It’s certainly no secret that things in our world are a bit uncertain these days (to put it mildly). It feels like we’re constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Most of us dislike this level of uncertainty, but do you know what dislikes it even more? The market.
Stocks have been plummeting lately, not helped by investors purging stocks out of recession fears. As of June 28 close, the S&P 500 is down approximately 20% for 2022. (1) Big tech stocks bore the brunt of the declines, with companies like Amazon and Google parent Alphabet leading the way, dropping 39% and 27%, respectively. As a result, many economic leaders are predicting a recession in our near future. (2) We can point our fingers at many factors as the cause of our recent nail biting, such as rampant inflation, the Fed’s solution of increasing interest rates, (3) and international unrest, but the fact remains that we have no control over any of that.
No matter what our markets decide to do, we’re here to help you take a deep breath and walk with you through it. Here’s how we are watching over your finances and taking proactive steps to help secure your wealth.
We don’t make investment decisions based on what everyone else is doing or what’s popular in the investment industry. Whenever we make planning decisions with you and offer investment recommendations, we do it with your goals at the forefront. When the markets get shaky, we go the extra step of reviewing your objectives to make sure you’re still on track and make educated decisions that are not based on panic or emotion.
This starts from the very beginning of our relationship with you. We use conservative return numbers when analyzing the potential outcomes of your plan because we know that corrections and bear markets will come again. We also use asset allocation “buckets” that divide your wealth into short, intermediate, and long-term strategies to help you make the most of a volatile market.
And in times like this, it’s even more important to have an emergency fund or a percentage of your portfolio that is either in cash or liquid enough if you need it for unexpected circumstances. While cash investments may not provide a lot of growth, having a cash contingency fund with at least one year’s worth of living expenses will protect you against having to sell investments at low values to free up cash.
We Know Your Risk Tolerance
Do you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you make a decision that was too risky for your comfort? Our goal is to help you avoid that feeling when it comes to your investments. Before investing any of your money, we determine your risk tolerance, the amount of risk that an investor is comfortable taking or the degree of uncertainty that an investor can handle. Like most things in life, your risk tolerance may change with age, income, and financial goals. We don’t want you to lose sleep at night, so we review your risk tolerance and how much risk you can afford to take and adjust your investments over time.
We also watch over your money like a hawk, and when it’s time to get out of an investment because the risk is rising, we will contact you about adjusting your allocation.
Beyond Basic Diversification
We’ve all heard about the importance of diversification when it comes to maximizing our investments. But diversification should involve more than just maintaining a balance between stocks and bonds, especially when traditional investments are volatile.
There are many alternative investments. In general, the point of an alternative investment is that it behaves differently than stocks and bonds, which can add value to your portfolio by acting as a diversifier. If this is in your best interest, we can help you add alternative investments to your portfolio, spreading out your risk even further.
During bear markets, it’s important to remember that investors only realize losses when they sell, so it’s critical not to sell when the market is down. When you need to access your money is an important factor in avoiding those losses. For example, if you are a decade or more away from retirement, you can likely wait out a recession or correction and benefit from the recovery. If you need access to your funds in the next five years or are within your first five years of retirement (frequently known as the “fragile decade”), (4) a recession will make more of an impact on your money and your plans.
From a practical perspective, we make sure your portfolio’s allocation is set up with your time horizon in mind. If you need money in the short term, your portfolio will hold safe investments like cash or short-term bonds. Because retirement can last decades, you still want some of your money in investments that will produce long-term growth, but your portfolio will look very different from that of a 40-year-old in the peak of their working years.
We Are Your Emotional Support System
One of the most important rules in investing is to refrain from making emotional decisions. When the roller coaster market wreaks havoc on your finances, that’s easier said than done! But if you stay true to your investment strategy and avoid making decisions when emotions are running high, you won’t run the risk of losing even more.
Don’t forget: bear markets have happened before and they will happen again. As long as you have created a disciplined financial plan and have a trusted advisor who is monitoring your money, you are doing your part to prepare. If you don’t have someone you can turn to when the market gets wild, we’d love to support you and help you build your finances for a strong future. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-523-5656 to schedule a complimentary appointment so we can get to know each other.
About T.A. Holland & Co.
T.A. Holland & Co. was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1920, and serves individuals and businesses throughout the country. We provide cutting-edge financial services with a broad array of solutions to help our clients grow and preserve their wealth. We have seen good and bad economic times. Through it all, T.A. Holland & Co. has thrived by always making the customer our #1 priority. We get to know you and understand your needs so we can provide you with the proper guidance and strategies. Our senior vice president, John Hellmuth, has been at the helm of T.A. Holland’s financial services since 1990, but he doesn’t do this job alone. He is joined by his two children, Lindsay Hellmuth and Thomas Hellmuth. As CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioners, our financial services team has the knowledge and experience to help you solve your most pressing financial challenges. To learn more about how we can help you, visit our website and reach out to us at (617) 523-5656 to schedule a complimentary get-acquainted meeting.