If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve probably noticed that the stock market has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride. With concerning headlines on your favorite news channel, and the balance of your investment accounts fluctuating, it can be easy to become anxious. However, it’s important to remain focused on what you can control and not act out of fear. Here are four ways you can act with wisdom during a volatile investment market.
1. Focus on your long-term goals. It’s important to remain focused on what you are hoping your money will allow you to do, not the balance of your accounts or your year-to-date return. When my clients are concerned about a market drop, I’ll often pull up our financial planning software and show them how the latest volatility has affected their financial plan. Oftentimes, the impact on their long-term goals is nowhere near as drastic as they are imagining. Staying focused on meeting long-term goals helps put into perspective the short-term fluctuations.
2. Continue saving and investing. Trying to time the ups and downs of the market is nearly impossible. A much more dependable strategy is to make automatic contributions to your investment and savings accounts every month. If you’re working with an advisor, they can adjust how these contributions are used and find the best options for rebalancing, diversifying, and growing your portfolio. Additionally, a market downturn is often a good time to add to your investment account, since you are buying investments at a lower price.
3. Take a break from technology. It can be easy to become overly focused on your favorite news channel or the daily balance of your account. However, constantly watching the news for the latest market headlines and checking your account balance every hour is only going to make every market jitter feel like an earthquake. If you’re getting too anxious, unplug and go do something you love. Give yourself the opportunity to focus on something else and don’t let worry steal away the joy of today.
4. Remember God’s promises. We have a responsibility to be wise stewards of what God has given us. However, ultimately God is in control of the world and every aspect of our lives, including our finances. In the end, it is up to God to provide for our needs just as He has promised to do. All we can do is seek to obey God and make wise choices and then trust God with the results. So, in times of uncertainty, remember to put your trust in the God who has always been faithful to fulfill His promises to His children.
Wealth Management Certified Professional® Advisor, OneAscent