You may be familiar with the expression “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” and it’s true that it’s wise to make sure your investment portfolio is diversified based on types of funds and their associated risks. But this doesn’t mean you need to have several plans with several providers.
Having all your assets within one plan has several benefits and can actually mean more for your bottom line by enabling you to:
1. Maximize your returns
How closely do you monitor what you’re earning on your investments? Most people find it overwhelming or confusing to make sense of all the numbers and acronyms found on their statements online or on paper. It may be easier to not look at them, but does that produce the best results?
Looking at the rates of return for your various investments can help to paint a picture of which plan is performing at a level you are most comfortable with. All funds are subject to some measure of volatility and risk, but most funds will post historical information so you can see how a fund has performed over a longer period, giving you a better basis for comparison.
Many factors affect a fund’s performance, but looking at the returns to see which one is producing the most is a great place to start. Now start to do some simple math: Consider if all your investments were in that fund from the beginning – would your savings be worth more?
With your Group Choices plan, you have access to a wide range of top-quality fund managers to actively manage the funds in your portfolio. You can also view and manage your plan and investments online at sunlife.ca/choices and make use of the helpful tools there to ensure your plan is performing the way you want it to.
2. Minimize your management fees
Every investment comes with management fees – the price you pay for the management of your investments in your plan. It is important to understand what fees you are paying, and how much of a difference that can make to your savings.
Let’s look at an example1:
- You contribute $5,000 at the start of every year for 30 years
- Your average rate of return is 5%
With a management fee of 1.5%, your investment would be worth over $267,000. With a management fee of 2.0%, that same investment would be worth $245,000. Just half a percentage point can make a difference of over $22,000 to your bottom line!
With your Group Choices plan, you have access to funds with management fees generally lower than those for similarly managed funds available to the average individual retail investor at other financial institutions. By consolidating assets in your Group Choices plan, you can take full advantage of these lower fees and make the most of your retirement savings.
3. Simplify your statements
Sorting through bills, mortgage payments, taxes and the like can be overwhelming. Having retirement savings plans with different providers can add to the complexity and stress of managing your household finances. Having one statement for one plan makes your life easier. Keeping track of your investment performance, how the assets are allocated across fund types and your management fees is much simpler when you’re just dealing with one plan. The result will be a clearer picture of your retirement savings plan, with adjustments easier to make as you approach retirement.
Asset consolidation may not sound simple, but it can be. Start by looking for the plan that performs at your comfort level and has the lowest management fees and you could be looking at a difference of thousands of dollars. Your Group Choices plan offers you these benefits, as well as access to plan advice with our licensed Financial Services Consultants.2 Just give us a call and we’ll take care of the paperwork and manage the process for you.