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investment management and wealth management areas.

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Unlocking Real Value Newsletter - September 2017

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While there are some factors that are out of every investor's control, natural disasters and geopolitical events to name a few, there are many other factors that can be controlled as investment portfolios are constructed and managed.

Given how well the market has done this year, even in the face of less-than-stellar economic growth and political gridlock, investors must avoid making unnecessary changes to their investment strategy - to speculate - and taking their eye off of the ball - becoming complacent.

Be sure to communicate with your clients often, keep them invested in a plan consistent with their goals and investment objectives and periodically remind them that volatility and corrections are a normal and healthy part of every bull market.

Let's start with the dangers of speculation. When the market does as well as it has, for as long as it has, some investors begin to think managing money is easy. They start to venture into stocks that they shouldn't, adding more risk to their portfolios. In reality, the market today is very narrow, led by a small number of stocks - exactly the type of market that punishes speculation.

In addition, since stocks are the only investment that has a decent return right now, some investors may feel they need to look elsewhere. Take Bitcoins for example. Don't start investing - or really speculating - in investments that you don't know anything about because they are doing so well. Remember the old adage, what goes up, must come down - and when it comes down it is usually very fast!

Finally, don't become complacent. Continue to vigorously monitor your investment portfolio, periodically review that you are on pace to meet your longer-term goals and objectives and re-balance as appropriate.

Even though September has been quiet, continuing a streak of low volatility, volatility will return at some point. But that is fine - as long as you have not altered your stock portfolio or overall investment portfolio inappropriately.

The summer is usually volatile, and August and September are usually two of the worst performing months of the year. Conversely, the Fall is usually strong and the year typically ends with a rally. Since the summer didn't materialize as expected, be on alert that the Fall may not either. Better safe than sorry. Better proactive than complacent.


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