So much for a quiet end to the year. Stocks, after pretty much ignoring any and all economic and political uncertainty throughout the year, began the fourth quarter with a bang - and not in a good way!
Spooked by rising interest rates, with the 10-year Treasury reaching its highest yield since May of 2011, and rising trade tensions, nervous investors have been selling stocks, with technology stocks being hit the hardest.
While the fourth quarter is traditionally a good one for stocks, the month of October has not always been - remember 1987? But even with the recent pullback, most major indices are still less than 5% from all time highs.
It's time for some serious client hand-holding - if you have not done so yet, it is not too late to proactively contact clients (either individually or through a newsletter) and calm nerves. Remind them:
- Corrections are a normal part of investing, and losses are not realized unless you sell.
- The economy remains strong and we are about to enter another record earnings season.
- November and December are historically seasonally strong times of the year.
Finally, the most two things to impart to them is:
1) Time in the market is more important than timing the market. After all, if you sell in a panic, when are you going to get back in?; and
2) The key to investing remains a diversified portfolio that is in alignment with long-term wealth management goals and is consistent with risk tolerance and income needs.
Now is the perfect time to reaffirm your value-added to your clients.