For those who want to invest in mutual funds or ETFs, there are a number of ways to choose.
- Search and compare funds with Mutual Funds Research.
- Get ideas with Fund Picks from Fidelity®.
Health savings accounts (HSAs)
- Search and compare ETFs.
- Let someone else do the work.
For those who prefer to have an investment professional manage an IRA, learn about Fidelity managed accounts.
Put your money to work
Across most investment time frames, investing for growth matters.
The potential for growth in your investment mix can be vital to helping you save enough to live the life you want in retirement.
Ultimately, the appropriate asset mix is one you can live with—one that reflects your risk tolerance, investment horizon, and financial situation.