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San Antonio Business Journal – August 2009
Five Minutes With — Robert C. Cadena Jr. - 'Investing in Retirement'

With the recession hanging over the nation’s head, a May 2009 Pew Research Center national survey found that 37 percent of full-time employed adults of all ages said they had thought in the past year about postponing their eventual retirement. Interestingly, the survey found that it wasn’t how much people earned — but how much they lost in the investment market meltdown— that determined whether they were re-thinking retirement plans. So how do you invest for retirement in way that allows you to be prepared for all types of markets? Robert C. Cadena Jr. spent a few minutes with the Business Journal talking about just that. Cadena is the co-founder, president and CEO of Retirement Solutions and a registered representative of INVEST Financial Corporation (INVEST). He holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Texas State University and previously worked for 10 years as an investment adviser with MassMutual Financial Group. Note: Cadena’s views are his personally and not necessarily those of INVEST, a Tampa-based financial services broker-dealer with professionals nationwide. INVEST is not affiliated with Retirement Solutions.

Q. Advice for people worried about the strength of their employee retirement plans?

A. It is not usually the strength of the retirement plans that cause people problems, but the choices that the employee makes. Often, because there is no one to advise an employee, his or her choice of funds may not fit their investment objectives or financial goals. Some employees like to move their funds around, going from invested funds to cash and back. The result: The employee typically acts on emotion rather than focusing on long-term investment objectives. Continuing to buy stocks when the market is down can be good for investors. The reason: they can buy more shares with each dollar invested. Do not buy company stock in your retirement plan. Often the match is done with company stock, and if you choose that option, you have a lot of risk owning just one company.

Q. What are key ages for which people should target in retirement planning?

A. Typically, the earlier the better, but certainly by 45. Most people wanting to retire between the ages of 55-65 may start planning for retirement 10-20 years before they retire. Five years before retirement is the time when someone should sit down with an adviser and analyze how to take money that may have been used for growth and slowly allocate it into money that will be used for retirement.

Q. How can people make the most of the recession?

A. Depending on your financial circumstance, continue to invest. Right now many stocks may be undervalued and can have a lot of room to make up. If individuals invest in their 401ks on a bi-weekly basis, they will dollar-cost average their money into their retirement plan and buy the funds at a cheaper price today than they would have last year. If you are closer than 10 years from retirement, you are facing a different scenario and should review your situation carefully. You may need to save more.

Q. Dispel a myth about retirement planning.

A. Most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Most people don’t like to plan because it is a reality check.

Q. Any new products or trends?

A. There is a lot of talk about whether strategic allocation, meaning holding a percentage of stocks and bonds and maintaining it, still works. There has been no place to hide in this latest market, with both stocks and bonds falling together. The alternative is tactical allocation, which means moving money between stocks and bonds based on market conditions. Trying to time the market does not guarantee profit. It can mean that, in certain instances, it is more beneficial overall to take profits as available or reallocate into other segments of the market that may be outperforming your existing investments. People that try to reallocate without the help of a professional adviser may rely on the “buzz” from the press and financial vendors, only then to realize the difficulty of finding quality in this area.

Five Minutes is a regular Special Report feature. For more information, contact Donna J. Tuttle at