Many articles about retirement planning either start or end with someone walking into an office to speak with a financial professional.
Lets imagine, instead, that you have your entire nest egg in your pocket or purse and you just entered a casino.
There are two blackjack tables from which to choose. At the first table, the rules say that if you beat the dealer, youll win 50% on your investment; but if the dealer beats you, you'll lose 50%.
Then you saunter over to the second table. The rules there say that if you beat the dealer, you'll make 10% on your investment; but if the dealer beats you, you won't lose a thing.
At which table would you want to sit? Your decision likely would be based on how you feel about risk in general and how close you are to retirement, among other things.
It's the same when you're investing in the market. With some investments, you might make a killing, but you also could lose a bundle. With others, there's a limit on what you can gain, but you'll lose less -- or nothing at all. There are pros and cons to both, of course, and plenty of debate about which is the right way to go.
The good news is you don't have to choose one or the other. You may have a place for both in your portfolio. The goal is to figure out what you need and find the appropriate products to help.