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Which Path is Right for You?

Path 1: SMARTPath Retirement Funds

Designed for people that don't have the time, desire, or experience to build and monitor their own diverse investment portfolio. Learn more about the SMARTPath Retirement Funds below.


Am I looking for a low cost investment solution that will provide diversification across various asset classes and adjust that investment allocation as I approach an established retirement date in the future?


If you answered yes, then Path 1: SMARTPath Retirement Funds might be right for you.


Path 2: Build & Monitor Your Own Investment Portfolio

Designed for participants seeking varying levels of involvement in creating an investment portfolio, this path provides advice solutions through Empower Retirement Advisory Services (Advisory Services), as well as the opportunity for those interested to build their own investment portfolio, monitor it and make adjustments over time.

  • Am I looking for advice solutions – from basic asset allocation strategies to a full managed account option? (yes/no)
  • Am I comfortable deciding on how much to invest in each fund and/or do I have the desire to select my own mix of individual funds? (yes/no)
  • Do I prefer to have my portfolio decisions managed for me for an additional fee? (yes/no)

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Path 2: Advice Solutions through Advisory Services or Build & Monitor Your Own Investment Portfolio might be your preferred strategy.

Path 1: SMARTPath Retirement Funds

Choose a professionally managed, diversified portfolio in one simple step. This path is designed for people who don't have the time, desire, or experience to build and monitor their own diverse investment portfolio.


Diversification is one of the keys to a successful investment strategy, but choosing the individual funds and monitoring those funds over time can be challenging. One of the advantages of the SMARTPath Retirement Funds is built-in diversification – when choosing a SMARTPath Retirement Fund, you are spreading your money across up to eight different investment options that make up the fund, and those different investment options are spread across various asset classes. As the retirement date of the fund draws near, and continuing for 15 years past that date, professional fund managers gradually adjust the fund to include bond and short-term investments. So, by the time you move into retirement, your fund will be invested in an appropriate mixture of stock, bond and short-term investments focused on preserving your money and producing income. This change will happen automatically.


The retirement date in the fund represents an approximate date when an investor would expect to start withdrawing his/her money. The principal value of the funds is not guaranteed at any time, including the target date.


To view more information on the SMARTPath Retirement Funds, click here.

Path 2: Build & Monitor Your Own Investment Portfolio

Select your own mix of individual funds. The SMART Plan provides you with a wide range of quality investment options at competitive rates. To build your own investment portfolio, you should have a strategy that takes into consideration how much time you have to save, your goals, your overall financial situation and your comfort level with risk.


To learn more about the individual options offered through the SMART Plan, click here.

Path 2: Build Your Portfolio with Advisory Services

Looking for additional assistance with your investment strategy? Advisory Services is a behavior-based approach to investing that provides investment advisory tools and services based upon the level of involvement you desire in managing your investments. Advisory Services includes Online Investment Guidance, Online Investment Advice, and a Managed Account service for personal and professional investment assistance and account management.


Visit the Advise section of the website for more detailed information on Advisory Services and to get started today!


Self-Directed Brokerage Account (SDBA)

Some investors may decide they want more investment options than are offered by the SMART Plan. Those investors may want to consider the TD Ameritrade Self-Directed Brokerage Account (SDBA) option. This option allows you to select from a wide array of open-end mutual funds, which are not available through the SMART Plan, for additional fees. This option is appropriate for knowledgeable investors who acknowledge and understand the risks associated with many of the investment options contained in the SDBA. This is a Web-based feature only.


To learn more about the SDBA, click here.

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