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Chapter 7. Keeping Tabs on Your Account > Where Are Your Best Sources? - Pg. 74

Keeping Tabs on Your Account · Account statements · Pay stubs · Human beings Let's talk about each of these. 74 IVR Modern 401(k) plans let you call a phone hooked to a computer, called Interactive Voice Response (IVR). These systems typically give you access to your account balances, current elections, and personal data. Most IVR systems let you make changes over the phone. And if you make changes, you'll usually get a confirmation in the mail within a few days. Some systems let you request an updated statement on demand instead of sending them automatically. Most IVR systems have trained operators standing by to take your calls. So, if you're listening to the computer and you get confused or have a question, you can push a button and voilà! You can talk to a live human (certainly easier than the alternative). These operators are available to explain how your plan works or tell you the status of your loan check. They're not there to tell you how to invest your money. (Besides, if they were so good at investing money, they'd be too rich to want to be standing by the phones to share their expertise with strangers!) They will try to answer your questions immediately, but if you stump them, they'll get back to you. If you're asking for your account balances via an IVR, make sure you note the valuation date. Be- cause most record keepers use daily valuation, your account has most likely been "valued" using the stock, bond, and money market prices that were determined as of the end of the previous busi- ness day. Generally this is 4:00 P.M. EST (i.e., the close of the stock market). If your record keeper uses traditional valuations (i.e., monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual) then your account was based on closing prices as of the end of the previous month or quarter. For traditionally valued