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Connors: Five tips to reduce financial stress within a fluctuating market

Martin F. Connors Jr. is the president & CEO of Rollstone Bank & Trust. (COURTESY ROLLSTONE BANK & TRUST)
Martin F. Connors Jr. is the president & CEO of Rollstone Bank & Trust. (COURTESY ROLLSTONE BANK & TRUST)

Wall Street’s whipsaw fluctuations could send even the savviest financial advisor running for the Alka Seltzer.

Rising and falling stock prices can also be worrisome for investors who are seeking to use that money toward a life goal, such as purchasing a house or cashing out for retirement.

They say you only lose money when you sell low, but there are a few other things you can do to also lower your stress level and properly manage your investments:

Don’t panic

Emotional choices are usually poor ones. Unforeseen events happen, so it’s important to make decisions with a calm state of mind and a long-term perspective. Create a list of your plans and goals to constantly remind you of what to accomplish for the future.

Focus on what you can control

The market can’t be predicted or controlled, but your personal habits can be. Ensure that you are not overspending and that your budgets are meeting your needs. Track your weekly spending periods and reduce spending when needed.

Buy low

Even though your portfolio value may be down, it’s also an ideal time to shop for bargains or just bulk up your current holdings. When the market goes back up, you will reap the rewards.

Avoid background noise

When unsure of what to do during this time, it is common to look to other outside sources. Try to remember that this is your personal financial situation and to not make decisions that are outside of your plan.

Seek out someone with experience

If you are confused on what the best course of action is, ask for advice from a professional. Whether it is a financial advisor or a peer who has experienced this firsthand, talking with someone who understands the market can provide clarity. Have them outline different strategies that fit your personal financial situation and steer you towards the best course of action.

Most importantly, know that this too shall pass. The question is: how will you ensure you will be better off when it does?

Martin F. Connors Jr. is the president & CEO of Rollstone Bank & Trust.

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