Ask Colin

Our managed fund investments are intended for our retirement. Can recent events (early March 2001) over-ride our original intentions?

In the sense of changing your plan - absolutely not. Managed funds are never suitable instruments for short-term investments or trading. They should have a time horizon of 5 to 10 years or even longer, especially in your case where you refer to the objective of providing for your retirement.

Your investment plan should be set and followed unless you find that it is defective in some way. However, bear in mind John Train's advice that a mediocre plan consistently applied will always beat those who chop and change.

In the sense of changing the settings in your plan, such as the weighting relative to the asset allocation bands, if any, or the defensive/growth/cyclical components - yes. Your plan should be written down. Assess what the market conditions are. Then read your plan for what it calls for you to do in such market conditions in terms of strategy and tactics. Then put on your Nike's and "Just do it".