06 Oct 4 Defensive Retirement Planning Strategies for 2016 BY STEVEN RINGO
As we approach 2016, investors, pre-retirees and retirees should consider re-evaluating their savings and investment strategy. Since February 1, 2009 the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed over 10,000 points and we’re in the third longest bull secular market in 80 years. The largest bull secular market of all time had a 582% increase in 13 years (1987-2000); for many of you Black Monday, October 19, 1987 and the dot com crash was your first exposure to significant stock market losses. The second longest bull market lasted roughly seven years from 1949-1956; the S&P finally topped its 1929 peak and tripled in value.
So where does that leave us as we head into 2016? History has proven time and time again that significant losses will take place just before and end of a Bull Secular Market.
We’ve all heard the cliché, “Offensive wins ball games and defensive wins championships.” The reality is the entire team wins games and championships if they’re the number #1 team in their sport. So many times people are looking for an offensive win after win. They get caught up in the hype of double-digit returns compounded over a lifetime. By doing so, people forget the importance of a defensive strategy regarding their retirement investments and savings. Given today’s economic climate, it’s time to take a look at four defensive strategies for 2016 that will better prepare you for the next market recession or depression.
- STAY ENGAGED WITH YOUR FINANCIAL TEAM.
If you’re not in constant contact with your advisor or he/she is not sending you updates on a regular basis, chances are you’re in a “buy, hold and pray strategy,” or an idle position which will lead to catastrophe in a market downturn. Your team needs to be dynamic, and constantly up to speed on what’s happening not only here in the United States, but around the world as well. Most reputable financial teams will have a Client Services representative that works directly with you the client, and the investment team to make sure all of your needs, goals and desires are met. Investment teams are comprised of some of the smartest minds in the financial services industry, with all the credentials, designations and experience. Time and time again traditional brokers and advisors have fallen short on meeting expectations for their clients due to the lack of communication. You need to be a priority at all times.
- DON’T RISK YOUR FOUNDATIONAL MONIES.
If you’re in the retirement red zone (10-15 years prior to retirement) and have plenty of liquidity, a portion of your retirement assets needs to be 100% protected from market loss with the ability to at least keep up with inflation. There are financial vehicles that allow for this with conservative growth and a handful of other features that are not available at your typical brokerage firm.
- TALK WITH YOUR ADVISOR ABOUT MOVING A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR ASSETS TO CASH.
With the market at a 6.5 year high and a flat 2015 through mid-August,
locking in some gains might not be a bad idea. By hanging out on the sidelines you might give up some upside, but will rest easy knowing a percentage of your assets are protected from market losses.
- ELIMINATE DEBT.
In my nine years of business, I have never met or talked to a person that didn’t have enough money for retirement who was completely debt free. One of the quickest ways to make sure your retirement assets will be there for a lifetime is to make sure your monthly obligations are as minimal as possible. Sure, there are some people out there that use debt to make fortunes. For most folks though, it’s just not the case.
By following these four defensive strategies and working with a team of financial experts, the highs and lows of investing and savings are little less bumpy. Don’t just stay the course and follow the herd. Put a plan in place to eliminate market losses and utilize these four defensive strategies for 2016.
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