Losing hard-earned money that we have put away for retirement, a rainy day or our children’s college savings plan can really take a toll on an investor of any sort, whether it’s exchange traded funds (ETFs) or stocks.
The good news is that we don’t have to limit ourselves to 401(k) plans, 529 plans, savings accounts or pension plans; we can always utilize other tools, such as exchange traded funds (ETFs).

How to Utilize 401(k)s. How do we use this vast array of investment tools that are at our disposal? With 401(k)s provided at our jobs, most companies don’t give individuals too many choices, and the ones they do give you generally invest in mutual funds.So the wise the thing to do is to keep investing enough in your 401(k) to maximize a company match and then move the rest of your retirement money into an IRA or Roth IRA, which enables you to pick which funds you want to invest in, states Gail Marks Jarvis for The Chicago Tribune. The beauty of this is that one can utilizes ETFs to diversify and gain maximum control.

College Savings Plans. As for 529 plans, many have been hammered by the limited investment choices offered by some 529s. Keep yourself educated about what you can do with these excellent college savings plans. Keep in mind that money can be shifted to different investments in a 529 twice a year or to a 529 offered by another state. ETFs can also help with these.

Ask for Help If You Need It. The lesson to be learned is to keep yourself educated about all choices that are available, tweak your portfolio to your appetite for risk and long-term goals, and don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. Consider switching to ETFs if you’re in some high-priced mutual funds, too. Be aware of how high fees eat into your returns over times. After all, you are the one that controls the destiny of your money.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.