Important Information for Participants Self-Directing Investments
For participants that have elected to self-direct investments for the various Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) defined contribution plans [Clergy Retirement Security Program (DC), Horizon 401(k), Retirement Security Program (DC) and United Methodist Personal Investment Plan], there are several considerations that should guide your selection of investment funds. The selection of funds and the amounts to invest in each fund is known as asset allocation. These considerations are:
- your age and the number of years until you expect to retire,
- your financial goals,
- other sources of income and personal investments, and
- your risk tolerance.
Wespath provides participants with no-cost investment advice from EY Financial Planning Services to help with asset allocation decisions. EY considers these and other factors when making asset allocation recommendations. You can learn more about the service on our EY Financial Planning Services page.
In addition, Wespath’s managed account program known as the LifeStage Investment Management Service (LifeStage) provides a computer-based algorithmic approach for determining each participant’s unique asset allocation. You can learn more about the program on our LifeStage Investment Management Service page.
As you evaluate the performance of your Wespath or any other investments you may have, such as mutual funds, consider the following questions:
- How well has the fund performed compared with its stated objective?
- How consistent has the fund’s performance been?
- What was the overall market environment for the period under consideration?
- How well has the fund performed relative to the benchmark that best represents the performance of the asset class (for example, U.S. stocks) in which the fund invests?
- How has the fund performed compared with similar funds offered by other fund providers?
- What are the fund expenses, and how to they compare to the expenses of similar funds offered by other fund providers?
- Participants in LifeStage, may want to compare the performance of their account balances with comparable target date or life style funds offered by various mutual fund companies.
Wespath maintains a policy known as the Interfund Transfer Rule designed to limit the frequency of interfund transfers by participants in its funds. Under the policy, a participant may not purchase units in a particular fund for 60 days after selling units in the same fund, other than the Stable Value Fund. For more information on the rule, please read the “Interfund Transfer Rule” section of the Investment Funds Description – P Series document.