What Neel’s Roller Coaster Face Teaches Us About Investing

Check out my face in the image above. Am I smiling? Crying? Scared or excited?

This picture was taken at Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. It was about 5 years ago; this is one of those pictures that the amusement park sells you that’s taken as you are on the ride (I’ve cropped out the friends & family to avoid making them angry).

It is said FEAR and EXCITEMENT is same emotion, just +/- CONFIDENCE. There’s a part of me that’s smiling on this ride because I am confident that the orange harness and the seatbelt are going to keep me in my seat and deliver me back safely to the platform. Let’s just say I wouldn’t have that same smile if I didn’t have that level of confidence.

On August 5th, 2019, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst fall of 2019. Were you smiling or crying? How about inwardly? Was your stomach in knots? I suppose the answer to that depends on your level of Confidence. Volatility & risk are not the same thing. When a stock is volatile, it means that it tends to make big moves (up or down). When a stock is risky, it means it can lose money (go down). In financial terms, risk is the potential permanent loss of money. Whereas volatility is how rapidly an investment tends to change in price.

When equity markets experience unnerving fluctuation, we suggest you ask yourself 3 questions:

1.      Have my financial timelines changed?

2.      Have my financial goals changed?

3.      Has my risk tolerance changed?

If you’re not sure or if you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then it’s time to have a conversation with your Advisor. The goal is to give you confidence that you’re taking the right amount of risk. And depending on your concerns, it may be time for a review of your financial plan, revisiting your risk tolerance, investigating your diversification, as well as other strategies.

And then – strap in and enjoy the bumpy ride. Get to the point where you’re smiling and can enjoy it because you know you’re going to get delivered to your platform safely. And if we can help deliver you, feel free to reach out.

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