If you’re readying for retirement make sure you understand the concept of counterbalancing—you’ll avoid the big losses. And your retirement will be much more enjoyable. Here is are two examples of five-year periods where counterbalancing worked well in the good times and bad. I’ve used the Vanguard Wellesley fund as a counterbalance proxy compared to the S&P 500 for an all stock proxy. As you can see, with a counterbalanced approach you can have your cake and eat it too.