Smart401k Blog

  • Fear and Your 401(k)*

    My name is Kevin, and I have a fear of snakes. Even though I know most of them are harmless, I cannot fight the urge to head the other direction as quickly as I can. I’ve always been somewhat embarrassed by my excessive fear, but it turns out this is fairly common. Studies suggest that this fear has been conditioned in humans because of the danger snakes posed for our ancestors. And besides, the manly-man Indiana Jones was also terribly afraid of snakes.
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  • How to stop sabotaging your own investments, part II

    In my previous blog entry,How to stop sabotaging your own investments I explored how our investing behavior can be a detriment to achieving our goals and how a sound plan can help to keep investors on track. I would like to continue the discussion by further exploring habits that may have a negative effect on investment performance and can pressure investors to deter from their plan.
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  • Why Bother to Invest if I Never Plan to Retire?

    A few weeks ago I received a call from a new Smart401k member. This individual was upset about how much money they lost during the bear market of 2008 and early 2009. They were worried that they would never have enough saved for retirement and would have to, as this individual put it, “work until the day I die.”
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  • How to stop sabotaging your own investments

    I frequently get calls from investors concerned about a number of factors they feel can sabotage their effort to achieve investment goals: soaring government spending, rising public debt and interest rates are all valid concerns. However, there is another factor that can do even more harm to the performance of retirement accounts – investor behavior. It has been widely publicized that many investors act irrationally when making decisions about their investments.
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  • 5 Ways to Tame Investing Fears

    This post is part of Smart401k CEO Scott Hollsopple’s contribution to the U.S. News & World Report Smarter Investor blog series. Original post date May 21, 2013 Investing FearsTruly good horror stories are able to blend tension and fear in a sustained pattern. The best spine-chillers build terror rather than springing it on us; the writer weaves a tale that leaves us with a feeling of constant anxiety.
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  • Retirement Planning Myths Busted

    This post is part of Smart401k CEO Scott Hollsopple’s contribution to the U.S. News & World Report Smarter Investor blog series. Original post date June 11, 2013 Out on the golf course, I've overheard some of the game’s greatest myths.
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  • Asset Allocation- Part of a Balanced Diet

    The lessons we learned at the dinner table about eating a balanced meal help to illustrate the proper use and importance of asset allocation in your retirement account.
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  • What to Consider When Leveraging Your Home Equity for Retirement Savings

    The housing market has been a hot topic during the past several years, with mortgages and home valuation at the forefront of the conversation.
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  • Packing For Your Retirement Savings Excursion

    I love to travel. The idea of exploring different cultures, landscapes and ways of life has always piqued my interest. I’ve often envied hosts of travel shows who actually get paid to go to exotic places and try new things.
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  • 'Dieting' in Preparation for Retirement

    At first glance, the diet industry and financial services industry seem to have nothing in common, other than being multi-billion dollar markets.
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  • Comparing Market Returns and Your 401k

    With 2012 underway, many of you have received retirement account statements or a notice to view your information online. (If you haven’t yet, you will soon.)
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  • Eight Dos and Don'ts For Your 401k

    Included in your 2012 goals should be getting the most out of your 401(k), and to help work towards that goal, I offer up eight dos and don’ts.
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  • What Enron Can Teach Us About 401k Investing

    December 2,2011, marked the ten-year anniversary of Enron declaring bankruptcy.
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  • 3 Highly Personal Threats to Your Retirement

    This post is part of Smart401k CEO Scott Hollsopple’s contribution to the U.S. News & World Report Smarter Investor blog series. Original post date September 3, 2013. Beware. There are real threats lurking out there, potentially jeopardizing your retirement saving efforts. A market crash? The next Enron? No. I'm talking about things that are a little closer to home. But happily, you can do something about them.
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  • 401k Investment Loans and Holiday Shopping: Don't Get Greedy

    Despite a year filled with mixed economic news and Washington stalemates, the holiday shopping season kicked off with a bang.
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  • Watch Out for These 401(k) Monsters

    Whether on the big screen or in our living rooms, it seems that monsters typically associated with Halloween – like zombies and vampires – have become a big part of our entertainment these days. While we might like seeing them on television, we sure don’t want them getting close to us in real life, let alone letting them loose on our retirement plans. Let’s take a look at the things that go bump in the night. It’s easier to ward them off if you can recognize them!
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  • Are You Creating a 401k Monster?

    What could make a 401(k) scary? A 401(k) monster.
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  • Social Security: A Piece of the Retirement Pie

    Individuals receiving Social Security income will receive a cost of living increase beginning in January 2012.
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  • U.S. News & World Report Smarter Investor Blog Series - Keep Your Feelings in Check This Black Monday Anniversary

    Monday marks the 24-year anniversary of Black Monday, the 1987 stock market crash that nearly broke the system.
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  • Top 10 401(k) Questions You May Be Too Embarrassed to Ask (Part I)

    Have you ever felt hesitant to ask your investment advisor (or anyone else, for that matter) a question about investing or retirement planning? When it comes to these complicated topics, there are truly no stupid – or overly simple – questions. Though you might feel embarrassed asking a question if you think you “should” already know the answer, you’re better off getting the information than continuing to live in the dark about something so important and personal. After all, it’s your money … don’t you want to be confident about what you’re doing with it?
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