3 Retirement Plan Resolutions for the New Year

Investors are clearly hoping 'this bull has room to run'

401k, retirement, New Year, etradeOnly three?

A depressingly small percentage of people actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions, but we’ll stay optimistic on this one.

E*TRADE recently found that 40 percent of investors want to increase contributions to their retirement plans in 2018, up six percentage points from last year.

Among the other top resolutions:

Adjust asset allocations—nearly 40 percent of investors expressed a desire to tweak their asset mix to reflect changing market conditions, which is consistent with last year.

Leverage educational resources—35 percent of investors surveyed want to learn more about investing, trading, and the markets, which is consistent with last year.

“The market in 2017 exceeded many investor expectations by continually reaching higher highs, pressing forward amid shifting political and social agendas, and significant Fed moves,” Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment Strategy at E*TRADE Financial, said in a statement. “As the sun rises on 2018, it’s no surprise that investors are more likely to be engaging with the market through retirement accounts given the bull market’s continued run.

With a pro-business agenda in Congress, he added, “strong corporate earnings, and the economy buzzing, investors are clearly hoping this bull has some more room to run.”

Loewengart also pointed to a few generational patterns, noting that Millennials are the most interested in learning more. Just getting started on their investing journey, this generation seems hungry to expand their knowledge, expressing a greater desire than Gen X and Boomers to learn more about investing, trading, and the markets.

Additionally, Gen Xers are the most focused on retirement investing. More than half of Gen X investors surveyed want to increase the amount they contribute to their retirement plan next year. This generation is entering an integral stage of investing with at least a decade left until retirement. The potential for compounding growth is still available to this group given their relatively long time horizon.

Lastly, seniors want to tweak their allocations. More than half of Boomers surveyed plan to make changes to their portfolio allocation in 2018. Since these investors are closing in on retirement, or may already be retired, they may feel their portfolios need to be adjusted to preserve income through tax-loss harvesting, align with post-employment goals, or reflect changes in their risk tolerance.

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