With every change in the world, there always seems to be the temptation to make an impulsive financial decision, especially when it comes to investing. This year especially was difficult for investors who made such decisions when the coronavirus hit hard and upended the stock market bringing a lot of panic selling with it. Events like the coronavirus and this year's presidential election are always impactful when it comes to investor markets, but you need to be careful about investment decisions made solely on market movements. You can keep your long-term goals and continue building wealth if you follow certain tips.
Hold Steady When There's A Sudden Dip
The COVID-19 recession was not a typical recession since a global pandemic is a rare event, but there will always be future corrections and recessions when economic activity reaches its peak and has to slow down. A recession certainly can cause a drop in your portfolio, especially during a volatile stock market period, but this is often only temporary. Unless a company whose stock you own is actually in danger of going bankrupt and becoming insolvent, chances are it's going to rebound and perform a lot better once the market stabilizes again. In fact, a market dip could be the perfect time to buy more stocks or mutual fund shares.
Watch Out For Bubbles
Sometimes certain industries show promise of becoming the future of consumer demand, but they can end up being bought into too prematurely at times. For example, back in the early 2000's, many investors were buying into new web-based companies and those they expected to become tech giants, and as a result too many stocks became overpriced and caused market bubbles. When your investments start becoming unusually high valued, it's usually a good idea to sell off overvalued assets and place your funds in more stable assets until the market cools.
Pay Attention To Government Regulations
One issue you do need to be aware of is government actions in response to major events that could impact your investments. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act greatly affected the real estate market, and new tax regulations are always affecting how investors allocate their assets. It's important to stay informed about how regulations will affect various industries, especially sectors like energy and manufacturing, and consider whether you need to diversify more out of those industries. You should also consider how capital gains taxes and dividend taxes affect your assets, and also move assets around between tax-deferred accounts and standard brokerage accounts.
Be Aware Of The Federal Reserve's Interest Rate Changes
Another thing that influences the stock market is the Federal Reserve, and when it adjusts the federal funds rate, the market can move up and down. It's often discussed that when interest rates go up and the stock market trends down, the bond market is the place to go. But before you consider adjusting your portfolio into bonds, consider where you are in your career, and when you expect to retire. Bonds tend to bring in much lower earnings, and they are not a great hedge against inflation. If you're interested in other investments during interest rate changes, and you're willing to take on a little risk, you might consider investing in alternative assets such as real estate or even precious metals.
Have A Budget For Retirement And Plan What You'll Do When You Have To Take Distributions
Remember, if you own certain retirement accounts, you have to take minimum distributions from it by a certain age as specified by the IRS. The good news is they've bumped the age back from 70 1/2 to 72 for certain individuals. But once you start taking those distributions, you need to make sure they are being budgeted wisely so you can guarantee income will last all throughput your retirement.
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