In mid-October, global share markets went through another downturn (since February 2018), before a moderate rebound over the next few days.
Market performance has been positive over the last decade, with the US achieving the longest Bull market (this is when markets go up) in history. Recent share market volatility (markets going up and down) have resulted in an anticipated correction and will have tested the resolve of many investors.
What does this mean for you?
There is no need to panic or take any urgent actions. Equally, it’s important to understand your investments and the level of risks involved. Although saving for retirement is usually a long-term goal, it shouldn’t be a set-and-forget process. News reports on changes in market performance can prompt concerned investors to check savings balances and change funds without considering long term trends.
Here are some ways you can be confident your investments are working the way you want. If your circumstances have changed, for example you’re looking to buy your first home, or are nearing retirement, then you should take a moment review your investments.
1) Do you know what fund your money is invested in? Mercer’s schemes offer seven investment funds. Five investment funds – Conservative, Moderate, Balanced, Growth and High Growth are diversified funds. This means these funds invest in a number of different assets such as shares, property, bonds and cash. The other two funds – Cash and Shares are single sector funds and as their names suggest these funds invest only in cash or shares respectively. Make sure you know what fund you are in and the impact markets may have on the returns. Mercer’s retirement income simulator is able to project what you balance at retirement may look like based on simulated market conditions.
2) Have you spoken to an expert? Mercer’s financial advisers are here to help you make the right investment decisions at no extra cost to you. If you are concerned about the markets, considering changing funds, investing more money or withdrawing some for example to buy your first home, then talk to one of the advisers by calling us on 0508 637 237.
3) Are you a risk taker or like to play it safe? With Mercer, you have access to a few tools to help you work out what fund you should be in and understand the impact markets may have on you. Take a quick Risk Quiz to understand your risk profile and work out what fund may be right for you. You can also check out the Retirement Income Simulator to see how different market conditions impact the balance at retirement. Both are available online, when you sign into your account at www.mercerfinancialservices.co.nz.
4) Need to withdraw money in the near future? If you are looking to buy your first home or are thinking of withdrawing your money for retirement, it’s important that you understand that the value may go down with the market and allow for that. As you approach a life milestone you may wish to alter your investment options to better reflect your risk profile. Call us to discuss your circumstances and we can provide you with guides and information, to help you make the right decision for you.
5) Get to know the website. The Scheme’s website gives you complete control over your savings. When was the last time you logged in? Accessing your online account enables you to find the latest information including your personal returns and balance, adjust your fund options, update your personal details, and tailor how you would like to receive the latest information about your investments. If you have forgotten how to log on to the website, please call the Helpline on 0508 537 237.