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4 Timeless Investment Tips That Can Weather Any Storm
It’s been a decade since 2008’s Great Recession, but those who were invested in the stock market still remember how their funds plummeted in the immediate aftermath. Now, some economists predict that we could see another recession by as early as 2020—and last year’s turbulence isn’t exactly instilling confidence. For investors, this begs the question: How can you effectively protect your funds from a potential market downturn?
As with most investment issues, the answer is diversification. By making sure that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket — and looking into a variety of investment options — you can mitigate the impact of a recession while still having your money work for you.
1. Consider Low Risk Investments
While the stock market may offer higher returns in the long run, it is also vulnerable to things like politics, international disputes, and the state of the economy. As part of a sound investment strategy, you should consider putting some of your funds into low risk opportunities with a guaranteed rate of return. Such investment channels include money market accounts, high yield savings accounts, savings bonds, and certificates of deposit (CD). With the exception of savings bonds, these assets give you immediate access to your funds when you need them. However, selling a certificate before it matures—based on the period you chose when opening the account—means you will earn less interest. The primary benefit of these investment options is that you don’t risk losing any part of your initial capital.
2. Explore Fixed Index Annuities
Retirees are especially vulnerable when the stock market declines. One way to protect your cash flow in retirement is by purchasing fixed index annuities. These are tax-deferred, long-term saving options, and their returns are based on the performance of a stock market index. However, if the index performs negatively, your original deposit and any interest you make on it does not decline, which means that your funds are protected in the case of a market downturn or recession. On the flipside, growth on these accounts is capped, so they don’t offer high returns. They remain appealing to retirees since account owners can set up optional riders to provide guaranteed annuity payments for life.
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3. Implement Dollar Cost Averaging
Another investment strategy that protects your funds in the long run is dollar cost averaging. The premise of this strategy is to invest a fixed amount into your mutual funds, stocks, or ETFs on a regular schedule, rather than a big sum all at once. If you have a 401(k) or a similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, they’re likely already implementing this investment strategy for your funds.
This approach to investing ensures that you purchase fewer shares when stock prices are high, and more shares when prices are low, as you are working with a fixed amount. It also means you aren’t in danger of investing a large lump sum at the top of the market and watching the value plummet should a correction occur.
4. Don’t Panic
While it’s important to take precautions in the face of a potential recession, it’s also crucial not to panic. If your investment account drops drastically, as happened to many in 2008, remember to stay calm and carry on. It took five years—until 2013—for the stock markets to recover from 2008, and since then the market has mostly boomed. If you pause before making rash decisions and leave your investments alone, they will eventually recover alongside the market.
If you are looking for ways to proactively invest your money, Citadel can help. We offer a variety of investment and savings solutions, and are happy to discuss the best fit to meet your needs. Contact Citadel today for advice on planning for your financial future.
Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of Citadel, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Citadel has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to Citadel members.