Investment information

Market risk

Investing involves market risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

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Investment selection options

Do it myself

Build your own portfolio by understanding your risk tolerance and your plan’s investment options & performance.

Go to My Investment Planner

Help me do it

Select an investment option that aligns with your investing personality (conservative, moderate, aggressive) or the year closest to when you hope to retire. Consider asset allocation funds or target date funds.

Asset allocation funds are available for conservative, moderate or aggressive investors.

Target date funds are a type of asset allocation fund that is rebalanced over time to become more conservative as retirement approaches.

Target date funds invest in a wide variety of underlying funds to help reduce investment risk. So, in addition to the expenses of the target date funds, you pay a proportionate share of the expenses of the underlying funds. Target date funds are designed for people who plan to withdraw funds during or near a specific year. Like other funds, target date funds are subject to market risk and loss. Loss of principal can occur at any time, including before, at or after the target date. There is no guarantee that target date funds will provide enough income for retirement.

Do it for me

Nationwide ProAccount® is a managed account service, available for an additional fee. Your investments are selected for you based on your age and risk tolerance, then monitored and adjusted over time to keep you on track toward your retirement goals. ProAccount includes:

  • Professional management from Wilshire Associates
  • Oversight by Nationwide Investment Advisors, LLC
  • Quarterly statements
  • 24-hour phone support

Investment advice is provided by Nationwide Investment Advisors, LLC (NIA), an SEC-registered investment adviser. NIA has retained Wilshire Associates Incorporated (Wilshire) as the Independent Financial Expert to make the investment decisions for the program. Wilshire is not an affiliate of Nationwide or NIA.

Learn more about Nationwide ProAccount

Risk vs. reward

Different kinds of investments mean putting your money at different levels of risk. Greater risk equals potentially greater reward. Here’s a simplified way of looking at risk versus reward.

Chart displaying increasing levels of risk and reward for different investment categories. From lowest risk and reward to highest – capital preservation, bonds, large cap stocks, mid cap stocks, small cap stocks and international stocks.

Investment categories

Short-Term Investments (fixed accounts/cash) – Short-term investments are sometimes referred to as cash equivalents because they can be easily sold (converted to cash) without affecting their value. While these short-term investments are generally less risky than stocks or bonds, their returns are also usually much lower and may not keep pace with inflation. A variety of investment types can be generally categorized as short-term investments, including Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Money Market Accounts (MMAs) and Treasury bills (T-bills). The Plan’s short-term investment option is a stable value fund. Because the value of the securities held by stable value funds will fluctuate, there is the risk that an investor will lose money by investing in stable value funds.

Bond Funds – Bond funds are made of bonds purchased from a government entity or corporation that agrees to pay back the original amount paid along with interest on a specified date. Many bonds are generally more stable than stocks and provide a steadier flow of income. However, they also typically provide a lower rate of return. High-yield bond securities are typically subject to greater risk and price volatility than funds which invest in higher-rated securities.

Balanced Funds – Balanced funds typically invest in a combination of stocks (which tend to be higher risk), bonds (which tend to be more stable), and, occasionally, short-term investments. This is similar to an asset allocation approach, but the asset mix is never adjusted in response to the investor’s age or risk tolerance. This fund is aimed at preserving proportionate levels of risk, safety and gains.

Large-Cap Funds – Large-cap refers to companies with market values (or capitalization) greater than $10 billion. Because these tend to be large, established corporations, their stocks generally offer lower risk than stocks from mid- and small-cap companies.

Mid-Cap Funds – Mid-cap refers to companies with market values (or capitalization) between $2 billion and $10 billion. These stocks are typically more volatile than large-cap stocks but less risky than small-cap stocks.

Small-Cap Funds – Small-cap refers to companies with market values (or capitalization) under $2 billion. Small companies can often grow much faster than big companies, but their stocks also tend to be riskier.

International Funds – These funds include stock in companies located outside of the United States. These stocks may trade on either the U.S. or foreign stock exchanges and are generally considered higher-risk investments. Risks include currency fluctuations, political instability, differences in accounting standards and foreign regulations.

Specialty Funds* – Specialty funds are mutual funds investing primarily in the securities of a particular industry, sector, type of security or geographic region. Funds that focus on real estate investing are sensitive to economic and business cycles, changing demographic patterns and government actions.

*Includes real estate, energy, health care and other industry-specific funds.

Investing involves risk and you could lose money.

Asset allocation, rebalancing and diversification do not assure a profit or protect against loss in a down market.