How We Invest: A Commitment to Consistent Growth


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A central challenge of investing is to make money grow consistently over time, while avoiding unintended risks. For over 90 years, we at TIAA-CREF have helped our clients meet that challenge.

Our investment approach is rooted in fundamental, time-tested principles. Our seasoned portfolio management teams are committed to delivering consistent growth and strong long-term performance. Because retirement is an objective that you save for over many years, TIAA-CREF focuses on disciplined, long-term investment strategies that carefully balance risk with the potential for high returns.

Pursuing consistent growth requires strategies that filter out short-term market noise and concentrate on the fundamental factors that can make a stock, a bond or real estate property add value to a portfolio over the long term. Decades of experience in the retirement market have taught us that adhering to sound fundamental principles — in both stable and volatile markets — benefits our participants over the long run.

Market history demonstrates that volatility may be a portfolio’s greatest hazard — one that does not necessarily decrease over time. While some investors assume that a longer time frame guarantees a positive result, experience has shown us that consistent growth is only achieved by careful pursuit of sound principles, day in and day out.

While there is no way to guarantee investment results, we believe that wise diversification, careful research, a long-term perspective and close attention to costs offer the best opportunity to pursue consistent growth with minimum risk.

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Funds that invest in small-cap companies are subject to heightened risks and are more volatile than funds that invest in larger, more established companies. Funds that invest in fixed-income securities are not guaranteed and are subject to interest rate, inflation and credit risks. High-yield bond funds that invest in noninvestment-grade securities are subject to interest rate and inflation risks, and significantly higher credit risk. Real estate securities are subject to various risks, including fluctuations in property values, higher expenses or lower income than expected, and potential environmental problems and liability. Funds that invest in foreign securities are subject to special risks, including currency fluctuation and political and economic instability. For a more complete discussion of these and other risks, please consult the prospectus.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The TIAA Real Estate Account and CREF Social Choice Account are variable annuities, available through contracts issued by TIAA or CREF. These contracts are designed for retirement or other long-term goals, and offer a variety of income options, including lifetime income. Payments from the variable annuity accounts and mutual funds are not guaranteed and will rise or fall based on investment performance. Mutual funds do not offer the range of income options available through annuities.

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