How is your IRA doing? If yours has been performing like most people's, your savings have been virtually decimated in the last few years. That's very unfortunate, and it happened because so many people don't know what they need to do to keep their savings safe even during bear markets, and to keep them growing consistently most of the time. Read on for some retirement investment strategies that will improve your money's performance in the future.

But first, let's ask a question: Why don't people know more about proper retirement investment strategies? Well... IRA accounts are the responsibility of their owners, and the advice they get -- sometimes even generously provided by family, friends and news sources, is rarely sufficient to help them make the most of their retirement savings.

So it's up to you to watch out for your own money. Here are three things you can do to achieve investment success. In fact, you must do them if you want to hang on to your money and actually make it grow.

1) Get help

You need knowledgeable guidance. You risk losing big-time if you don't have access to an experienced advisor. Of course, you could also study up yourself, and doing some of that is definitely a good idea. But it's difficult to build up enough knowledge in a reasonable amount of time to become a truly good steward of your IRA account. So why not call in an expert. He or she will help you grow your money much more consistently and more safely than you could ever do it on your own.

2) Get a plan

You also need to have a plan. What are your expectations, what is your level of tolerance for risk, and how much time do you have to accumulate your retirement savings? Given these and other parameters, you should set up a plan and stick with it. Of course, it should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure it still suits you and is appropriate for the relevant market conditions.

But what if your plan is wrong? Well, that's why we have point 1: Get Help. You should create your plan with the help of a knowledgeable advisor who has plenty of experience with retirement investment strategies. And, by the way, make sure that any advisors you consult are working for you and not for commissions. How to tell? If they are fee only advisors, you can be pretty sure they will give you unbiased advice. If they say there's no charge, which means that they'll get paid by the funds they recommend, run for the door.

3) Stick with the plan

Stick with your plan, unless and until you and your advisor decide otherwise. It's important not to be guided by impulse and emotions. Most of the time, that will only get you into hot water. Many people who try to time the market and sell when the stock is sinking or buy while it's rising end up losing out. They end up buying high and selling low, which is the opposite of what you should really do. But if you have a good plan, you probably have a contingency plan as part of it as well, which will tell you what to do in certain market situations.

Author's Bio: 

Can you keep your money safe and still watch it grow -- even now? Discover how the wealthy do it and follow their lead -- with the help of Steven Floyd, a fee-only financial advisor. Visit or call him at 310-540-6197. And here's a related article on avoiding mistakes.