To keep your 401K growing the fastest, you will need to 1) monitor your investment performance on a regular basis to 2) be able to shift your investments for maximium gain and to limit losses during critical times.
Many people trust others (who they do not know nor have never met), to manage their life’s retirement savings accounts. Would you hand over your check book to someone you don’t know… to help you “manage” it? Well, your retirement account is far more important and hopefully far larger than your checking account. Do not trust anyone with your money and therefore, your future. Always remember… nobody cares more about YOUR money than you!
Now, that we have an understanding that YOU will manage your own account… you acutally have to manage it. Don’t just throw your money into a few investments and hope for the best. You need to do some research first. Here is a quick and easy way to pick your investment choices: use Google finance.
Goto www.google.com/finance. Create a portfolio called 401K. Add all the available fund symbols of your 401K to that portfolio. Now, the neat part… once you have your portfolio created, you can click the checkboxes beside the fund names to run a Compare chart!
With your compare chart, you can quickly see which funds are doing the best over a particular timespan. I usually look at the 1-3 month range, find the top 3-4 performers to 1) frequently change my future contributions to those top performers and 2) ocassionally rebalance my account accordingly, as needed.
Overall, this will help you limit losses of funds that continue to drop and keep you investing in funds that perform.