5 Things You Shouldn’t Do During a Recession

In a sluggish economy or an outright recession, it is best to watch your spending and not take undue risks that could put your financial goals in jeopardy. What happens to the economy during a recession can negatively impact your personal finances and wealth. However, by being prepared and taking a few simple steps to reduce your risks, you can improve your chances of weathering the financial decline. Below are some of the financial risks everyone should avoid taking during a recession. 

Key Takeaways

  • When the economy is in a recession, financial risks increase, including the risk of default, business failure, and bankruptcy.
  • Avoid increasing, and if possible reduce, your exposure to these financial risks.
  • For example, you’ll want to avoid becoming a cosigner on a loan, taking out an adjustable-rate mortgage, and taking on new debt—all of which can increase your financial risk during a recession.
  • If you’re an employee, you’ll want to do everything you can to safeguard your job, such as performing top-notch work and improving your productivity.
  • If you’re a business owner, you might need to postpone spending on capital improvements and taking on new debt until the recovery has begun.

Becoming a Cosigner

Cosigning a loan can be a very risky thing to do even in flush economic times. If the individual taking the loan does not make the scheduled payments, the cosigner could be responsible to make them instead. During an economic downturn, the risks associated with cosigning a note are even greater, since the person taking out the loan has a higher chance of losing their job—not to mention the cosigner’s own elevated risk of ending up unemployed.

Cosigning potentially leaves you on the hook for the life of a loan. Consider other ways to help the borrower if you can.

That said, you may find it necessary to cosign for a family member or close friend regardless of what is happening in the economy. In such cases, it pays to have some money set aside as a cushion. Or, instead of cosigning, it may even be preferable to assist with a down payment or other types of assistance rather than leaving yourself on the hook for a cosigned loan on an ongoing basis. 

Taking out an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage

When purchasing a home, you may choose to take out an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). In some cases, this move makes sense (as long as interest rates are low, the monthly payment will stay low as well). Interest rates usually fall early in a recession, then later rise as the economy recovers. This means that the adjustable rate for a loan taken out during a recession is nearly certain to rise. 

While interest rates usually fall early in a recession, credit requirements are often strict, making it challenging for some borrowers to qualify for the best interest rates and loans.

But consider the worst-case scenario: You lose your job and interest rates rise as the recession starts to abate. Your monthly payments could go up, making it extremely difficult to keep up with the payments. Late payments and non-payment can, in turn, have an adverse impact on your credit rating, making it more difficult to obtain a loan in the future.

Instead, assuming you have decent credit, a recession may be a good time to lock in a lower fixed rate on a mortgage refinance, if you qualify. However, be cautious about taking on new debt until you see signs the economy is recovering.

Taking on New Debt

Taking on new debt—such as a car loan, home loan, or student debt—need not be a problem in good times when you can make enough money to cover monthly payments and still save for retirement. But when the economy takes a turn for the worse, risks increase, including the risk that you will be laid off. If that happens, you may have to take a job—or jobs—that pay less than your previous salary, which could eat into your ability to pay your debt.

In short, if you are considering adding debt to your financial equation, understand that this could complicate your financial situation if you are laid off or have your income cut for some reason. Taking on new debt in a recessionary environment is risky and should be approached with caution. In the worst-case scenario, it could even contribute to bankruptcy. Pay cash if you can, or wait on big new purchases.

Taking Your Job for Granted

During an economic slowdown, it is important to understand that even large corporations can come under financial pressure, leading them to reduce expenses any way they can. That could mean scaling back on operating expenses, cutting dividends, or shedding jobs.

Because jobs become so vulnerable during a recession, employees should do all they can to make sure their employer has a favorable opinion of them. Coming to work early, staying late, and doing top-notch work at all times is no guarantee that your job will be safe, but doing those things does increase your chances of staying on the payroll. From an employer’s perspective, it makes more sense to cut marginal workers rather than reduce hours or wages for their more productive employees. Make sure that you are not a marginal worker.

