By Melanie Hasty-Grant


“The higher they go the harder they fall” rings loud in this type of environment. As the market continues into record territory, you have to wonder which of these days is going to be the “high” of the run. Many have seen their 401k’s and brokerage accounts produce nice returns.

The question now is “Do you have a plan to help preserve the gains that you have made?” If not, you could ride this sexy red sports car right back into the swamp. In fact, it may be time to start looking to trade that sports car for a one ton work truck, if you catch my drift. It really doesn’t matter in the end how much of a run up you’ve had, what matters is what you get to keep.

If I had a penny for every time I’ve had someone bring in their old 401k statement or brokerage statements from another firm and tell me “what the value used to be ….” with a sad and bewildered
look in their eye, I’d be a rich woman. Well then, I say “Let’s don’t do that again! Use a different strategy!” Don’t get seduced by the greed monster thinking that you must drive the sexy red sports car until the wheels fall off.

In the last 13 years (March 2000 to September 2013) the S&P 500 has increased from 1527 to 1745.

  • That is an increase of 14.2% in 13 years! This means the S&P 500 had just a little over 1% average return a year. During that time we have had two major recessions. From 2000-2002 the S&P 500 fell 47.6%.
  • It took 5 years to recover to its previous high. From 2007-2009 the S&P 500 fell 56.2%.
  • It has taken 4 years to recover those losses.

The market moves in two directions. Take time to look at where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to go. Don’t sit around and wait for a crisis to hit and then try to figure out what to do. Plan your exit strategy in  advance so that you are not making emotional decisions.

Don’t wait until you have lost $100,000 in your 401k or investment accounts to figure it out. If you don’t know “what to do or how to do it” when it comes to your investments, pay for someone to help you. It will be worth every penny! For more information visit

Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.