If you don’t want to go it alone, here are 3 smart alternatives to consider.
- All-in-one mutual funds
- Robo advisors
- Personal financial advisors
What's an all-in-one mutual fund?
These are professionally managed funds designed to simplify investing. There are 2 types—target date funds and asset allocation funds.
Target date funds are built for retirement. Pick the one closest to your retirement date. When the target date is many years away, the fund invests for growth potential. As the retirement date nears, the investment mix becomes conservative.
Asset allocation funds seek to maintain a target mix of stocks, bonds, and cash. You pick the fund with the mix that aligns with your goals. For short-term goals, a conservative mix with bonds and cash could work well. For longer-term goals, a fund more focused on stocks may be a better option.
What's a robo advisor?
If you’re looking for cost-effective, professional money management—especially if you don’t have a lot of money to invest—you might want to consider a robo advisor. Just answer a handful of questions online about your financial situation, goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.The advisor uses that information to build an appropriate investment mix for you, typically with ETFs and index funds. Then the advisor manages your account, checking in periodically to see if your situation has changed and adjustments are needed.
Why go robo? Robos are generally more affordable than professional one-on-one advice because they carry low minimums and your portfolio is managed online. It’s easy and affordable. There are also some hybrids that combine a robo with limited one-on-one time with an advisor.
What about one-on-one assistance?
This option offers access to a professional advisor and often a team of planning professionals. You’ll still be able to look at your investments online. But you’ll also have the option to speak to a representative to help you define goals, and then to build and monitor a plan to achieve them.
Financial advisors can also help you with tax planning, budgeting, insurance, wills, charitable giving, and strategies to deal with major life events.
Why go with a pro?
Many people think they can invest on their own, and some certainly can. But history shows that do-it-yourself investors have consistently underperformed market averages, as the chart illustrates. Why? They’re human! Among other things, people tend to panic when markets decline. They often sell, locking in their losses, then wait too long to reinvest, missing the rebound. The benefit of the approaches above—all-in-one mutual funds, robo advisors, and one-on-one relationships—is they can help you stay disciplined, helping you achieve your goals, no matter what the markets serve up.
- You can invest wisely without giving up your nights and weekends. Investing doesn’t have to be time consuming.
- There are 2 basic types of all-in-one mutual funds: target date funds, which are built around a planned retirement date and become more conservative over time, and asset allocation funds, which seek to maintain a constant mix of investments.
- A robo advisor is a low-cost digital investment solution that builds and manages a portfolio designed to help you reach your goals.
- A financial advisor gives you one-on-one financial planning and investing assistance, which can help your plan stay on track.
- All of the above solutions can help you reach your goals, typically with no minimum investment at Fidelity. The key is staying disciplined—identifying your goals, making a plan, and sticking with it.