A target date fund is an attractive option for savvy passive investors. These mutual funds provide strong results with minimal effort, and adjust your investment risk level according to how soon you plan to retire. As a result, many 401k and IRA investors choose them as the backbone of their personal investment portfolios. As with any investment, however, not fully understanding these financial resources can cost you plenty.
In 2008 and 2009, many target date fund investors lost fortunes learning that funds without well-designed “glide paths” can leave you dangerously overexposed to stocks in the few years right before expected retirement. If you know how target date funds are designed – as well as their benefits and downsides – you’ll be able to choose the best target date fund for your portfolio.