One of the most common mistakes investors make is not rebalancing their portfolios, according to Dan Keady, chief financial planning strategist at TIAA.
If you want a 60 percent stock allocation but let that drift to as much as 75 percent, your investments could backfire when there is a market downturn.
The best way to prevent such a situation is to pull any growth from stocks and put it into other asset classes, he said, adding that investors should do such rebalancing on an annual basis. Tying that to a key date, such as your birthday, can help you to remember to do it.
But if you are closer to retirement and more concerned with risk, you want to revisit your investments quarterly.
Rebalancing regularly, combined with dollar cost averaging, or continuing to invest at a fixed rate over time, can help position you for long-term success, Empower Retirement's Murphy said.
"Over time, if you stay the course and act without emotion, you can do well and continue to see your assets grow," he said.