After a multi-year bull run in the U.S. equities market, many investors have tilted their retirement portfolios toward stocks to chase the returns. However, investors should still rebalance their stock, bonds and exchange traded fund allocations to manage risks.
According to Fidelity Investments, the ix year bull market in U.S. stocks have exposed many older workers to more equity risk in their portfolio than they realize and more than recommended for their age, reports Suzanne Woolley for Bloomberg.
Fidelity, which administers 401k(k) plans for 21,661 employers with 13.4 million people, found 14% of participants ages 55 to 59 with stock allocations of at least 10 percentage points above what is recommended. For those ages 50 to 54, portfolios diverged by 18 percentage points of what is recommended. [Why Retirees Should Use ETFs in a Balanced Investment Portfolio]
The long bull market “gives this false sense of continued prosperity,” Douglas Fisher, senior vice president of workplace retirement policy at Fidelity, told Bloomberg. It brings about “this wealth effect that happened with our homes before 2008, when we felt like we could use the home as an ATM. It’s happened a little in the 401(k) market, where people are taking out more loans—and taking money out just because of the increase in the market.”
Stock ETFs have also been garnering the lion’s share of new asset inflows, which may leave many investors exposed to a potential correction in the equities market. According to BlackRock data, equity ETFs attracted $70.6 billion in net inflows year-to-date through June after bringing in $190.2 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, fixed-income ETFs added $14.3 billion over the first six months of the year and $52.2 billion in 2014.
Fisher also pointed out that over the past year, contributions have accounted for 53% of he change in balances while the market effect was 47%.
“That tells me we’re in a volatile market,” Fisher told CNBC.