In reality, target date funds are subject to market fluctuations and losses just like any products that invest in the stock market—even at or after the target date. That said, target date funds are typically well diversified, and their mix of asset classes can provide balance over the long term, helping to offset extreme ups and downs during times of volatility. Although market changes can introduce risk, being in the market both gives you the potential for growth and helps keep you ahead of inflation.