By Richard Bloom
While today’s markets can be nerve racking for even the most experienced investors, those who approach it with a long-term plan in place have a much greater chance of protecting themselves from mistakes and seizing the opportunities that lay ahead. The best way to take advantage is to create a goals-based approach to wealth management using a disciplined four-step process. The first–and often the most important–step is discovery, an honest, open conversation about your goals and your entire financial picture. In the second step, your Financial Advisor works with you to assess various scenarios and advise on appropriate strategies designed to help you meet your goals. Your plan should safeguard your short term needs while strategically positioning you to ensure your long term goals will be met. Once you have agreed on a personalized wealth strategy, your Financial Advisor advises how to implement in the most efficient way. Finally, as time progresses, your Financial Advisor will regularly review your financial situation with you, making adjustments according to your needs, life events and changing market conditions.
In addition to taking a goals-based approach, below are some further tips on how to navigate through this unpredictable period.
When the market is volatile, almost everyone thinks about their financial future and the potential impact such fluctuations may have on their retirement accounts. However, it is during these turbulent times that it’s important to remember certain basic, time-tested principles of investing.
It may not seem intuitive, but continuing to contribute to your retirement plan–even during market downturns–can potentially enhance your returns over the long-run. A down market can be an opportunity for you to acquire more shares of your investments at a lower price. Consistent investing through market ups and downs is called “dollar-cost averaging.” If an investment’s price is high, you buy fewer shares, or units. When prices are low, you buy more. Investing regularly, using dollar-cost averaging, can help reduce the risk associated with buying during big swings in market prices.
If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” then you already have a basic understanding of diversification. Diversifying your portfolio can reduce risk and volatility. Review your account and make sure your portfolio is not too heavily weighted in company stock, or in any single asset class.
You may be anxious about the decrease in the value of your investments. But don’t be tempted to move out of the market, sit on the sidelines and wait for prices to rebound. Trying to time the market could potentially jeopardize your financial strategy–and your future goals.
Maintain a Long-Term Focus
Any investment decisions you make should be based on your financial goals and objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance, rather than concerns about market volatility. Even if the market seems volatile, remember that ups and downs are normal. It is important to stay focused on your financial future and refrain from making short-term decisions on long-term investments.
History demonstrates that there will always be some degree of uncertainty and volatility in the markets. While market events are out of our control, we do have control over our financial objectives and how our investments are allocated to help us achieve them. If you would like assistance in determining the mix of asset classes that can help you meet your financial objectives, contact your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.
Article by Morgan Stanley and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.
Richard Bloom is a Financial Advisor in 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104 at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). He can be reached by email at Richard.Bloom@morganstanley.com or by telephone at (212) 893-7597. His website is https://advisor.morganstanley.com/the-mayergelwarg-group.
This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The information and data in the article has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. It does not provide individually tailored investment advice and has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. The strategies and/or investments discussed in this article may not be appropriate or all investors. Morgan Stanley recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.
Asset allocation and diversification do not guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Any type of continuous or periodic investment plan does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets. Since such a plan involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuating price levels of such securities, the investor should consider his financial ability to continue his purchases through periods of low price levels.
This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice. It has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. The strategies and/or investments discussed in this material may not be appropriate for all investors. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.
Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice and are not “fiduciaries” (under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise) with respect to the services or activities described herein except as otherwise provided in writing by Morgan Stanley and/or as described at www.morganstanley.com/disclosures/dol. Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a retirement plan or account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments made under such plan or account.
Richard Bloom may only transact business, follow-up with individualized responses, or render personalized investment advice for compensation, in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration, http://www.morganstanleyfa.com/mayergelwarggroup.
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