What the market swing means to you -Money Wisdom
If you have any interest in the stock or bond markets, recent events have certainly caught your attention. Some quick highlights are: the stock market is in a freefall, the credit markets are experiencing the worst times in the 24 years since we've been in the business; CEOs of the largest investment firms have been thrown to the wolves; America's largest financial institutions are ailing, requiring cash infusions from foreign governments and entities; and the cost of living continues to eat away at our already-fragile budgets.
With the media feeding us negative news daily, what should the average person on Main Street do to insulate themselves from Wall Street? For investors with properly-allocated portfolios, the answer is simple: do nothing.
The storm has already hit; the time for an umbrella has passed.
For those of us with years of market experience, we know that many storms have hit.
The important point to remember is, though many storms have hit, all have blown past.
Successful investing in stocks, bonds, and/or mutual funds is as much a product of controlling emotions as it is a financial game.
The most important question you must answer is this: when do I need the money that I have invested in the marketplace?
If it is years down the road, relax and let others carry the unnecessary stress of what will undoubtedly prove to be a temporary situation. If you need the money soon, it should not be in the marketplace and it is time to get it out.
Dark times like the current times require us to refocus on the basic truths of finance. First, if you believe that capitalism is here to stay, then you believe in the stock market. Second, business cycles naturally evolve - the runaway real estate market surely had to come back to reality, and now it has.
This is not a surprise, this is natural.
If you are not looking to sell your home, or are not invested in subprime mortgages, then the dropping values should not impact you.
All of our lives are far too busy to spend time getting caught up in daily economic and market news.
When business cycles turn negative, the media takes it and runs. Suddenly, our moods turn sour. It is during these sour times that true investment opportunities present themselves.
It is true that there are incredibly significant events taking place at this point in history. However, we must all remember that this storm too shall pass.
Berthann Jones, CFP® and Craig Newkirk, CFP® own Financial Freedom Advisors, LLC in Bethany. They are advocates for financial peace of mind. They can be contacted at 203-393-9508, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.finfreeadvisors.com.
Editor's note: These financial planners have agreed to write a regular column for this publication. Watch for their next column.