No one could have predicted what we’re experiencing so far in 2020. Our lives have been disrupted by something none of us saw coming. Not only is our physical, mental and emotional health being impacted, so is our financial wellbeing. Investors are on a wild ride; the stress for some is unlike they’ve ever seen.
After more than a decade of economic growth, we’re now watching a downturn in the markets. Let’s take a look back at the last three months and what led us to this point:
- The U.S. and China were locked in an escalating trade war, imposing billions of dollars in tariffs.
- We entered 2020 riding the longest and best-performing bull market on record. Stocks were at record highs in February of this year. Since then, they’ve fallen more than 30%; the S&P 500 is down nearly 30%.
- The year started with low unemployment numbers. In fact, before the coronavirus epidemic hit the U.S., 273,000 jobs were added in February. We won’t know the impact of the coronavirus on American workers until new numbers come out.
- We officially entered a bear market in March, meaning stock prices fell more than 20% from recent highs.
- An oil price war added to the anxiety for investors.
- The Federal Reserve made two emergency rate cuts, putting the target interest rate at a range of 0%-0.25%.
- Mortgage rates dropped to 50-year lows in response to global concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
While no one knows the impact the coronavirus will have on our future, we need to look at the things we can control. We recommend taking these proactive steps:
Reassess Your Goals
Life has thrown us a curveball. This is the time to reassess your goals and where you are headed. As goal-oriented financial advisors, we believe the first step to feeling confident in your financial future is talking about your goals and creating a roadmap to reach them. Our clients are at different stages in life. Whether they are still working or nearing retirement, we create a customized financial roadmap built around their goals and dreams.
Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance
It’s also a great time to understand how much risk you’re willing to take and which types of risk worry you most. Determining your risk tolerance can be tricky. A financial advisor can help you through the process. He or she will ask you questions to guide you through the process. Your investments should be diversified and have appropriate risk for your age and how close you are to retirement. We often discover you can take less risk and still reach your goals.
Review Your Asset Allocation
At the end of the day, tune out the noise and resist the temptation to make rash moves. The market is expected to fluctuate, but keep your money where it’s at. If major changes in asset allocation are necessary, remember investing in the stock market is about the long game. Just because certain stocks are performing poorly at this time, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should make an adjustment in your portfolio. If you’re retired, your investments need a different type of structure to protect yourself against market corrections. We work to incorporate safer investments during retirement. Our goal is to protect clients from downside risk in the markets as they near or enter retirement.
Depend on Your Roadmap
Having a plan sets you up for financial success and can take away some of the worry and stress many are feeling right now. As long as you’re prepared and keep a long-term perspective, there is no reason to panic. We create your customized roadmap using the best tools in the industry. Your accounts are monitored daily with award-winning technology. Our passion for research means we’re working to consistently analyze your returns, and our attention to detail allows us to adjust different aspects of your financial roadmap to keep you on track.
What do we do moving forward?
As we face the uncertainty of the current moment, one thing we know for sure is we’re all in this together. Even though our everyday lives look different right now, we are here to help you navigate your finances in times of uncertainty. We support clients through tough times, helping them take steps to feel confident about their finances. Contact us to learn more about our retirement planning process.