The plan investment options are designed to be 404c compliant, which means that participants can invest their account as they wish, and the trustee(s) and sponsor will not be responsible for the consequences of their investment decision. The mutual funds offered are highly rated and allow the diversity needed to achieve retirement goals. The actual holdings of each fund and performance history is contained in the prospectus that will be made available. In addition, summarized information about the funds is included in the enrollment kit, as well as a worksheet to help determine the appropriate array of mutual funds to hold in a portfolio.
To assist participants in the investment process, Slavic Mutual Fund Management Corporation (SMF) has been designated as an advisor to the plan. Participants may call (800) 356-3009 for information about the funds and to select one of three Slavic pre-allocated portfolios designated for the participant who chooses not to select their own funds. The Slavic portfolios will be rebalanced once a year to maintain targeted risk levels. For more information, use the web site www.slavic401k.com.
This is a method used to control risk. Risk is the chance that your investments will fall in value and not be sufficient to fund your retirement. Combining different mutual funds that are comprised of different core asset holdings such as stocks, bonds and money market will give a portfolio diversity. This is because often these asset classes rise and fall in value independently. When several are down, the money market will probably hold its value, thereby lessening the effect of a downturn in the market. “To diversify” is the advice given by most investment experts. The rise in the stock markets indexes from 1990 to 1998 averaging 16% per year should not cloud the fact that over the last 75 years the indexes averaged 11%, meaning investors should expect market volatility on the downside, as the averages may revert back to the long-term yield. Therefore, participants should not forget diversification when investing. Certainly, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is still good advice.
Once a participant has determined how much risk he or she is willing to take and invested in at least three different types of mutual funds, the portfolio should not be traded unless the risk profile has changed. In fact, constant juggling is the worst thing a participant can do because the odds are against anyone successfully timing the market. On the other hand, rebalancing on a yearly basis to bring the portfolio in line with the desired risk level is recommended. For example, a moderate risk portfolio for someone age 50 would be 35% bonds, 35% domestic large cap mutual funds and 30% in foreign large cap funds. If at the end of the year, bond prices have risen so that bonds now represent 45% of the portfolio, those funds should be sold down to the 35% level and the proceeds invested in the other sectors. Following this procedure will not only help control risk but also cause locking in gains while investing in laggards without imposing the element of emotion which tends to cause investors to do the opposite during market turmoil.
If a participant elects to use a Slavic managed portfolio, an extra 25 basis point charge will be assessed. This service is optional and the plan sponsor does not endorse the use of a managed portfolio account, but realizing participants may desire professional investment management, three Slavic portfolios are included in the platform. Participants may obtain free investment advice from a registered representative of Slavic Mutual Fund Management Corporation(SMF) by calling 800 356 3009. SMF is a registered Investment Advisor with the Securities Exchange Commission.
Mutual funds may pay 12b-1 and sub TA fees/commissions to brokers and advisors, but in the Slavic plan, those fees are given back to participants, if Slavic Investment Corporation is designated the broker of record. Most plans are structured this way, but contracts may vary.
How much risk one can afford to take is dependent on the length of time until retirement, overall net worth, and tolerance during market declines. The most important element in achieving retirement goals is not the portfolio’s return but the rate of saving. To chase high returns by taking more risk and make up for the lack of saving is not prudent. Once the commitment is there to consistently save at an adequate level, it is advisable to continue that program when markets decline and to not sell.
For someone who is investing every month and has a long enough horizon, the market going down during a period is a positive thing. They can accumulate shares at a low price. It is only close to retirement that great risk develops. If the market suddenly declines at that time, the participant’s retirement would suddenly be put in jeopardy. To avoid this risk, the investor should take some money out of the market as retirement nears and reallocate more to fixed income investments that are usually more stable. However, bond funds and money market funds yield less than stock-related funds over the longer term. Therefore, one gives up return potential for a portfolio bearing less risk.
A participant with twenty-five years to retire should be aggressive and allocate most of their money to diversified stock funds. Whereas, an individual age sixty should probably invest half in high grade, short term bond funds. With this analogy in mind, the following table represents an estimate of potential decline versus return. Each participant should allocate according to the risk-related return that fits their objectives realizing that there is no guarantee of future returns.
|Conservative Investor||Moderate Investor||Aggressive Investor|
|Retire In 5 Years Or Less||Retire In 6 To 15 Years||Retire In 20 Years Or More|
|Target Return: 5%-7%||Target Return: 7%-9%||Target Return: 10%-12%|
|Risk Of Yearly Decline: -15%||Risk Of Yearly Decline: -25%||Risk Of Yearly Decline -35%|
|Model Asset Allocations|
|30% Bonds & Money Marke||10% Bonds||0% Bonds|
|50% Domestic Stocks||60% Domestic Stocks||65% Domestic Stocks|
|20% Foreign Stocks||30% Foreign Stocks||35% Foreign Stocks|
Annually, the investment committee will compare the performance of the fund options against market indexes and review the services of the Advisor to analyze whether the objectives of the investment policy are being met.
Exchange orders submitted before 4:00 PM EST will be traded the same day on a best effort basis. Exchange orders submitted by fax, mail, or via internet after 4:00 PM EST will be traded the next business day. The next business day policy is guaranteed only if the mutual fund companies and clearing broker involved settle the trade by the next business day (T+1) or if less than 2,500,000,000 shares are traded on the NASDAQ exchange on the day you place your order or on the day after. If trading volume on the NASDAQ exceeds the limit or the outside parties cannot settle the trade as specified, your order will be processed on a best efforts basis and Slavic will not be responsible for the timing, only the accuracy of your trade. The above policy is still subject to the 14 day error notification policy following the mailing of your statement. To receive compensation for any trading error, you must notify Slavic in a timely fashion to allow for correction to minimize damages, if any.
Please note that no trades will be placed on some holidays as our office will be operating on reduced hours those days. Advance notice will be provided on our website of any changes in trading hours.