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Posted on May 17, 2017

Ask the Money Maven: Never Let Your Fear Decide Your Future

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By Melanie Hasty-Grant

With the markets making a turn for the worst since January, the smell of fear is in the air.  Not only is it in “the air”, you can sense it in the hearts of investors. “F-E-A-R has two meanings. Forget- everything- and -run OR face- everything- and- rise.  The choice is yours.”  I hope you decide to face your fear and rise.  So what does facing the fears of the market mean, exactly?

A lot of folks have been rocking along over the last couple of years, maybe making a little headway here or there but knowing deep down they don’t really have an investment or retirement “plan” in place. It’s something people find easy to put off.  Some may have visited an investment person one time, who put them in some investments but have not received any further advice or service.  Some may have left their 401(k)’s at old company plans or moved them to an online “do-it-yourself” outfit in an attempt to save money.  At any rate, when triple digit losses start occurring, the fear sets in.  However, then the excuse becomes that they “don’t want to move anything right now because the market is down.”  Folks become literally paralyzed by their fear.  So….the following is what I mean by facing your fears of the market. 1) The “market” could care less what you paid when you purchased something. Therefore, if you really don’t have a sell-side strategy, meaning a pre-planned decision about when and why you or your advisor would sell a specific investment, then you really don’t have an investment plan. You should get one! Riding this market up and down and hoping for the best is not a plan!  2)  If you do have an investment plan, stick with it!  If you already have a well thought out plan about when you would sell or buy specific investments (or have someone who knows what they are doing, who does) then by all means don’t try to change things mid-stream, dance with the one who brought ya!  3)  Be actively involved in your plan for your future.  Too many times we develop an investment and retirement plan for someone and after a period of time they become apathetic or passive.  By this I mean, they stop coming to their portfolio review meetings, stop trying to reduce their debt, stop making their contributions to meet their goals.  They stop working the plan that they committed themselves to. While we realize that the day to day tyranny of investing and plugging away at a future goal isn’t always sexy, it is necessary to reach your destination.  Don’t get distracted.  Don’t let the day to day up’s and downs sway you from what you want for your life in the long term.

Finally remember that while the current market situation may be uncomfortable, it is not unexpected or unusual. Be opportunistic at times like this! As with most all circumstances in life, it is really not about what is going on in the market, it is about the decisions your make about what to do about it.  Fear can be a catalyst for change.  Embrace what it is telling you. You are in control of your choices.  If you need help evaluating your investments or developing a plan, give us a call.  We can help. For more information visit our website at www.waterstonewealth.com or call 918.272.1120.   Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principle of Waterstone Private Wealth Management.  Securities and Advisory Services offered through Cetera Advisors Network LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.