Taking Risks With Investments

This tip applies to business owners. While you should always be thinking about the future and investing in growing your business, an economic slowdown may not be the best time to make risky bets. Early on in a recession is not the time to stick your neck out. Later, as soon as the economy starts to show signs of sustainable recovery, is the time to start thinking big when prices for capital purchases and labor costs for new hiring are low. 

Especially avoid investment projects that would require you to take on new debt to finance.

For example, taking on a new loan to add physical floor space or to increase inventory may sound appealing—particularly since interest rates are likely to be low during a recession. But if business slows down—another side effect of recessions—you may not have enough leftover at the end of the month to pay interest and principal on time. Wait until interest rates just start to tick upward and leading economic indicators for your market or industry turn up

The Bottom Line

There’s no need to live a monk’s existence during an economic slowdown, but you should pay extra attention to spending and be wary of taking any unnecessary risks. Even in the midst of a significant economic downturn, there are many positive steps you can take to improve your situation and recession-proof your life. These include implementing a realistic budget, establishing an emergency fund, and generating additional sources of income.

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Bad Credit Getting a Home Equity Loan With Bad Credit Mortgage Adjustable-Rate Mortgage: What Happens When Interest Rates Go Up Home Equity 5 Ways a Home-Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Can Hurt You Real Estate Investing The Risk of Subprime Mortgages by a New Name Purchasing A Home Financing Basics For First-Time Homebuyers Mortgage How To Find the Best Mortgage Rates

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Understanding Recessions

Effect on the Economy

Effect on Businesses

Investing During a Recession

History of Recessions

Recession Terms A-F

Recession Terms G-Z

The Shapes of Recession Recovery

Council Post: How To Prepare For The Recession As A Real Estate Investor

It seems like all the talk these days is centered around the inevitable recession. I see an article every day claiming that the end is near. Recently, the yield curve inverted, which many point to as a strong indicator of an oncoming recession. But, there are also many experts who claim the economy is strong. They cite strong growth, spending, development and other indicators to support their theory. No matter which way you lean, it is inevitable that there will be a market correction/recession at some point. It’s impossible to say for sure when or how bad it will be.

As a real estate investor, you want to be prepared for when it does happen. If you think back to the last crash in 2008, the best deals were the years after that. If you had capital, you made a lot of money. It almost didn’t even matter what you bought because prices were so insanely low. What I’ve heard most from investors looking back at it is, “I wish I would’ve bought more properties.”

Even though you can’t predict when it will happen, you can still take steps to get prepared. If you’re prepared, you’ll be able to capitalize. Let’s go over how people will be affected during the recession.

Sellers

In a recession, there will be many more distressed sellers than there are today. Since the last downturn, sellers have been able to refinance or sell if they got in a tight spot because of appreciation. Since prices will be going down, many will not have enough equity to refinance or sell. They’ll have to face foreclosure or a short sale. The sellers who do have equity will want to sell out of fear that they’ll lose their equity if they wait any longer.

Flippers

Many flippers will have exited the market. Prior to the recession actually happening, they’ll notice inventory rising, days on market increasing and their properties selling for less than anticipated. As a result, their margins will tighten. They may lose money or simply not make the return needed to justify the risk. Therefore, there will be far fewer flippers than you see today.

Wholesalers

Many wholesalers will leave the market. Even though there are more distressed sellers, there are fewer sellers with equity. They’ll notice that there aren’t as many flippers to sell to anymore either. The flippers who have weathered the storm will ask for significant discounts in order to do a deal. Wholesalers’ margins will begin to tighten to the point where it doesn’t make sense to spend marketing dollars anymore.

Contractors

Contractors will not have as many job opportunities since there will be fewer people buying and renovating homes. In order to get jobs, they will have to lower their prices to stay busy.

