5 Tips to Stay Calm During a Market Downturn
Is the economy slowing down? How will rising interest rates impact my finances? Is a recession around the corner? Scroll through any newsfeed and you’ll hear these unsettling questions. And while the headlines can be alarming, we remind our clients of the benefits of staying calm, cool, and collected—keeping their eyes off the headlines and focused on the end goals we have set up for them.
Some of the costliest mistakes investors make come down to one thing and one thing only…their emotions! If you have a sound investment strategy, there’s no reason to “jump ship” in a downturn. This is called panic selling. Panic-selling is when you sell your assets when values are down to try and avoid further loss, with the intention of “jumping back in” when the market has recovered. The thing is, though, that we never know when or where the bottom is, nor do we know when it will recover.
Remember Big Dips Can Precede Large Surges
And, because the market has some of its best days right after some of its worst, most investors miss out on the recovery and end up re-buying similar assets at a higher price—plus the liability on tax events they may have triggered by liquidating their assets. Just consider those who sold at the bottom of the March 2020 COVID-induced drop and missed out on the miraculous, V-shaped recovery we saw over the next two years. If fear prompts you to sell, you could miss the upside.
Take Your Eyes (and Ears) Off the Market
Where focus goes, energy flows. The more you buy into the headlines, the more emotionally affected you may be by them. But no matter how diligently we watch the headlines, none of us can control what will happen with the stock market. So, if you feel the noise in the media tempting you to make a financial move you might regret, just tune out the noise. And of course, connect with your financial advisor to discuss your concerns. This is often all that is needed to restore a sense of peace and confidence in the financial plan.
Focus on What You Can Control
There are some aspects of our financial lives that we can control with our actions, and others we cannot. As discussed earlier, we can’t predict market volatility – and we certainly can’t control it – but we can understand that its disruptions are temporary and won’t result in permanent loss. As long as your advisor is re-balancing and speaking with you about how they are handling your portfolio during the downturn, it’s unlikely there is much needed from you—except, of course, your trust in the process, the plan, and the long-term goals your advisor set up for you.
Lean on the Help of Your Financial Advisor
Your financial advisor is here to help you with more than just investment management, tax planning, and retirement planning. We are here to help you stay even-keeled and level-headed when major and minor events threaten your cool. Of course, we update, re-balance, and diversify your portfolio ongoing to make sure you stay on track to reach your goals, but if a market downturn has you worried, we’d be happy to go over your financial plans with you at any time.
Remember, the market moves up and down daily. Market downturns (and upswings) are par for the investing course. We’re here to help you make the most of each situation to maximize your returns long-term.
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