Riding the ups and downs of the stock market roller coaster can provide for a thrilling and stressful experience. As an Austin, TX fee-only financial planning firm, there are decisions clients face when developing an investment strategy. These decisions are based on removing emotion, lowering risk, capturing global market returns and tailoring investments to meet their financial plan. Over the next several weeks, I will share ten decisions investors face as they try to build long-term wealth in the capital markets.
As an investment management firm in Austin, TX, a quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for “Dow drops 500 points.” These types of headlines may make little sense to some investors, given that a “point” for the Dow and what it means to an individual’s portfolio may be unclear. The potential for misunderstanding also exists among even experienced market participants, given that index levels have risen over time and potential emotional anchors such as a 500-point move do not have the same impact on performance as they used to. With this in mind, we examine what a point move in the Dow means and the impact it may have on an investment portfolio.
As an Austin financial advisor, I can confirm I’ve never spoke with anyone that gets excited about losing money from their investments. However, markets don’t go straight up. Recognizing losses from tax-loss harvesting creates tax benefits that can help your overall financial picture. In the short-term, market volatility produces opportunities to recognize investment losses. A diversified portfolio won’t have as many opportunities to recognize investment losses with a long-term time horizon. How do investors maintain their overall portfolio while recognizing losses?