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“Do it for me” Investment Strategies: Managed Account vs. Target Dates

Deciding how to invest your retirement plan savings can be challenging and intimidating. Doing it in the best way requires understanding different investments and strategies, as well as having the time to track performance and make changes. If you find yourself uncomfortable in the driver’s seat when it comes to selecting your retirement plan investments, your plan may offer solutions – in the form of Managed Accounts or Target Date Funds. 

Managed accounts and target date funds share similar attributes, such as being multi-asset vehicles that adjust their allocations as you approach retirement. Through professional management, they both simplify portfolio diversification, help mitigate potential behavior biases and take investor emotions out of the decision-making process.  

What is a managed account?

A managed account is a service in which your account is managed by an investment professional who assumes ERISA fiduciary responsibility for selecting and monitoring investments. The investment manager will construct and continually monitor the asset allocation strategy from the investments offered within your Retirement Plan. Although managed accounts generally do charge a fee, they come with important benefits that can help drive retirement readiness, such as taking into account your risk tolerance and investor profile. Whereas many “self-directed” participants may choose their retirement plan investments and then forget about them, investments in managed accounts are professionally managed and monitored.


What is a target date fund?

Target date funds provide a single diversified fund based on the approximate year you would like to retire (which is assumed to be at age 65) and/or begin withdrawing money. The principal value of the funds is not guaranteed at any time, including the target date. Target date funds – also known as lifecycle or age-based funds typically invest in a mix of stock and bond funds that gradually adjust to become more conservative over time as the target retirement date approaches. (For example, a target retirement 2040 fund is allocated for investors who plan to retire between the years 2035 and 2044.) This adjustment, known as the glide path, reflects how the fund’s allocation of stocks and bonds changes over time. 

Managed accounts or target date funds can be a solution for what is often the most difficult part of planning for retirement: choosing your investments. 

For more information, Contact your MCF Financial Advisor, today! 

Hunter Nighbert

Financial Advisor



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MCF Advisors, LLC (“MCF”) is an SEC-registered investment adviser. Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by MCF), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this presentation will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this presentation serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from MCF.  To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed herein to his/her/its individual situation, he/she/it is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her/its choosing.  MCF is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the presentation content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.  A copy of MCF’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request. If you are an MCF client, please remember to contact MCF in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing / evaluating / revising our previous recommendations and/or services. The scope of the services to be provided depends upon the needs of the client and the terms of the engagement