What To Do If Your Portfolio Is Down?

What To Do If Your Portfolio Is Down?

A Wall Street Journal article quotes Financial Advisors who give one form of advice, and I discuss additional options for you to consider.

Just because your 401k or other retirement portfolios like an IRA could be falling behind (as in they are down from a previous high point), doesn’t mean you don’t have options. You can do more than just twiddle your thumbs, IMHO!

This Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article might have you believe that maybe the best thing to do is nothing, as some Financial Advisors advocate for.

But I think if you’re dissatisfied with seeing your portfolio go sideways or down, you might want to start looking into what you’re actually invested in.

Even though bond funds haven’t been doing great in recent years due to higher yields causing bond prices to go down — maybe you should consider buying shorter term US Treasury Bonds and lock in 5% yields while you can! Maybe Financial Advisors are right to say that now is not a good time to sell bond funds, so don’t! But then hedge them by buying bonds in another account, perhaps!

I discuss how Target Date Funds may not be all they are cracked up to be as their performance is often subpar to that of the low-cost S&P 500 Index Fund that Warren Buffett recommends to most people.

In addition, Target Date Funds (TDF) tend to be “fund of funds” and have higher fees (expense ratios), therefore causing you to have a lower return than if you’d have just stuck with an S&P 500 Index Fund (I’ll refer to this as SPX for short but this isn’t one of the investable ticker symbols).

SPX is not the only way to go though, you could invest in individual stocks, bonds, or other types of assets if you’re so inclined and willing to do the homework.

I credit the WSJ article for discussing the notion of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS, which some people have made a ladder out of to get some steady stream of income out of.

Also, I convey my disapproving opinion on the popular notion that stocks are riskier than bonds, which may not be true. What’s risky is if you do not know or understand what you’re invested in. Being in high expense ratio funds that you don’t know what stocks are in could be riskier than if you had done your research and invested in stocks you believe in and plan to hold for the long term.

I mention other options like high yield savings accounts, Certificates of Deposits, Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (watch this video) and more!

For example make the most of your Roth IRA or Traditional IRA, and a Health Savings Account in addition to the 401k! You are not limited to only “doing nothing” with your 401k, whether it’s currently up or down.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all as we’re all at different stages of investing toward retirement, so even though more retirees are loading up on equities instead of bonds doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Even though Warren Buffett said most people should be 90% in stocks and 10% in bonds, maybe the younger crowd should be even more aggressively in stocks or other higher-yielding assets that are better than bonds. Perhaps but you gotta do your own homework! As you know, this is not advice just educational info. ^_^

The sky’s the limit, so they say, so weigh your options and make the best financial decisions you can.

If you’re interested in learning how to take control of your finances and start becoming an investor like Warren Buffett, check out my free PDF guide.

I look forward to making more investor friends! Add me on Instagram: michellemarki