Buying a home and investing in a 401(k) plans are a good way to build wealth long term, regardless of the fluctuations along the way.

Recent conditions have tested that theory. The decline of the Chinese benchmark index and fluctuating oil prices have prompted investors to seek the safest possible products.

Some investors have become antsy about how their 401(k) plans are faring. Others see real estate investing as too fraught with risk.

Rest assured, however, that 401(k)s and real estate can be as sound in a down or uncertain market as when times are good.A 401(k) retirement plan is a good idea, especially if there is an employer match, said Ken Sutherland, founder of LifePlan Group, a financial advisory firm in Raleigh, NC

Below youll find some guiding principles for 401(k) plans and real estate investment, along with a couple of sometimes overlooked advantages.

401(k) Plans

Diversify Assets
In todays unpredictable market, it is more important than ever to diversify assets. That has been the traditional way to limit risk. However, it is important to establish your risk tolerance before you determine which investments suit your portfolio best. Then you can allocate your capital accordingly.

Be Composed

Dont panic. Regardless of where your financials stand, a down market isnt the best time to initiate radical changes to your retirement plan. That last thing you want to do is blindly sell off any assets you might later regret losing. Even if you may want to do nothing more than find safer alternatives, it is important to note that losses at any one time throughout the duration of a 401(k) are on paper. Certain holdings may rebound, but that can only benefit an investor who is patient and thinks long-term.

Stay Active