How to Prepare Your Investments for Life After the Coronavirus
The Coronavirus pandemic brought an unwelcomed dose of damage to global health. The economic consequences caused by widespread shutdowns are another stranger we don’t want knocking at the door. While the reopening of the economy will be a welcomed change of pace, such a move comes with some inherent uncertainty. So, how do we all prepare? What does life bring after the Coronavirus?
Human nature tells us to dust ourselves off and move the ball down the field. As the economy reopens, however, our “playbook” is sure to change. Below are some other proactive retirement education and planning tips that can be helpful right now as we all prepare ourselves – and our investments – for life after the Coronavirus.
Take Stock of Your Retirement Plan and Portfolio
When a major unexpected event occurs, the first order of business is to take inventory, or assess the damage. Investors and business owners should do the same. Despite the market’s attempt at a miniature rally, the markets are likely to continue to deal with uncertainty, and recent market movements have significantly altered portfolio allocations.
Since mid-March, 1.3 million individuals filed for unemployment insurance in Texas alone. This pandemic has therefore changed the retirement plan for a significant number of Americans. A portfolio checkup is necessary to stay on track, post-pandemic.
A proper financial review enables investors to identify and confirm their financial goals. Simply crafting a plan can help find the proper balance between spending, saving and investing. Disciplined spending and saving habits, combined with a tailor-made portfolio, are the basics of an effective retirement plan.
At the bare minimum, set up a meeting with your financial advisor to evaluate your financial picture and recalibrate your investments, if necessary.
Consider a Holistic Financial Plan
Incorporating the different layers of your life into your financial plan can make them much easier to manage. This is where a financial advisor becomes increasingly valuable.
Look for a wealth management team who will seek to engage you holistically. Effective wealth planning should extend far beyond your investment portfolio. Tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning and evaluation of insurance and risk management should all be in your financial advisor’s toolbelt. Pursue an approach that considers all the components of your financial life.
A Big Boost for Business Owners
Surprisingly, 60 percent of small business owners do not work with a financial advisor.
Whether you are the only employee of your business, or if you have a hundred employees, a small business retirement plan can offer contributions that go much further than Traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs. Small business owners can benefit from tax-planning strategies, benefit packages and a specific plan for how to retire and sell a business when its time.
Selling your business, expanding your reach or passing your company down to your heirs is a big decision – 75 percent of former business owners who sold their business, regretted the decision a year later. Texas is one of the best states in America for business owners, and Linscomb & Williams has helped many entrepreneurs establish a plan that works for them.
Removing the Emotional Baggage from Money
Even the most level-headed people tend to make emotional decisions when it comes to their money. This is especially true during times of market stress. It’s understandable. You work hard for your money. You’re depending on your investments in the future. You have plans that may not come to fruition if the money isn’t there.
However, making emotional decisions is one of the biggest mistakes we see investors make. Panic is not a strategy! At Linscomb & Williams, our team is encouraging clients to stay the course with their plan, and to remain calm. The plans you’ve made with your advisor when emotions were low are designed to stand the test of time.
Replenish Your Emergency Fund
More than 22 million Americans had to stop working due to quarantine. Many others have had to work from home, some with limited hours. Because of these unexpected changes to their business or work life, many people have needed to lean on personal savings or even liquidate a portion of their investments.
When the economy opens and the workforce can operate normally, it’s important to replenish your emergency fund. Further, come up with a plan to pay off new debts.
Your rainy-day fund can protect you during unexpected financial emergencies – that’s what it was set up to do – but it needs to be replenished when dipped into. An emergency fund can be the difference between keeping your financial life afloat and falling into financial distress.
If you’ve depleted your savings during this pandemic, see if you can save up three to six months of expenses when the economy reopens.
Don’t Fall Back on Your Investments
Remember, your investment portfolio is a growth engine. It helps you reach your future goals. If the lockdown forced you to sell off some of your portfolio to cover your living expenses, it’s important to rebuild your portfolio.
Additionally, remember to continue contributing to your 401(k) or Individual Retirement Accounts, even if your retirement investments have lost value. The pandemic has caused widespread damage to individuals and the overall economy, but it’s critical that you start off on the right foot when the smoke begins to clear. Adding to investment balances when prices are lower is a proven strategy to enhance your long-term goals.
Be Ready for Recovery
It is still unclear when everyday life will get completely back to normal. Nevertheless, you can equip yourself with an effective financial plan, portfolio strategy, and proactive retirement plan. Working with a financial advisor you can trust should leave you better prepared for life after the Coronavirus.
If you’re not currently working with a financial advisor or are ready for a second opinion, contact us. Linscomb & Williams has nearly 50 years of experience helping individuals in the Houston, Texas area with their financial planning needs. We’re here for you, whether you’re a current client or not.