If stock market volatility has you on an emotional roller coaster, you're not alone. Anyone with savings in the stock market can relate to the stress of watching the latest market moves. Fortunately, there's help from the pros. Johns Hopkins' retirement plans' investment providers—Vanguard, Fidelity, and TIAA—have a host of suggestions for how to approach saving for retirement in a time of volatility, as well as updates on how they're responding to their clients' needs as a result of COVID-19.
HR's suggestions to help you make the most of their guidance:
Watch for email and check myChoices Retirement for resources
Be sure to watch for emails from plan providers, check myChoices Retirement, or log in via your plan provider's website to see the latest offerings.
To answer some common questions and offer updates, JHU's retirement savings plan providers are reaching out to plan participants via email, modifying their participant websites, and setting up webinars with timely advice based on recent events. Webinars are open to all JHU employees and are not just for participants who invest with a specific investment provider.
Vanguard, for example, is launching twice-weekly (Tuesday and Thursday) webinars for plan participants beginning Thursday, March 26 (register here). TIAA has scheduled a webinar called "Global Lookout: When Is it Safe to Come Out?" for 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 2 (register here). Fidelity recently conducted one that reviewed what is happening in the markets and why.
All webinars will be viewable even after their initial scheduled time, so if you miss one, you can catch up later.
Check out tips from all investment providers
You'll also find helpful general advice on investment providers' websites, regardless of whether you currently have your retirement plan account with them. No matter where your money is invested, take a little time to visit:
- Vanguard, which has links to general information on its home page and also has set up a market volatility page, where you can get a history lesson on past volatile markets, other background information, and specific suggestions, such as tips for trading in volatile markets.
- Fidelity, whose website includes a section on market volatility, with links to background information that will help you understand bear markets, tips on navigating volatile markets, and information to help you rethink risk.
- TIAA, whose main webpage has links to general tips for handling market volatility, plus always relevant tips on personal finance, retirement planning, and preparing for the unexpected. You also may want to read "What to do—and what not to do—when markets get shaky" and "Market Jitters: Our perspective on the U.S. economy and recent stock market volatility".
If you're reaching out to providers with questions, please keep in mind that they are all experiencing higher-than-usual call volumes. Therefore, you may have to wait. The good news: All providers offer extended call center hours. They are reachable as follows:
- Vanguard: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, 800-523-1036
- Fidelity: 8:30 a.m. to midnight, Monday to Friday, 800-343-0860
- TIAA: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 888-200-4074
Keep in mind, you can review your retirement account and make changes to your plan at any time through JHU's myChoices Retirement.
Schedule one-on-one help
Face-to-face meetings may be a no-go right now, but you can still schedule a one-on-one consultation via phone or virtually with your retirement plan provider. How to do it:
- Fidelity: Schedule online or call 800-642-7131 to make an appointment.
- TIAA: Schedule online or call 800-732-8353.
- Vanguard: Schedule online.
All information provided by JHU herein is general and educational in nature and is not an investment recommendation or being made in a fiduciary capacity.
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