As we close out 2018, I realize that the significant US stock market declines during the month of December have concerned most people.

It is a reminder that investing money is a very serious business and that there are no cookie-cutter investment solutions that work for everyone.  Each person has their own investment time horizon and their own risk tolerance.

For individuals that have a long investment horizon before retirement, this decline presents an opportunity to add monies to their retirement plans and to buy assets more cheaply than they have been in some time.

However, for individuals nearing retirement or in retirement, large losses in their portfolio are harder to absorb.  There are simply not the years left to contribute and to make up very large declines.

Just know that a personalized investment process is designed to work towards your specific goals and not what the stock market does.  If you are near retirement or in retirement, your allocation with me is significantly less aggressive than that of the US stock market.  It will not make you immune from very large market declines, but we expect your declines to be relatively watered down.  Your long-term plan assumes bad years such as this one and maintains the focus of pursuing your long-term goals.

Even more aggressive portfolios are well diversified.  Proper diversification seeks to maintain long-term return potential while helping to smooth out large market swings.

We all see pundits on tv or have friends that tell us the “right” time to get into markets and the “right” time to get out.  I firmly believe that the stock market cannot be timed.  While selling when the market looks bad lends to psychological comfort over the short-term, it typically leads to bad long-term results.  You will be confronted will multiple such decisions over time, but the strategy will fail if just one of these decisions is executed incorrectly.

We have a repeatable investment process that is very considerate of your risk tolerance and your time horizon.  In my 20 years as an advisor, I have gone through both the dot-com crisis and the financial crisis.  This experience has made me very cautious and very thoughtful in all of my decisions.

I am also extremely fortunate to be a part of the Integrated Financial Group Consortium and am surrounded by some of the most highly experienced financial advisors in the industry.  This group is always helping me generate solutions as I seek to better serve you.

Communication is the cornerstone of any long-term relationship whether business or personal.  As such, I will remain engaged and always accessible to discuss your long-term financial plan as well as your investments.  That will never change regardless of the economy or the stock market.

We will be talking soon.

Gary

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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.