To begin with we think you need to have some faith in the system. If you have confidence in your financial advisor – and past performance will tell you how well founded that is – then give him or her a call and have a calm, dispassionate conversation in which you explore:

  1. what has occurred,
  2. how your funds are invested,
  3. the asset allocation strategies you have put in place in the past,
  4. and just for interest sake, how you fared the last time the markets “went wonky.”

When our clients go through this exercise they find that the recovery after these periods is solid and in most cases, relatively quick. No need to rip off band-aids – because we don’t use band-aids!

Remember that your long-term financial goals require a plan and your ability to meet those goals may be significantly impaired if you react emotionally to whatever bad news CNN chooses to communicate with you last night or this morning. Mutual fund investment managers continuously monitor their portfolios of money in their care. Remember that they too rely on reasonable performance or they will not keep their jobs for long.

Then, determine, once again, whether the asset allocation strategies you have been following continue to complement your ability to accept risk. Examine each investment and ask yourself, along with your advisor, whether it fits with your risk comfort level and with your short- and long-term objectives. Then, again, calmly and dispassionately – make whatever adjustments you feel are necessary under the circumstances.

Generally speaking, if the process has been followed all along, you’ll probably find that the investment strategies you have been following for your long-term investing are sound and will, in fact, support your objectives and goals. For those of you who require the income you receive from the investments today, there are also strategies that need to be in place to help weather the storm.

By and large, our clients have been through the process – we have rebalanced their portfolios to ensure that all asset classes are represented appropriate to risk levels and objectives. We continuously monitor those portfolios looking for signs of weakness and they have seen how we react when they occur.

Keep in mind that we do not shy away from the telephone during these volatile times. We are on hand and available. Call us!