Real Estate Agents

With fewer buyers and sellers in the marketplace, there will be more competition to acquire clients. Real estate agents will have to spend more marketing dollars to attract them or take discounted commissions.

All these people play a vital role in real estate investing. You should ask yourself where you fit in with all of this. What’s the best position to be in?

The answer: become a cash investor.

In today’s market there are a lot of cash investors, but many will be wiped out or scared during the recession. So there will be far less competition in all aspects of real estate investing. The cash investors who do stay in it will own the market during a recession. With cash, you have many options. You can choose to flip homes with little competition. You can buy a bunch of discounted rentals and build your portfolio. Or you can lend the money to operators and have them do all the work for you.

Again, the No. 1 regret people told me they had after the last recession was that they didn’t buy enough homes. It wasn’t that they wish they would’ve wholesaled more homes or sold more homes as an agent. The person actually buying homes is the one who thrives in the recession.

The cash investor will be able to buy directly from all the motivated sellers with less competition. They’ll be able to buy from wholesalers at deeper discounts because there are more deals than money. They’ll be able to get cheaper labor from contractors because they’ll be one of the only sources of consistent work, and agents will work harder to find deals for cash investors because there will be fewer retail clients.

As you prepare for an oncoming recession, the most important thing you can do is become a cash investor. Here are a few ways how:

• If you have properties or assets, consider selling some so that you have more liquidity.

• If you’re a wholesaler or real estate agent, look into raising capital so that you can start buying the deals you find.

• If you’re a flipper, start building more relationships and using more lenders now so a trusting relationship is in place before the recession hits.

We don’t know when the next recession will be, but it doesn’t really matter. You should be preparing as if it could be tomorrow. Figure out how you can become a cash investor, and you will be ready for it.

Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?

Ryan Pineda is the CEO of Homerun Offer.

Source: Council Post: How To Prepare For The Recession As A Real Estate Investor

Lets talk about a potential recession, what might happen, and how you can best prepare – enjoy! Add me on Instagram: GPStephan – Avocado Toast Merch: https://bit.ly/2DhFyo3 GET $50 OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME WITH COUPON CODE: THANKYOU50 The Real Estate Agent Academy: Learn how to start and grow your career as a Real Estate Agent to a Six-Figure Income, how to best build your network of clients, expand into luxury markets, and the exact steps I’ve used to grow my business from $0 to over $125 million in sales: https://goo.gl/UFpi4c Join the private Real Estate Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/there… So first, lets talk about what’s influencing the market and what factors we should be made aware of: The first is rising interest rates: This means that the cost of borrowing money is expected to INCREASE over the next few years. When borrowing gets more expensive, you either need to RAISE prices to keep the profit margins the same – which means things get more expensive to you as the customer. Second, we’ve begun seeing the warning signs of the INVERTED YEILD CURVE – which, according to just about every article out there, the inverted yield curve has historically been associated with a high likelihood of upcoming recession. Third, we have the tariffs and the uncertainty surrounding what may or may not happen. And when it comes to investments, the ONE thing all investors dislike is UNCERTAINTY. When people are UNCERTAIN, they don’t invest, they hold cash…and that causes stock prices to fall. And fourth…we’re seeing a slow down in nearly all markets. Here’s what I think is going to happen… First, I’ve noticed QUITE a lot of what I call “gamblers fallacy.” This is the expectation that the market will drop, JUST because we’ve been in the longest bull market in HISTORY and that means it’s “overdue” and more likely to happen. Second, I believe that a lot of our “Recession Talk” is already SOMEWHAT factored into the price. Think of all the people NOT investing right now because they want to wait for lower prices…that is, in itself, self fulfilling and lowering prices. And third…no one, including myself, knows whats going to happen. No ONE. And fourth, you have so many false news articles designed to APPEAR like credible new sources so they get pumped through Facebook and Blogs for the sole purpose of manipulating you into buying their products. Well here’s the reality: First, NO ONE can predict when a recession will happen. We’ve been seeing these articles since 2013 from people who claim the recession is coming any month now. It’s never ending. You’ll read about this one expert predicting something, then another expert predicting something else, and they keep repeating themselves until eventually, one of them is right. Then they use that credibility of being right ONCE to propel them into the next opportunity. Second, it’s important you PREPARE for a recession in ways you can CONTROL: First, you CAN control whether or not you keep a 3-6 month fund in the event you lose your job or something unexpected comes up. This is absolutely ESSENTIAL for you to do. Second, you CAN control whether or not to have too many outstanding debts that might need to be paid down. If you’re over leveraged, or if you have high interest debt, it’s in your best interest to pay those off to free up cashflow in the event of a downturn. Third, you CAN control how much you spend…if you’re spending is too high, it’s important to cut those back so that you can save more money to invest. And when you DO invest, invest long term. Ideally, these are investments you should plan to keep 10-20 years. For me, I see lower prices as an opportunity. And to alleviate some of these concerns, you don’t need to just drop ALL of your money in the market at once…buy a small amount each and every month. This way, if the price goes down..you’re buying in cheaper and cheaper over time. If it goes up, you’re buying in little bit little…and anytime when it comes to investing, slow and steady wins the race. This isn’t about making an immediate 10% profit in a month…this is about investing for your future in a slow, stable way where you don’t feel stressed whether the market goes up or down. For business or one-on-one real estate investing/real estate agent consulting inquiries, you can reach me at GrahamStephanBusiness@gmail.com My ENTIRE Camera and Recording Equipment: https://www.amazon.com/shop/grahamste… Favorite Credit Cards: Chase Ink 80k Bonus Point Offer – https://www.referyourchasecard.com/21… American Express Platinum – http://refer.amex.us/GRAHASOxHd?XLINK…

