We sent this email out to clients and friends of Keener Financial Planning today.
We’ve all been hearing a lot about the coronavirus. Many stock market investors have reacted by selling stock holdings. As of this writing (around noon February 28), the S&P 500* is down about 13% from its high on February 19. The drop has been really fast.
You may find it helpful to observe that this correction has so far only taken us back to where we were in October last year. In October, we were pretty happy with our year-to-date returns, and we were on track for a 30%+ return in the S&P 500 for 2019. But now, the same market level feels quite different because of the context surrounding it.
We certainly don’t enjoy seeing so much of our account values erased in just a couple of weeks. However, as long-term investors, we know that this type of volatility is something we need to tolerate to benefit from the long-term growth of the investment markets. Volatility like this is also the primary reason we recommend keeping money to be spent from the portfolio in the next few years in cash — so that we can allow stocks time to recover without selling while they’re down.
Our advice in this situation is the same as it is whenever we experience volatility: stay the course. Maintain your target percentages in stocks and bonds. If you’re one of our retainer clients, we’re maintaining your regular monitoring schedule to keep your portfolio within tolerance ranges. If you maintain your portfolio on your own and haven’t rebalanced in awhile, it might be a good idea to take a look at your allocation to see if rebalancing is necessary. Otherwise, there’s nothing you need to do.
If you have any questions on the markets or your financial plan, please feel free to give any of us a call at 817-993-0401.
*Source for investment returns is Morningstar as of Friday February 28, 2020. S&P 500 TR USD for the S&P 500.