Are you prepared for the next market correction?
September 23, 2013
by Brian Wolf

Hold the phone . . . I’m not saying that we will have a market correction, because no one ever knows whether the market will be going up or down. So, the question should really be are you prepared for the next market correction and/or the next market boom? And could you actually be ready for whichever one comes next?

Let’s start with the most important question of all, which is: do you need to be concerned about which way the market goes at all? For example, if you have money sitting in a bank savings account, you might look at the market and say, “I don’t care if it goes up or down, it won’t affect my money.” Maybe you have more than enough money in the bank to live out your life comfortably, so why would you risk any money in the market? Or perhaps, you feel that you don’t have enough money and you want to go for the potential for larger gains, knowing that you could be worse off later on than where you started?

Although these are good questions, they are also very complex questions.

Oct. 9, 2007, the Dow closed at 14,164.53. Little did anyone know that day that in exactly 17 months, March 9, 2009, the Dow would lose 53.78 percent of its value and close at 6,547.05. That’s over a 50 percent loss! Now, here we are today, five and a half years after the market hit its lowest point in the past decade. Sept. 9, 2013, the Dow has made it all the way back and then some, closing at 15,063.12. The Dow is up almost 2.5 times over the past five and a half years.

This of course, begs the question, “Are you prepared?”

We all know that markets move both up and down. The average bull market is around 3.8 years; our current bull market is 5.5 years old, according to InvesTech Research. So what do you do with this information?

Most of the people I have met with have told me that in 2008, they thought they were conservatively invested and then lost large amounts of money out of their portfolios. Was that your experience also?

Did you vow that you would never let it happen again? Did you promise yourself that if you could just get back to even, you would take the time to be more informed about your investments, perhaps take less risk? Will you learn from past mistakes?

Well, here we are, five and a half years later. How do you feel about your investments today? Are they rock solid, or are they maybe on some shaky ground?

This is a great time, right now, to sit down with a retirement planning specialist to take a hard look at where you are compared to where you want to be. It is actually possible to be positioned so that you can potentially do well whether the market is up or down, but it would certainly help to have a very good advisor to accomplish this. Is now the time for you to act?

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