3 Minute Read
The first thing you’ll look for when you open your quarterly statements is whether your investments are up or down. If you find a significant change in the value of your investments, it’s going to mess with your head.
Too Much of a Good Thing
No matter what your quarterly statement says, it is not an indicator of whether you will be able to achieve your investment goals. But, a down quarter, like this one, may cause you to second-guess your investment decisions and consider making changes based on fear.
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Never change your long-term game plan based on 90 days’ worth of performance. You’ll start chasing returns or timing the market, which can reduce your returns by more than 7%, according to studies by Bloomberg and Davis Advisors.
Keep It Under Control
An annual assessment could be the best way to manage your emotions in an unpredictable stock market and give you the information you need to make sure your investments are on track. Even then, any changes you might make will need to be based on more information than you will get from your statements. Use these tips to maintain your confidence in your portfolio:
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- Work with an investment professional. When you’re freaked out, an investment professional can bring some objectivity to the situation. A pro will look at your investments with less emotion and much more knowledge. That’s why people who invest with a professional are more likely to reach their goals.
- Spend a lot of time upfront deciding what funds to invest in. The more you understand your investments, the more confident you will be when their performance is down. You’ll also remain grounded when performance is up.
- Know your investment types. Each fund type has a role to play in keeping your portfolio profitable, so each performs differently in various market conditions.
- Changing funds should be a process. If you decide you need to change funds, always do your research. Compare your fund’s performance to others of its type, as well as S&P 500 overall performance. Then take into account commissions and fees to see if changing is worth the expense. An investment professional will have access to all this information.
Never change your long-term investment goals based on a 90-day snapshot of your mutual funds’ performance. Evaluate your funds’ performance annually with an investment professional to keep your portfolio on track.
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