Even if you're not retiring for another 20 years, Muchler suggests examining the company's target-date fund for current retirees to gauge what your portfolio might look like in the future.
"This isn't a magic pill that guarantees a particular return or eliminates the risk of loss, but it brings a level of portfolio management and complexity that is typically out of reach (for most investors)," he says.
On the other hand, for Certified Financial Planner Jon L.
Even if investors do a great job of picking the right funds initially, it's unlikely they're going to review and rebalance them every quarter."Rebalancing a portfolio can require selling what's doing well so that you don't become overinvested in one particular asset.
"It's hard for people to sell the funds that are doing well and to buy the ones that aren't.
Ten Haagen of Ten Haagen Financial Group in Huntington, N. Target-date funds "can be one-size-fits-all," he says, whereas your current situation, risk tolerance, other assets and retirement needs are very individual.
Muchler says that one advantage of target-date funds is that they "take the responsibility for rebalancing out of the investors' hands.
Having someone else do the rebalancing takes the emotion out of it," says Muchler.
But Ten Haagen contends that most of these funds don't rebalance often enough.
The investment firms running these funds make the asset allocation decisions on behalf of investors based on the target date. Rough, CFA, director of portfolio management at Financial Services Advisory in Rockville, Md., says that target-date retirement funds try to make a complicated scenario -- how to invest over 30 or more years -- simple. They generally start out more heavily weighted in equities, then grow more conservative as your retirement date draws closer."Simplification" is one of the advantages of target-date funds, says Certified Financial Planner Benjamin J.
Muchler, vice president and portfolio manager at Boston Research and Management.