Investing in the Stock Market – Riding the Roller Coaster
Investing in the stock market can be unpredictable, and even scary if you are not prepared ahead of time. If you recently looked at your most recent 401k statement, you know the stock market has been taking investors for a wild ride. On December 24th 2018 the Dow Jones dove 600 points. One week later on New Year’s Eve, the market rallied and climbed 265 points, lessening the blow from the previous week. It left some investors shaken, wondering what’s next? Some may have even opted to “get off the ride”, without really understanding the long term effects of doing so.
Investing in the stock market can be a Roller Coaster RIDE
I’m reminded of when I took my daughter on her first roller coaster. As we were waiting, I prepared her. “We will climb way up that hill. Once we get to the top, we will come down really fast. We will go up and down a few more hills, but we will be safe and you will have fun.” As we began, my daughter anxiously looked down below and said, “I don’t want to go down the hill anymore.” I held her hand saying, “we have to go down, it’s all part of the ride”. As we raced down the first hill she screamed, “I WANT TO GET OFFFFFFF!” I told her if we got off now, we would get hurt, we had to finish the ride. That afternoon reminds me of what investors should remember during periods of volatility. You can’t expect the market to be permanently rising. History has shown us that we can expect a negative performing year every five years. Yes, we are well overdue. How do you ride out the turbulence?
Riding out turbulence when Investing in the stock market
First, make sure your train is on a well laid track. Ensure you are appropriately invested in a well-diversified account. A financial advisor can help you determine what percentage of stocks, bonds and cash you should consider investing in your portfolio. Your risk tolerance and time horizon should be large consideration. A good rule of thumb is if your portfolio is appropriate today, it should still be appropriate tomorrow even if the market environment has changed. Don’t “get off the ride” prematurely. Choosing to change your positions or get out of the market during a market downturn can lock in any losses permanently. Diversification is key for most long term investors. Having exposure to different asset classes and sectors will allow you make the most of a volatile market. Keep investing, even when the market is down. Remember, when the value of mutual funds go down you are essentially buying market shares “on sale”. Who doesn’t love a good sale? Also, investors should make sure the fees they pay are reasonable. While you can’t control the market, you can certainly control costs within your investments. Overpaying for advisory services will certainly cost you a lot in the long run! Finally, remember the ups and downs and turns are all part of the ride.
There is no such thing as a flat roller coaster and the same goes for the stock market. We have to have the occasional lows if we want to enjoy the highs. As for my daughter, she too learned to embrace the ride. As our train came to an abrupt stop back at the platform she grinned ear to ear and said, “let’s do that again mom!”
– Best Regards, Ashley Rosser President Victory Fiduciary Consulting.
Ashley Rosser, President
Prior to her career in the financial services industry, Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cedarville University.
Ashley decided to make a career change from her ten years within the healthcare industry as a pediatric emergency room nurse to retirement and 401K investment planning. She joined Victory Fiduciary Consulting in 2008 after obtaining her Series 65 professional financial license and went on to earn her AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) professional designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies.