Diversifying your investments with stocks, bonds and cash provides a balance for steady growth in your individual retirement arrangement. You can also find creative ways to boost your investments through commodities, real estate and other unique buying opportunities. As long as you keep tax-deferred holdings in your IRA, you can watch your earnings grow according to your own particular investment plan.
Use the advice of trusted financial professionals whenever possible. Certified financial planners provide information on how to feed your IRA for continued growth over time. Ask co-workers, friends or relatives for references. Consult more than one financial planner and talk to the person who handles retirement plans at work for guidance or direction on how to set up or improve your IRA.
Educate yourself on retirement investing. Read financial publications and online sources for tips on the best investments for IRAs. Many stock and mutual fund companies offer basic advice on investing on their websites.
Define your goals for retirement and your financial situation in order to invest properly, according to your needs. While professional planners have experience at filling your account with secure, good performing investments, more personal knowledge better prepares you to make decisions on where your money goes.
Invest in stocks and mutual funds -- which contain a mix of stocks and various other securities from different companies and sectors -- for diversification of your financial portfolio. Many high-performing stocks bring significant growth to your IRA, but may also carry risks. Bonds and money market funds provide safety in case downturns in the market cause stocks to plummet. A mix of high-risk and low-risk stocks also help to balance your account for growth and security.
Make wise risk-taking choices. Higher risk stocks offer a better chance for rewards to grow your IRA, but keep your portfolio diversified for protection. While investing in highly performing stocks or funds may be reassuring, sometimes they represent only temporary bursts in earnings. Choosing underperforming stocks in current markets, for example, could bring rewarded growth over the long term. Some investment funds select stocks that underperform recent market activity for more realistic market values, which may provide promising gains in the future.
Monitor your account quarterly or every six months for necessary adjustments to your stocks, mutual funds and other investments, replacing poor performers with investments that show promise of better performance.
- You can have creative additions in your IRA, such as real estate. Including real estate in an IRA often proves too difficult because your IRA cannot be touched by lenders, you cannot buy property for personal use with a traditional IRA and buying or selling property cannot occur quickly as with stocks and bonds during up and down markets. If you want to benefit from a sudden rise in certain sectors of the real estate market, whether it be in commercial or residential property, you can invest in real estate investment trust -- or REIT -- funds. You can readjust these investments just as you do with stocks and mutual funds to take advantage of real estate market trends.
Jerry Shaw writes for Spice Marketing and LinkBlaze Marketing. His articles have appeared in Gannett and American Media Inc. publications. He is the author of "The Complete Guide to Trust and Estate Management" from Atlantic Publishing.