Ups & Downs: Thriving in a Turbulent Market

Stock markets are known for their ups and downs. And many experts are predicting that the coming years — while likely fruitful for investors — will include some turbulence.

The reasons why are complicated, ranging from a more connected global economy to ever-faster electronic trading. But one thing is for sure: if you’re invested in the market, you’re going to experience some blustery conditions occasionally.

So what’s the best way to handle the ups and downs of the market?

Understand you’re human — and that comes with weaknesses.
And it’s normal for humans to get uneasy when their investments fluctuate. In fact, it is common for our fight or flight response to kick in during turbulent times. Our varied and strong built-in biases often lead us to bail on an investment at inopportune times or buy high without thinking through the consequences. Instead, slow down. Recognize your very human impulses and think before you act.

Plan ahead.
You’ve heard us say this before: the best way to protect yourself from the ups and downs of the markets (and yourself) is a solid plan. A long-term, goal-focused plan gives you context to make better decisions.

Prepare for emergency.
Your plan should include an emergency fund — cash or highly liquid — that you can draw on if you suddenly lose your job or have an urgent need for cash (dental surgery isn’t cheap). The “right” amount for an emergency fund can vary greatly depending on your needs, savings and concerns. If you’re not confident your number is right, let’s talk.

Remember history.
Over the long-term, the U.S. stock market has been one of the most reliable drivers of wealth. Yes, there have been some serious drops. Panic even. But its record speaks for itself. Focus on your long-term goals and remember how investing has helped millions of Americans reach theirs.

Lean on us.
Your Helmstar team is here to help you when you don’t know where to turn. We’re a second opinion when you need it, no matter the financial issue.

Feel free to call or email any time with questions. We’re happy to help.

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