Archive for Monday, August 8, 2011

Analysts advise against rash decisions

August 8, 2011

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— Investors should think twice before making any rash moves today.

Many market analysts expect stocks to fall sharply because of anxiety about the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, the debt crisis in Europe and last week’s stock market plunge. The temptation to bolt from any hint of risk is understandable. And right now, stocks look risky.

Financial planners say people who stick with their investment strategy will likely see their portfolios recover in the long run.

“The whole reason for having an investment plan is to make it easier to know what to do in times like these,” notes David Yeske, managing director of Yeske Buie, an investment firm based in San Francisco.

Still, that can be difficult to remember when faced with a seemingly endless stream of grim news.

The swoon in stocks likely knocked many portfolios out of balance. For example, younger professionals might have built a portfolio so it would be 70 percent in stocks. But that share has probably fallen as the market did. These investors should consider shifting more money into stocks to get back into balance, financial planners say.

The prospect of buying stocks, even at cheaper prices, is daunting. The more natural instinct when the market is undergoing turmoil is to sell.

“But if you sell now out of fear that the markets won’t recover, you’ll be selling low and losing money,” notes Ric Edelman, CEO of Edelman Financial, based in Fairfax, Va. “Investors who are fair-weather friends are the ones who lose the most money. Profits are earned when the market is declining.”

The past few weeks underscore the importance of rebalancing regularly and frequently, especially as you get closer to the time when you’ll need your money. Experts say those nearing or already at retirement age shouldn’t have been heavily invested in stocks, and so the recent selloff shouldn’t have had a significant event.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 7 months ago

This is the best advice anyone will ever get before buying or selling stocks:

Read Warren Buffet's letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. All of them, from 1977 to 2010. They are available on the web:

http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/letters.html

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