I’m posting this Money Monday message early for a reason. You may or may not have been watching the drama unfold Thursday in Great Britain, which ended in that great nation’s decision to leave the European Union (the EU). If you follow business news, you also saw the markets take a predictable hit Friday as countries and investors scrambled to make sense of what it happened and how they might be affected. As a result, your 401(k) may also have been affected. Interesting how a decision thousands of miles away can impact your portfolio.
In the aftermath, you may be wondering, “What now?” I find myself repeating my mantra of last January – don’t panic. As hugely sweeping as this decision is, from the psychology behind it to the financial uncertainty before it, the short-term impact on your retirement investments is most likely that – short term.
The historical trend of the market is up. There may be “corrections,” drops, surges and times of stagnation, but over time the market increases, as will your wisely-invested portfolio.
If you took my advice in January, talking to your financial advisor and resisting the urge to sell everything and put your cash in a money market account, you were rewarded by March when the market improved dramatically despite the country’s sub-par economic performance.
I offer the same advice for tomorrow: before liquidating your stock portfolio have a talk with your financial advisor. Stay calm, and let history be your guide. Don’t be surprised if your advisor actually recommends buying right now.
If the shoes you’ve been saving for went on sale today, wouldn’t you be running to buy them? Why do we never feel that way about stocks? If they “go on sale” we are sure their values are heading for an abyss from which they will never recover. In a well-diversified portfolio of quality investments (which should certainly describe your retirement accounts), not only will they recover, your account value will continue to increase over time. Contrary to what your emotions are telling you, you might consider investing a little more if you’re not at your maximum allowable salary deferral. This would potentially be a great time to take advantage of the “sale.”
This article, and any I write about financial matters, is not intended to be specific advice for anyone. These are my general thoughts and opinions, which should in no way take the place of those offered by your trusted financial advisor. My hope is to give you a different perspective and to open conversation between you and your advisor. That relationship is key to your financial success.
To you better wealth,