June 16, 2020, CNBC - Although financial experts in the U.S. are predicting that the stock market is in for a roller coaster year of potentially dramatic ups and downs, they estimate that the S&P 500 will only sustain modest losses, about 3.6% for the year. The downturn will extend beyond the U.S., with those in the financial industry predicting the MSCI World Index, an equity benchmark that tracks global firms, will post a loss of 6.1%.
That’s according to a survey of 2,700 financial professionals worldwide, including 300 U.S. wealth managers, investment advisors and brokers, that Natixis Investment Managers carried out between March 16 and April 24, 2020.
For investors, especially younger ones who may not have personally experienced the markets notching an annual loss, that means they’ll need to potentially pay more attention to their investments, especially if they’re aimed at short-term goals.
“The global pandemic that we are currently facing is absolutely terrible and we should not lose sight of that. However, that should not cloud your judgment when it comes to investing,” says Mackenzie Richards, a certified financial planner (CFP) with Rhode Island-based SK Wealth Management. “Do not panic and do not be scared.”
This is the time to take a step back and determine what your investment is earmarked for and then decide if it is invested appropriately, says Ohio-based CFP Monica Dwyer.
If you’re investing for a short-term goal, such as buying a home in the next two years or creating an emergency savings cushion, then a market downturn, even a modest one, could impact your ability to achieve your goal because you may have to sell at a loss. In general, stocks tend to be more risky than other investments like bonds or than simply leaving your savings in cash.
“Short-term investors should tread lightly,” says Howard Pressman, a financial planner with Virginia-based Egan Berger & Weiner. “If your time horizon to use all or most of your money is one to five years, you probably shouldn’t be investing in stocks.”
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