3 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Company & Why Right Now Is the Best Time to Do It

David Barrett survived the Great Recession by making his business as boring as possible.In 2007, the founder and CEO of Expensify was trying to launch a prepaid debit card that would enable–and hopefully encourage–charitable giving to panhandlers in San Francisco. But, as forecasts of economic turmoil mounted, investors were interested only in ideas that sounded “sane and reasonable,” he says. So Barrett started pitching the safest related product he could imagine: an automated expense-report management system.

That worked; Barrett secured enough money to quit his full-time job in April 2008. He still intended to pursue the card idea, but soon hit a production snag–and with the economy in free fall, Barrett recalls thinking, “Shit, I really need to make a business out of this right now.” So he doubled down on business-expense management.

Almost 1.4 million small businesses with employees closed from 2008 through 2010, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Expensify, now with five offices and a staff of 120, wasn’t one of them–a feat Barrett attributes to those pre-recession pivots. They taught him to “build a product that is needed in a downturn,” he says. “Sell aspirin, not vitamins.”

Recession war stories may seem out of place during this prolonged period of economic growth, but there are signs that a slowdown is on the way. A June 2019 survey from the National Association for Business Economics put the risks of a recession beginning before the end of 2020 at 60 percent. A third of the 2019 Inc. 5000 CEOs expect a recession to begin this or next year, with another third bracing for one in 2021. Whenever the downturn hits, these steps can help your business weather it.

Fundraise.

Build your cash reserves while you can. Serial entrepreneur Mitch Grasso had a potential downturn in the back of his mind while raising capital for his latest venture, Beautiful.ai. The presentation software company raised $11 million in Series B funding in March 2018, just 17 months after a $5.25 million Series A round. “I chose to raise money earlier than I would have otherwise, even though it cost me probably a little more” in terms of valuation, says Grasso. “If there’s money on the table, take it sooner rather than later. You’ll always find a way to spend it.”

Conduct consumer research.

You might not be able to pivot your entire business model, so figure out what products and services your customers will need even in poor conditions, says Carlos Castelán, managing director of the Navio Group, a retail business consulting firm.

