The stock market is ending the year on a 15-year record high. But that has investors worried about what 2014 may bring.
Investors have been running with the bulls all year long.
"The S & P is up 29 percent. The Dow is up 25-26 percent. Yeah, it's a great year," Waddell & Reed Financial Advisor Tom Carson sad.
But what goes up, eventually must come down, and the bears could make their way in to the market.
"Nobody really knows when they're going to go up or down," Carson said.
But Carson believes we are now in a third economic cycle. First was the recession, then recovery and now expansion.
"Technically a lot of people might say we're now in this expansion of the economy and we might be actually mid-cycle with that," Carson said.
What does that mean for the average mutual fund investor who has money tied up in a 401(k)? Carson says paying attention to it can protect your retirement money.
"Look at your 401(k) allocations twice a year, or at least once a year. Some things are going to grow faster than others; some things slower than others and eventually your portfolio is going to get out of balance and if there's a correction you might get caught too aggressive or too conservative," Carson said.
But Carson doesn't expect the big "correction" that some investors fear.
"I wouldn't say the boom we had in 2013; but if we can follow up this year with some modest growth, maybe mid to high single-digit growth that would be a good year," Carson said.
If you want to take advantage of a rising stock market, increase the percentage of your salary deferral each year and make sure you are contributing enough to earn the full match if your company offers one. That's free money you don't want to pass up.