Bear market or bull, investors shouldn’t make any false moves

Recent market volatility may have some investors spooked — and perhaps confused, given the otherwise good economic news of late. But ups and downs are the nature of the investing beast, financial advisors remind us, and those with money in the markets, and long time horizon, should keep calm and carry on.

“The question of whether or not there’s a bear market coming or not is really not the question an investor should be asking,” said Elliot Weissbluth, founder and CEO of HighTower Advisors. “The first thing they should ask themselves is, do they have a professional giving them advice?”

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Working with an investment professional can help investors manage their emotions over market gyrations and keep their eyes on the long-term investing prize, noted Tom Stringfellow, president of Frost Investment Advisors, who described current market conditions as a “rolling correction period.”

“Clients are nervous about volatility,” he said. “You have to always look at your investment objective and where you want to be over the next few years.”

Where you want to be, and not where the market happens to be at today, is key.

“Obviously we’re seeing some corrections happen today … [and] obviously we’re going to have some period in the future, who knows exactly when, when we’re going to have more corrections,” said Weissbluth. “The most important thing is, are you managing your own assets on behalf of your own sort of emotional state vis-à-vis the market?”

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