GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - You may be tempted to make some adjustments to your investment portfolio in light of the more than 1,100 point-drop the Dow Jones industrial average suffered on Monday. However, one local financial advisor says making a quick move may not be the best decision.
Great Waters Financial co-founder Justin Halverson stopped by KARE 11 News at 4 with tips on how to cope with the current market volatility.
Here’s a recap of what’s happened in so far in 2018 – including the wild ride the markets took this week:
• The Dow hit an all-time high of 25,000 at the beginning of January, only to reach 26,000 seven trading days later.
• Stocks tumbled on Friday before nosediving on Monday, when the Dow notched its biggest-ever daily point decline.
• The Dow erased its 2018 gains on Monday, dropping to 24,345.75 point, closing down 4.6%. The S&P 500 also suffered a big one-day decline, closing at 2,648.94.
• While those numbers look stark, it's important to put them in the context of how far the market has climbed.
o A 250-point drop for the Dow today is only about a 1 percent decline, but that same drop when the Dow was at 10,000 would have been a 2.5 percent fall.
• Tuesday, after a rocky start, stocks soared, and the Dow finished the day up 567 points – but stocks were anything but steady.
3 Tips to Cope with the Market Volatility:
Don't panic or make sudden moves -- Whether the market is taking a sudden downturn like it did Monday, or it’s surge to record breaking levels like we’ve seen in recent months, it’s crucial that you don’t let emotions drive your investment decisions. Making frequent and sudden changes to your portfolio usually doesn’t bode well for most investors and many find themselves buy high and selling low – which is exactly what you don’t want to do. Instead, you should review your portfolio and ensure that you have proper diversification. Rather than putting all your eggs in one basket, have a variety of investments to help ensure that you can ride out a potential market downturn.
Consider Your time horizon -- Think of your investments in terms of near-term and long-term goals. For short-term goals that you want to achieve in five years or less, your investments should not be concentrated in stocks. For long-term goals that are 10, 20 or 30 years out, you’ll probably want to take on more risk. If you're saving for retirement in your 401(k) or individual retirement account for the long-term, chances are you can afford more exposure. Younger investors have time on their side and can afford to have more exposure to the markets. If you're close to or in retirement, however, you do want to have more conservative investments and reduce your risk exposure. While some conservative investments can help put a hedge on inflation, pre-retirees and retirees can’t afford to take a big hit from a market downturn.
Remember the big picture -- Nearly 10 years ago, The Great Recession brought changes to the way Americans save for retirement. Many employers discontinued or significantly reduced 401(k) contributions and pensions became harder to find, making it evident that now more than ever, Americans are responsible for funding their own retirement. It can be easy getting caught up in short term goals or immediate gratification – especially when the economy is strong – but remember to prioritize your retirement and make decisions that will most benefit in the long run. When the market takes a dip, one opportunity to consider is a Roth IRA conversion. If you plan on converting your traditional retirement account eventually, doing so when values are lower can help reduce the amount of taxes paid when you convert. Plus, with lower tax rates under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Roth conversions can be especially desirable right now for some taxpayers. It is important to note, however, that tax reform also made Roth conversions irrevocable, so make sure you consult a financial professional before making any major decisions.