It's Time for a Financial Checkup
It's good to get in the habit of assessing your investment mix once a year. After all, planning for retirement doesn't stop once you've chosen your 401(k) plan investments for the Consolidated Edison Thrift Savings Plan. Financial circumstances and goals can change, and strong or weak markets can push your investment program off course.
Studies have shown that maintaining the right mix – that is, focusing on how you combine the basic asset classes – is more important than trying to guess which fund is the best or predict the right time to buy or sell. In fact, experts agree it's one of the key factors in determining investment results.
Whether you are a novice or experienced investor, four simple steps can help you create and maintain the right mix of investments:
1. Identify your goals and time frame. Once you know why you're saving (in this case, for retirement), you'll be able to determine your time horizon.
2. Complete the Investor Questionnaire. The questionnaire will lead you to a suggested investment mix based on your risk tolerance, goals, and time frame. Complete the Investor Questionnaire online at www.vanguard.com or call Vanguard Participant Services for a paper version.
3. Decide on your investments. Select your funds in proportion to your suggested investment mix.
4. Take charge of your savings. Look at your investment strategy annually to make sure it's still working for you.
The Doctor Is In
Vanguard can help you keep up to date on investing for retirement and prepare for a secure financial future. Vanguard offers:
For more information about any fund, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses, call The Vanguard Group at 1-800-523-1188 to obtain a prospectus. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the fund. Consider and read the prospectus information carefully before you invest. You can also download Vanguard fund prospectuses at www.vanguard.com.
*You can register for immediate, secure online account access at www.vanguard.com. You will be asked to use your appropriate plan number – 090404, 090041, or 090042. (Plan numbers can be found on your statements. If you are in more than one plan, you need use only one number to register.) Call Vanguard at 1-800-523-1188 for assistance.
**You will need your personal identification number (PIN) to use VOICE. If you don't have a PIN, call Vanguard at 1-800-523-1188.
Vanguard Personal Financial Planning Service is provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Vanguard Asset Management Services are provided by Vanguard National Trust Company, which is a federally chartered trust company operated under the supervision of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Vanguard and VOICE are trademarks of The Vanguard Group, Inc. All other marks are the exclusive property of their respective owners. © 2004 The Vanguard Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.