Over several decades of working with people from all walks of life we have witnessed first hand that
Decisions made during periods of economic and stock market uncertainty are often key to long-term success.
Let's recap this year so far. As of market close on 06/10/2022
- The S&P 500 is -18.16%, the NASDAQ is -28.09%, and the “Safe Haven” of the US Bond Market is -10.63%.
- Inflation is running at a 40+ year high.
- The average gas price is north of $5 per gallon.
- And one of the few things everyone agrees on is that there is no easy answer to the current volatility in the world around us.
Times like these can feel scary. You are not alone if you are experiencing some anxiety right now!1 However, if you are concerned that you will not be able to achieve your personal financial goals due to all the recent volatility in markets and economic concerns on the horizon you may need to revisit your overall financial and investment plan. During times like this it may be tempting to hope for the best, but we would encourage you to take some action.
Rather than worrying or ignoring the situation, this is a good time check in with your advisor to discuss possible adjustments so that you can continue on toward your goals.
Here are a few key questions you should be asking now.
1. Do I Have Enough Safe Money?
You may need to consider reducing risk in your investments if you feel your stomach flip flop when opening your monthly statements. The issue confronting investors in 2022 is that some traditional risk reduction tools have been pummeled in recent months due to current economic conditions. Savings accounts/CD’s are paying barely any interest. Federal Reserve policy actions targeted to address inflation are a serious headwind to the bond market.
At Creekmur Wealth we have been working diligently over the last year to add investment opportunities to our clients' toolbox to help them address this issue. The early results from these new tools has been encouraging. For example, Buffer or Target Outcome ETFs, are a tool we begin implementing in 2021 in place of a portion of our client's bond holdings. These funds have done a great job helping our client's side step some of the downside in both the stock and bond market.
2. How could I Take Advantage of Tactical Investing & Tax Savings Opportunities?
When markets are falling it is often advantageous to consider Tax Loss Harvesting in your brokerage accounts and conducting your annual Roth Conversion. Converting funds to your Roth IRA during down markets allows you to convert more funds over to your Roth where those new contributions can experience large tax-free gains when markets do recover.
3. Am I Counting on any "Rules of Thumb" that May Not Hold Up Right Now?
We are experiencing a unique moment in our economic history. Some commonly held "rules" that apply most of the time are not acting as they have in the past. As we discussed in the video below, the 60/40 portfolio that has been viewed as the ideal asset allocation for those approaching or in retirement is off to the worst start to a year through May since 1976.
Having a flexible financial and investment plan that you can review with a trusted advisor is key to ensure that you are able to stay on track to achieving your goals.
4. What Opportunities Should I Consider Right Now?
There are pockets of quality investments in this market. At Creekmur Wealth we have shifted our client equity portfolios to more Value (Energy, Materials, Commodities, etc.) oriented investments over the last 6-8 months. In turn this has helped to decrease the amount of downside in our portfolios.
Additionally, companies in the Growth sector of the market have been considerably oversold over the last 12 months. This has created some potential buying opportunities of high-quality businesses that will be able to weather and grow through the economic uncertainty ahead.
This is the time to take proactive but tactical action in your investment portfolio. We would encourage you to:
- Review all holdings to determine if they are of the highest quality.
- Rebalance your overall portfolio.
- Consider investing excess cash.
Our team is not blindly buying the dip, rather we are utilizing technical indicators to slowly purchase our highest conviction holdings. We know from experience that fighting the urge to simply sit on the sidelines is key to ensuring long-term investing success. We are achieving this by using tools and time tested/proven strategies to help our clients logically move forward.
One Final Tip - Tune Out the Noise!
When a news channel rolls out their “Markets in Turmoil” newscast, it's often a good time to flip off the TV and stop scrolling on Social Media. As we know, news organizations are driven by the revenue that is generated by the clicks and eyeballs they attract. This gives them incentive to create noise and concern when markets get bumpy.
These are the times where trusted advisors and sources of data driven news are crucial to key in on. If you are not receiving our bi-weekly Deep Dive videos or data centric economic updates we would encourage you to reach out to our team. We will get you signed up to receive those pieces that do a great job of parsing through the noise and getting down to the brass tacks of what is going on.
If you have questions about the recommended action steps above or would like help reviewing your current plans our team is available via email, video, phone, or in-person meetings to help walk through each of these important decision points.