5 tips for investment success

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A recent survey has found that only 47 percent of 401(k) participants feel very confident about making investment decisions. If you’re part of the 53 percent of Americans who feel less than very confident, there are a few easy ways to increase your investing aptitude.

I’m Sheyna Steiner with the Bankrate.com personal finance minute.

First, bump up your contribution rate. Financial planners recommend saving between 10 and 15 percent of your salary for retirement — sometimes as much as 20 percent.

Next up: Asset allocation. That refers to the way you divide your investments between stocks and bonds, and various classes within those two broader categories. There’s an easy way to solve asset allocation problems — use a target date fund. Or look at the asset allocation of target date funds aimed at your retirement year and copy their strategy.

Finally, if your plan offers any free advice at all — take it, employees who get advice on their workplace retirement plans nearly double their savings rates.

For more on this and other personal finance issues, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Sheyna Steiner.