Wesletter July 2010
Vol. 2 No. 7
Investment and Planning Insights from Wesban
After the Storm Severe market declines can scare investors into selling at the worst possible time: when prices are at their lowest. Sticking with your investment strategy through tough times requires careful planning and discipline, but it is more likely to pay off in the long run. The image illustrates the average performance of stocks, bonds, and a diversified portfolio during and after four U.S. recessions. During recessions, stocks performed the worst and bonds the best, while the diversified portfolio offered a middle ground. However, after the recessions and in the long run, stocks provided the highest returns, followed by the diversified portfolio; bonds did not measure up. There are two lessons here: 1) Since you cannot know for certain when the market will bottom out, if you are invested, stay invested, and 2) Diversify in order to reduce downside risk.
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Wesban Financial Consultants, P.C. Investment and Planning Insights from Wesban July 2010
Handling Sudden Wealth If you have suddenly come into a large sum of money, whether itâ€™s a payout from an inheritance, the lottery, stock options, or a favorable verdict in a lawsuit, there are some important steps that you might want to take. First and foremost, try to keep your bearings about you. Donâ€™t immediately quit your job; avoid any temptations to spend most or all of it on frivolous items. Be on the lookout for crooked financial operators who make offers that seem too good to be true, or friends and family who appear out of the blue with loan requests and business proposals. Don't feel that you have to invest your money right away. There's nothing wrong with letting it sit in the bank while you carefully consider your options.
Before planning your long-term investment strategy, make sure you've taken care of some immediate needs. Establish an emergency fund (make it three to six months' worth of expenses), and if you've been carrying consumer debt like car loans or big credit-card balances, now's a great time to pay it all off. Finally, consider how your windfall can serve you for long-term goals such as paying for children's education and your retirement. The questions are many. You might want to consult with a financial planner, who can help you figure out all the complicated variables and options.
No matter how you've obtained your windfall, there will be tax consequences. It is highly recommended that you consult with a tax lawyer to make sure you follow the right steps.
ÂŠ2010 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein (1) is intended solely for informational purposes; (2) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or the content providers; (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete, or timely; and (4) does not constitute investment advice of any kind. Neither Morningstar nor the content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. "Morningstar" and the Morningstar logo are registered trademarks of Morningstar, Inc. The Wesban Team
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The August Wesletter discusses investing during a recession and how to handle sudden wealth.