Anthony Engrassia

Anthony Engrassia

Don’t let market volatility drive decisions

By Anthony Engrassia
Business Columnist

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When the market fluctuates significantly, as it has done in recent months, it is difficult to know exactly what to do with your investment portfolio. Some people choose to make rash decisions, while others apply the buy-low, sell-high strategy and aim to seize the potential opportunity to purchase stocks when they decline in price.

But what is the right thing to do?

There is no right answer to that question because everyone’s financial situation is different. It is based on each investor’s time horizon, goals and risk tolerance. However, when the market is volatile, here are four ways to keep perspective.

  • Be patient – It is important that you don’t let the latest headlines or advice from friends sway you. Instead, take time to educate yourself so you can gain a clear understanding of what is really happening in the market – and how that affects you – before making any adjustments.
  • Be thoughtful – It is much harder to stick to your financial plan when the market is unsettled. Instead of basing a financial decision on what’s happening today, look at your long-term financial strategy. While it might still need to be adjusted, it is a financial road map to help guide you to reaching your long-term goals.
  • Be wary – There is a lot of information available for you to digest, but be wary of headlines. Often, the media only talks about investments in terms of bull or bear or rally or slump, and there always is another “latest news” report. If you base your investment strategy on what the media is saying, chances are you’ll end up confused over the conflicting reports. Instead, base any decisions on the goals you laid out in your financial plan.
  • Be dedicated to the plan – If you are concerned about the market volatility, schedule a time to consult your professional adviser to see how these latest market shifts affect your investments before making adjustments. Also, if you haven’t revisited your plan in some time, now is a good time to re-evaluate it. If you don’t have a financial plan, also take this opportunity to schedule an appointment with a professional and develop one. A financial adviser can help you create a plan that is based on your goals and objectives.

The key to keeping market volatility in perspective is to not be reactionary. A solid financial plan is designed to help you consider the positives and negatives of any situation.

Anthony Engrassia is an investment adviser representative of Mutual for Omaha Investor Services.

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