Ryan Iwamoto, co-founder of caregiving service 24 Hour Home Care, started asking his customers for their input when the federal government introduced sweeping rules for home health care agencies in 2016. He wanted to be “the first in market to educate them on all the regulations coming down in our industry,” Iwamoto says. “It allowed us to build better relationships”–and has helped boost his company’s revenue by more than 68 percent since the law changed, he reports.

Ink multiyear contracts with clients, not vendors.

Earlier this year, during a regular assessment of her company’s revenue targets, Sandi Lin considered the potential impact of an economic slowdown. The co-founder and CEO of Skilljar was happy to discover half of the customer training platform’s revenue was on multiyear contracts, meaning “at least theoretically, that even if all of our other customers went bankrupt,” Skilljar would have some runway–and less pressure to scramble for new business.

Lin applies the opposite approach for vendor contracts; while Skilljar is sponsoring a major customer conference this fall, she negotiated a minimal commitment on room nights and seats with the hotel and venue. Which is a smart business practice in good times, too; as Lin says, “the most important job of an entrepreneur is to survive.”

By: Jeanine Skowronski

Source: 3 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Company–and Why Right Now Is the Best Time to Do It

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Wall Street Wants You To Sell Now. Buy This 7% Dividend Instead

The most reliable recession indicator in the world just flashed red—and it’s actually setting us up for 33%+ gains in the next two years.

A contradiction? Sure sounds like it.

But history tells us we can expect a fast return like this when the economy and stock market look exactly like they do right now.

I’ve got two ways for you to grab a piece of the action, one of which even hands us a growing 7% cash dividend.

And when I say “growing,” I mean it: this already-huge cash stream has grown 96% in the last 15 years, and it’s backed by the strongest stocks in America (I’m talking about the 30 names on the Dow Jones Industrial Average), so there’s plenty more to come.

More on this cash-rich fund shortly. First, we need to talk about the “recession signal” everyone’s panicking about.

Recession Alert: Red

That would be the yield curve, which just “inverted” for the first time since 2007. This means the 2-year Treasury was briefly yielding more than the 10-year Treasury.

That shift grabbed a lot of headlines because every time the 2-year has yielded more than the 10-year, a recession has followed (though there’s typically a long time lag).

However, there’s a hugely important detail the mainstream crowd is forgetting—and that’s where the 33% gain I mentioned off the top comes in. I’m talking about what happened in 1998, when, like today, the yield curve briefly inverted, then “uninverted.”

What happened then?

Stocks exploded 33% post-inversion before a recession did eventually arrive.

Why the big jump? Because 1998 was unlike most periods of an inverted yield curve: shortly after the yields flipped, the Federal Reserve started cutting interest rates—and that’s exactly the situation we’re in today.

This is the opposite of what happened when the yield curve inverted in 1989, 2000 and again in 2006. During those periods, the Fed kept raising rates, and economists say those hikes made recessions worse—or even started them in the first place.

Only in 1998 did the Fed respond to the inverted yield curve by starting to cut rates—and then, when the central bank went back to raising rates two years later, the recession followed in about a year.

Funny thing is, no one is talking about this right now, and it’s critical, because it tells us that the chances of a recession in the near term largely depend on what the Fed does. And with the Fed now cutting rates, a recession could be delayed for over two years. And that means letting fear get the better of you and moving to the sidelines now could cause you to miss out on a double-digit gain.

Here’s something else that tells us a recession is nowhere near: earnings blew out expectations in the second quarter, and analysts now expect profits to grow in the third quarter of 2019. Sales are still up about 4% across the board for S&P 500 companies, and US GDP growth is slated to come in above 2% this year.

This is where the two funds I want to show you today come in—they position you to profit if it’s 1998 all over again, but, just in case things do take a sudden downward turn, they build in a bit of protection, too.

