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7 Tips for Investing Wisely in Uncertain Times

November 27, 2023 | 5 min read

In this article

  • Stay calm, seek advice before acting: Avoid emotional choices. Consult an advisor before acting hastily.
  • Commit to strategy: Long-term patience and discipline pay off in investment success.
  • Diversify, plan, and focus: Prioritize a diverse portfolio, consult an advisor and stay stable for effective uncertainty management.

With uncertainty, we may assume the worst, especially when it comes to our money. Market volatility or unpredictability can trigger investors into making emotionally driven decisions and exiting the market, which isn’t necessarily the best strategy anytime the market drops. It’s understandably challenging to bear with market swings. If you’re unsure how to navigate the turbulence, we’re offering general advice on how to invest money wisely, as well as what do and don’t do to weather the storm of uncertainty. 

1. Don’t panic! 

Whether you call it uncertain times or market volatility, fluctuations can cause investor’s heart rates to skyrocket. The threat of stock market turbulence on our money is enough to make emotions spiral out of control. First, keep your eye on the big picture. Dismiss what experts call “noise”—the hype, confusion and inaccurate information distributed during an erratic quick-to-judge market. Also, speak with your financial advisor before immediately retreating or making other hasty decisions. 

2. Move forward with your investments 

Some of the most successful investors stay committed to their strategy for the long haul. That’s because it’s not uncommon for the market to experience sharp declines, followed by strong returns. If you quickly pull out, you could risk missing out on opportunities to gain from a recovering market. Sometimes, it could be better to sit back and keep a patient, disciplined and flexible mindset.  

3. Try not to monitor the market or your portfolio too closely 

Watching the market’s every move can weigh heavily on your well-being. Remember, the market is always in a constant state of flux. Your portfolio could take a drastic hit and then its value could spike. Analyzing inevitable market changes during times of uncertainty and watching your money go up and down day-to-day can cause you unnecessary stress. 

4. Check in with your financial advisor 

It’s not always beneficial to incessantly watch unpredictable market conditions. But you may want to check in with your  financial advisor  about your risk tolerance if you’re concerned as an active investor. There’s always risk involved, but you may prefer more conservative investments. 

For instance, soon-to-be retirees may want to consider conservative investments. Those nearing retirement will be accessing funds in the near future, and there’s not much time left to wait for a market rebound, so this could be the time to assess your current financial situation and get guidance on how to move ahead to meet your future goals. 

5. Discuss diversifying your portfolio 

You may also want to discuss the benefits of a diversified portfolio during a downturn with your advisor. Again, you’ll want to consider your risk tolerance, stage in life and how much you can afford to invest. Generally, it’s a good idea to have a broad mix of investments and products in your portfolio. Your advisor can explain more on prioritizing strategic diversification across sectors over responding to short-term fluctuations. 

6. Commit to a plan over trying to time the market 

During an uncertain market, you may be tempted to try and predict what lies ahead. Often, it’s recommended to stay the course, rather than try to guess market ups and downs and act on that guesswork. Attempting to forecast the market can be unproductive, inaccurate and ineffective. 

7. Keep your finances in good shape 

Living with financial stability can help mitigate stress that may be compounded by investment uncertainty. If you’re an investor who is likely to go into a frenzy in the midst of market mayhem, financial chaos in other areas will only intensify the stress. Outside of investing, stick to the basics: Live within (or beneath!) your means and build your emergency savings. 

During a market of uncertainty, it may help to simply ride it out or touch base with your financial advisor to discuss risk and any strategic changes to make to your portfolio. Speaking with a trusted professional can help ensure you’re receiving the right guidance on how to invest money wisely and manage aptly during volatility. History has proven that the market rises following downturns, and by focusing on long-term goals, you could come out on top after the turnaround. 

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Any opinions are those of Desert Financial Credit Union and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or less regardless of strategy selected.

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