There is a difference between reading about investment gains on your quarterly report, and realizing those gains thus actually benefiting from them. That difference can make or break your retirement.
With the recent rally of the markets, many investors are feeling excited to see their assets begin recovering from the losses they took in 2008. Yet this excitement may be misplaced unless investors actually realize their gains and convert them to real dollars they can use in retirement. As long as money is sitting within security investments, gains are simply numbers on a piece of paper which can be gone tomorrow. When these numbers are high, advisors often use them to persuade consumers to “let the gamble ride,” rather than secure what they have earned.
As long as you are invested in a vehicle that is exposed to the volatility of the market, your gains are just a tease that often keeps you on the market until it’s too late and the next inevitable market crash takes away everything you thought you had.
This principle comes with perfect timing. As the stock market has been driven to all-time highs as a result of federal stimulus spending, there is no better time torealize the gains on your investments, rather than wait to find out if the inflated stock market can actually hold its weight.
The closer you are to retiring, the more important this principle is. Realizing your gains can mean the difference between retiring when you planned to, and working an extra 10 years to make up for losses you could have prevented.
When you realize the gains on your investments, it does not mean you’re done earning income from your assets. It simply means you are ready to grow your assets using financial vehicles that are shielded from the uncertainty of investing in securities. Protect the nest egg you have spent a lifetime earning, and secure the retirement you deserve.
In order to achieve true protection, place your assets within vehicles that contractually guarantee growth of your investment without ever losing a penny of your principal.
Whether you choose to move all of your retirement assets away from risky investments, or move just enough that you can sleep at night knowing you have some protection, it is important to consider realizing your gains, before you are forced to realize the true meaning of market risk.