The first (but not my favorite) fund is a plain-vanilla ETF, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), which, as the name says, holds the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Because of its large-cap focus, the Dow largely tends to track the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) when stocks rise, and it falls less in a declining market.

However, you’re missing a far more important piece of downside protection when you go with DIA: a strong income stream (DIA yields just 2.1% as I write this). And a serious dividend is critical when the next downturn hits, especially if you’re counting on your portfolio to fund your lifestyle. That’ s because a strong dividend reduces the need to sell your holdings in a crash—at fire-sale prices—to access cash.

This is where a closed-end fund (CEF) like the Nuveen Dow 30 Dynamic Overwrite Fund (DIAX) really shines. DIAX also holds the “Dow 30”: household names like Home Depot (HD), McDonald’s (MCD) and Apple (AAPL), but with a big difference from DIA: a 7% dividend yield—over three times bigger than DIA’s payout.

Plus, it offers something few high-yield stocks and funds do: a dividend that’s growing.

Holding DIAX will get you exposure to stocks, no matter what happens, and an income stream you can depend on. That’s a lot better than letting yield-curve fears force you to the sidelines—where you’ll miss out on solid returns.

Michael Foster is the Lead Research Analyst for Contrarian Outlook. For more great income ideas, click here for our latest report “Indestructible Income: 5 Bargain Funds with Safe 8.5% Dividends.”

Disclosure: none

I have worked as an equity analyst for a decade, focusing on fundamental analysis of businesses and portfolio allocation strategies. My reports are widely read by analysts and portfolio managers at some of the largest hedge funds and investment banks in the world, with trillions of dollars in assets under management. Michael has been traveling the world since 1999 and has no plans to stop. So far, he’s lived in NYC, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Seoul, Bangkok, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. He received his Ph.D. in 2008 and continues to offer consulting services to institutional investors and ultra high net worth individuals.

Source: Wall Street Wants You To Sell Now. Buy This 7% Dividend Instead

A Recession Won’t Wreck Your Retirement…But This Will

Here is what matters if you’ve made it and want to keep it.Do the financial markets have your attention? I assume so. After all, Wednesday’s 800-point drop in the Dow was the worst day in the U.S. stock market this year. And while many investors missed it, the December 2018 plunge in stock prices capped off a 20% decline which started in October. That could have put a big divot in the plans of folks recently retired or in the late stages of their careers.

Stumbling at the finish line?

Demographics tell us that there is massive group of people who are between 55 and 70 years old. They are the majority of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Many of them have built very nice nest eggs, thanks to a robust U.S. economy over the last 40 years. That period of technological innovation and globalization of the economy also produced four decades of generally falling interest rates. That’s provided a historic opportunity to build wealth, if you saved well and invested patiently.

But now here we are, with a stock market near all-time highs and interest rates crashing toward zero. The tailwind that lifted Baby Boomers in their “accumulation” years may flip to a headwind, just in time for them to start using the money.

Focus on what matters

At this stage of their investment life, Baby Boomers are tempted from all directions. They are told to bank on index funds, 60/40 portfolios, structured products and private partnerships. And, while there are merits to each, I am telling you what I see as someone who has been hanging around investment markets since this Baby Boomer was a Wall Street rookie in the beloved World Trade Center in NYC: much of it is bunk. It’s a distraction. It’s a sales pitch.

Take these over-hyped attempts by wealth management firms to boost their bottom line and scale their businesses, and bring your attention to your own priorities. Today, as much as any time in the past 10 years, your focus should be on true risk-management.

That does not necessarily mean running to cash. That is an outright timing move, and it borders on speculation. But it does mean that the intended use of your accumulated assets (when you need it, how much you need, and how you will navigate the markets of the future) should be

inward-looking. It should not be based on trying to guess what the stock market is going to do.

