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Taking your emotions out of your investments

June 28, 2017, 12:19 pm

Economic and political influences are ever-present and will undoubtedly continue to create market risks. We must remain watchful; heightened instability both domestically and abroad may require adjustments to portfolio asset allocations. However, we must also be diligent in our efforts to make sound, thoughtful investment decisions. Ultimately, the health of an investment portfolio depends on one’s ability to take reactionary decision-making out of investing.

Todd Hauer

Todd Hauer

We all have natural tendencies that can lead to mistakes, however, investors who display rational behavior and make objective and competent judgement calls are more likely to consistently profit from their decisions.

Here are some tips to help keep you on the right track:

Assess your risk tolerance. In general, investing means you will assume some level of risk, but taking on unnecessary risk is often avoidable. One strategy to balance risk is to diversify your portfolio so that if one investment loses money, other investments may be able to compensate for those losses. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how much risk you are willing to take.

Keep calm and tune out the noise. As major market movers are covered in the media, it is common for the stock market to react swiftly. This is the time to remember not to get distracted by the noise. True economic changes often take time to play out in the wake of crisis events. Avoid making kneejerk changes to your portfolio and remember to re-evaluate your overall allocation. Keep the bigger picture in mind, and evaluate your allocations from a long-term perspective.

Risk management for your portfolio. Investors should have a discussion with their financial advisor to determine whether their portfolio is positioned to mitigate heightened risks. Where appropriate, to potentially lower volatility you might want to consider alternative investments in your portfolio during periods of instability. Avoid the temptation to “time” the markets. Rather, adopt an asset allocation which is consistent with your need for return and risk.

Cope with the uncertainty. Domestic and global events can certainly affect the stock market. However, it’s important to remember that throughout history, the U.S. stock market has proven to be quite resilient over the long term, bouncing back time and time again from the impact of world crises.

There’s no doubt challenging times will continue. That’s why keen attention to market trends both at home and abroad are key to constructing a solid investment portfolio. Surviving market volatility is possible, but it requires a steadfast plan.

Todd Hauer is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Denver. He can be reached at 720.488.2406 or todd.hauer@morganstanley.com

 The information contained in this interview is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.  Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. Alternative Investments are speculative and include a high degree of risk. An investor could lose all or a substantial amount of his/her investment. Alternative investments are suitable only for qualified, long-term investors who are willing to forgo liquidity and put capital at risk for an indefinite period of time. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, or its affiliates. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, member SIPC.



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