Why did some 401(k)s earn 4% last year when the S&P was up 10%?

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Why did some 401(k)s earn 4% last year when the S&P was up 10%?
Despite a stock market rally, it is possible that your clients’ 401(k) returns will remain low, CNNMoney reports. This happens when most of the 401(k) assets are not invested in U.S. stocks, or when a big allocation is in an actively managed mutual fund that charges hefty fees. Many 401(k) investors may also earn less money when stocks climb if they made poor investment decisions or made the right move at the wrong time.

How to leverage your clients’ small businesses for financial success
Clients should use their businesses not only to make money but also to secure their future, according to Kiplinger. To do this, business owners should put their personal interest first by saving for retirement. They can use retirement saving vehicle options, such as a SEP IRA, which helps reduce taxable income by offering tax deductions on contributions. Other savings vehicles are the Solo 401(k) and SIMPLE IRA.

How to prepare your clients’ finances for widowhood
Married women should factor widowhood into their retirement planning, as they are more likely to outlive their spouses and manage their finances alone in the golden years, according to this article on MarketWatch. To prepare for possible widowhood, they should take an active part in their household's financial planning, get life insurance and change their prenuptial agreement to exclude some of their personal assets from their conjugal properties. Women should also know their spousal benefits, streamline their financial accounts and seek help from an adviser.

How safe is your client’s IRA?
Investing within an IRA is not without risks, but clients can keep their investments safe with proper planning and effective strategies, according to this Motley Fool article. One way to reduce the risk is by diversifying your clients’ investment portfolios. They should have a good estimate of their time horizon and make their approach more aggressive or conservative, depending on their age and tolerance for risks.

You can’t retire on the Trump bump
Clients cannot simply make a retirement decision based on their optimistic expectations of the stock market under the Trump administration, according to Bloomberg. That is because stocks may not produce the investment income that investors expect in the future, as the average equities yield and average growth rate put their future returns at mere 6.2%, according to an investment adviser. “Most people pay no attention to arithmetic, because it gives them answers they don’t want to hear.”"

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