Rate cut? Check. Inversion? Check. Giant stock market drop? We’ll see.

uncaptioned
Source: ycharts.com

The big news on Wednesday was the “inversion” of a closely-watched part of the U.S. Treasury yield curve. Translated to English, that means for the first time since 2007, U.S. Bonds maturing in 10 years yielded less than those due in 2 years. This is far from the first inversion we have seen between different areas of the Treasury market. However, it is the one that is most widely-followed as a recession warning signal.

The chart above shows 3 things that were essentially in sync around the time the last 2 stock bear markets began. The 10-2 spread inverted, but then quickly reverted to normal. The Fed cut interest rates for the first time in a while. And, the S&P 500 peaked in value, and fell over 40% from that peak.

Let that sink in, given what we have witnessed in just the past 2 weeks. Then, fast-forward to today, where we find ourselves in a very similar situation regarding inversion and the Fed. See this chart below:

uncaptioned
Source:ycharts.com

What stands out the most to me in that chart is how the spread between the 10-year and 2-year yields is almost perfectly opposite that of the S&P 500’s price movement. That is, when the 10-2 spread is dropping, the S&P 500 is usually moving higher. But when that spread starts to rise, at it is likely to soon, the S&P 500 falls…hard. As a career chartist, I just can’t ignore that.

I have been writing about the threat of an eventual “10-2 inversion” in Forbes.com since April, 2017. It finally happened this week, 19 months into what increasingly looks like a period of muted returns for investors. That is, if they follow rules identical to those they followed for the past 10 years.

Recessions are bad, but this is worse

We saw on display this week what I have been talking about since early last year: that it will not take the declaration of a recession to tip the global stock market into a panic-driven selloff that rips through retirement efforts. All that is needed is for stock prices to follow through to the downside is to actually see the market react to the preponderance of evidence that has been building for a while now.

In other words, it is the market’s fear of the future (recession) and not the actual event that is most important. By the time a recession is officially declared, you won’t need to react. The damage will already be done.

Specifically, a slowing global economy, excessive “easy money” policies by the Fed and its global counterparts, and a frenzied U.S. political environment. This has shaken investor confidence, and now the only thing that ultimately matters in your retirement portfolio: the prices/values of the securities you own, is under pressure.

What to do about it

First, don’t fall prey to the hoards of market commentators whose livelihood depends on progressively higher stock prices. Corrections are not always healthy, diversification is often a ruse, and long-term investing is for 25 year-olds!

For those who have “fought the good fight” to get to the precipice of a retirement they have darn well earned, the last thing they want is to have this inanimate object (the financial markets) knock them back toward a more compromised retirement plan.

The best news about today’s investment climate is that the tools we have to navigate through them are as plentiful as ever. Even in a period of discouragingly low interest rates for folks who figured on 4-6% CDs paying their bills in retirement, bear markets in stocks and bonds can be dealt with, and even exploited for your benefit.

Bull or bear? You should not care!

Maybe this is not “the big one” that bearish pundit have been warning about. Perhaps it is just another bump in the road of a historically long bull market for both stocks and bonds. But again, market timing and headline events like 10-2 spreads, recessions and the like are not your priority.

What your priority is, if you want to improve your chances of success toward and through retirement, is something different. Namely, to get away from the jargon and hype of financial media, simplify your approach, and take a straightforward path toward preserving capital in a time of uncommon threats to your wealth. I look forward to sharing insight on that in the coming days.

Comments provided are informational only, not individual investment advice or recommendations. Sungarden provides Advisory Services through Dynamic Wealth Advisors

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I am an investment strategist and portfolio manager for high net worth families with over 30 years of industry experience. A thought-leader, book author and founder of a boutique investment advisory firm in South Florida. My work for Forbes.com aims to break investment myths and bring common sense analysis to my audience. Connect with me on Linked In, follow me on Twitter @robisbitts. Visit our website at http://www.SungardenInvestment.com

Source: A Recession Won’t Wreck Your Retirement…But This Will

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