Let’s look at a few strategies that you can use to manage inflation and interest rate risk in your retirement portfolio.
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That said, it’s essential to maintain emergency savings, particularly with a potential recession on the horizon. If you lose income and need to dip into savings, you don’t want to sell retirement assets. If you dip into certain tax-advantaged accounts, you could trigger a 10% penalty along with taxes on any capital gains accrued on the holdings.
Unfortunately, many investors are hoarding cash given the recent stock market performance. According to Allianz Life, 43% of adults are too nervous to invest in the market right now. But, the problem with staying out of the market is that you don’t benefit from dollar-cost averaging, and the odds of picking the perfect time to re-enter the market are slim.
Fixed-income investors may want to consider actively-managed bond funds. With the ability to adjust duration and other factors, active fund managers can better manage interest rate risk. Investors may also want to consider short-term bond funds or inflation-linked securities, like TIPS, to protect their portfolios from rising interest rates.
Equity investors may want to consider funds like the Fidelity Stocks for Inflation ETF (FCPI). The fund’s portfolio features much higher allocations to energy, consumer defensive, healthcare, and real estate equities, which tend to perform better during inflationary environments. At the same time, its P/E ratio is significantly lower than the category average.
Investors open to taking a greater risk may also look at the energy sector. In addition to inflation resistance, crude oil and natural gas commodities have significant tailwinds from rising demand, geopolitical tensions, capacity limits, and a slow ramp-up in production. But, of course, the biggest risk to oil prices is a recession that could dampen demand.
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Alternative assets may also offer a compelling hedge against inflation. Of course, the most popular alternative asset is real estate rentals. While housing prices remain high, rental income is extremely inflation-resistant since it can be raised based on market rents. You may also be able to realize tax deductions from depreciation over time.
In the end, investors should focus on staying in the market with a potential tilt toward inflation-resistant assets. At the same time, they should seek ways to shield themselves from the effects of inflation on an individual level by paying down variable rate loans and exploring alternative assets that could offer protection.
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