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What to look at in your 401(k) in this time of stock market volatility

Mike Binger, President of Gradient Investments, advises people against making rash or emotional decisions.

As the numbers on Wall Street continue to fluctuate with the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, you may be thinking about jumping into your retirement accounts to see if you should make changes.

Most experts say: resist that urge.

Mike Binger, President of Gradient Investments, advises people against making rash or emotional decisions, which could actually end up hurting your retirement plan.

"Stock market volatility creates emotional reactions by investors, most of them are bad," Binger said. "Everyone wants to 'buy low and sell high,' it’s the easiest thing to say, but in reality the most difficult to execute."

Rather than moving any money around, or pulling  it out, Binger says you should make sure you're making your maximum contribution to your retirement.

"Do not try and market time your 401(k)," he said. "In fact, if you aren’t contributing as much as you can, try and increase your contributions. Remember 401(k)’s are the poster child of dollar cost averaging."

Binger says it's important to remember that these are long-term investments.

"Stock markets provide superior returns over time but it is not a straight line," Binger said. "Each correction is unique, the latest being caused by COVID. Over time though the stock market and the U.S. economy are very resilient, and rewarding."

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