Staying the Course and Withstanding Market Volatility

In March, market volatility created confusion and concern about how to manage existing investments and assets during COVID-19. Throughout April and May, the market has stabilized and eased some of the immediate concerns. However, as states begin to reopen slowly and we adjust to our new normal, our clients and friends are now considering if and how the long-term market effects and market fluctuations will affect their investments, plans, and goals. 

First, take a moment of reflection to think about what is driving your financial behaviors and concerns. Examine what factors are contributing to your thought processes and influencing decision-making, as well as where and how you are gathering information. Perhaps you are worried about being able to retire within a specific timeframe, or whether you’ll be able to prepare your family for long-term financial independence. Perhaps stress is prompting you to listen to the cable news 24/7 or read every financial article you can get your hands on. All of us have unique needs, wants, and life circumstances that influence how we think and act–or react. Reach out to us for advice and support to talk about your concerns or curiosities and let us help sort through the financial information you might be reading or receiving from different sources or in the news. 

When it comes to financial planning and managing your investment portfolio, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to remember that you’re in this for the long-haul. Consider what’s ahead rather than what is right now. Turbulent times will come and go, especially as COVID-19 runs its course, and then into a period of recovery, but it’s essential to understand that this turbulence likely will not last throughout the duration of your long-term financial plans. Ups and downs are a natural part of investing, so keep your focus on what’s important to you over the next 5, 10, 20, or 30 years—retirement, for example—and use that as your waypoint to stay the course we’ve set together. 

With an appropriately allocated portfolio, you should feel reassured that there is enough diversity and liquidity across your assets that you are situated to maintain your quality of life, in the event a financial crisis should occur. Rather than immediately pulling investments or ceasing contributions, remember the hierarchy of resources to help you stay the course.

Most importantly, keep perspective and know that when times get tough, this too shall pass. We’ve stated before: In times of turbulence, it may feel tempting to start diving into a financial overhaul, pulling your investments, or stopping your retirement contributions. In the long-run, though, this short-term and short-sighted approach will only dismantle and derail what you’ve built and worked toward. Remain calm, remain vigilant, and lean on our team for the direction you need during and after this time. 

Whether you need advice or support, have questions about the financial impacts of COVID-19, or want to talk through your concerns, we’re available. Please email us or call our Pittsburgh office at 412-781-7100 or Greensburg office at 724-836-7001 to be directed to a member of our team.

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