How to Maximize Your 401(k) Investment
Magazine Money

Step Up Your 401(k) Investing

Don’t dip into your 401(k). You should leave money in your 401(k) to grow tax-deferred until you stop working and draw funds from  the account to replace earned income. “It’s not your emergency fund,” says Dail St. Claire, president of New York-based Williams Capital Management (No. 13 on the be asset managers list with $2.4 billion in assets under management). Having an emergency fund that consists of at least six months worth of living expenses covered in liquid assets is critical as you’re investing alongside your retirement, St. Claire adds. The Ariel—Aon Hewitt study also found that African Americans and Hispanics were much more likely to cash out their 401(k) accounts when leaving a job. Such maneuvers often led to costly taxes and penalties; they also impair your ability to build long term, tax-deferred wealth.