Remember the stock market crash of 2008? My bad for bringing up ugly memories, but, hey, it hit us all pretty hard. For many, the first thought was “Sell! Sell! Sell!” however if you had a good (and sane) financial advisor they probably told you this: Don’t panic!
Our financial climate is constantly changing, and it’s easy to freak out when stocks take a small dive. I don’t talk a lot about investments because there are so many other important financial topics that aren’t addressed often enough, but every now and then we could all use a few reminders.
Stay the Course
You can never really prepare for a market swing. My crystal ball works just as well as yours. None of us know what will happen tomorrow especially in the current political climate, so all I can tell you is to stick to your financial plan, if you have one, that is. Your financial plan serves as your financial roadmap and anchor. This helps you see the big picture, not market movements and headlines. If you don’t have a financial plan there are many CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™’s out there, myself included, that can help you make one.
Look for Opportunity
Once you have a solid financial plan, then you can look for opportunities that fit into that plan. The silver lining in a stormy market can be a huge buying opportunity. The old saying “buy low, sell high” exists for a reason. If things didn’t work out, you may have an opportunity for tax loss harvesting as a savings strategy (remember to consult a tax professional). For the Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, who tend to be more sensitive to market volatility due to their proximity to retirement, it might be a good time to review your financial plan with your advisor and make changes if necessary.
Focus on What’s Really Important
It is easy get wrapped up in all the media panic and forget that you don’t need to be thinking about your investments 24/7. The market is going to do whatever it wants day in and day out, but for me, family is one of the most important things in life. If the headlines are distracting you, look away from that phone glued to your hand and see that even in 2008, daily life kept going. Kids went to school; the lawn still needed to be mowed. Family was there and as Hazel is on the move more each day, I am reminded that my time with family is precious.
Hopefully those are three easy things that can help you stay calm when the market decides to take its next dive. Make a plan with a professional, work to find opportunities and pay attention to what’s is truly most important to you.