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Hold Fast - Market Volatility, Ahoy!

Hold Fast - Market Volatility, Ahoy!

December 07, 2018
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Due to the volatility in recent weeks, I wanted to bring some perspective to the wild swings in the market. 

We’ve all heard the phrase “Time heals all wounds”. That time-tested motto means that it takes a while for wounds to physically heal. It also takes time, generally longer, for us to heal from wounds emotionally as well. 

Keep this in mind when thinking about your investment dollars and retirement accounts. The US stock market, and indeed the greater global market, is very volatile right now. There are a lot of geo-political forces at work that are causing uncertainty. The ongoing trade discussions/negotiations/war with China continues to be in the spotlight. Just like us humans do not like uncertainty and potential change in our lives (generally speaking of course, some people thrive on change), markets do not like this environment either.

Adding stress to the situation is Wall Street’s 90-day cycle of earnings and tracking performance reports. Coupled with that, the arrival of your quarterly account statements which show reduced returns or even negative returns, seem to follow bad days in the market.

Keep time in mind when thinking about your investments and retirement accounts. What happens in three months, six months or even a year can be disheartening. But what happens in your accounts over the course of 5 years, 10 years, and more is often very positive. As investors, we are in this for the long-term. Don’t let the quarterly statements send you into a panic. Keep an eye on what is happening over the course of longer time horizons.

That being said, I’d like to propose a line in the sand: If you are older than age 55 and are concerned about your accounts, let’s talk sooner than later. Book an appointment online to meet in person or via phone, or contact us and we'll book it for you. I have sophisticated software called RightCapital that allows me to run scenarios using your goals and data, giving us the ability to gauge the effect of current market conditions on your plans. I’ve walked several clients through this process recently, many finding comfort in the current market conditions not derailing their plans. For some clients, we did make minor adjustments. 

If you are age 54 or younger, my advice is to hold on tight. If you are participating in your company’s retirement plan, 401(k), 403(b), or SIMPLE IRA consider increasing your regular deposits. Buying investments when the market is down and/or volatile is a good idea. If you are truly concerned about your current investment strategy and want to talk through it, use the link above and let’s connect. 

There is evidence that the US economy is cooling off and market growth may be slowing down. Keep in mind, just like the changing of seasons in nature, the stock market moves in cycles. We may be moving into a slowing cycle; maintain hope that the US economy is still strong and we are still the envy of the world. The world wants to do business with us.

My advice, regardless of your age or life stage:

1. Do not panic.
2. Expand the view of your time horizon.
3. Take time to talk with me.
4. We’ll develop a plan together.

Thanks again for your trust and business. We’re in this together.

These are the opinions of Jim Woolley, CFP®,and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. Investing involves risk. Depending on the types of investments, there may be varying degrees of risk. Investors should be prepared to bear loss, including total loss of principal.