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How to Create a Disciplined Investment Plan

Markets will always go up and down, and that is a fact of life that cannot be controlled. With the volatility experienced in today's market, it comes as no surprise that many people are left in an emotional whirlwind, feeling a bit uneasy, and perhaps even hesitant to enter the markets. However, as a means of survival, it is imperative to leave those emotions aside, and reacquaint yourself with some of the basic rules of investing.

Investing Basics

In times of volatile market fluctuations, it is a good idea to review the basic concepts of investing. Diversification and asset allocation may prove to be useful investment strategies to follow during times of market instability. Diversification can help an investor manage risk, and reduce the volatility of an asset's price movements. In basic terms, diversification is the process of spreading a portfolio among major asset categories such as bonds, stocks or cash. Another good rule of thumb is to avoid investing too much of your retirement plan in your company stock. Remember though, no matter how diversified your portfolio is, risk can never be eliminated completely.

Asset Allocation

We have all heard the term but what exactly is it? It is systematic allocation of the client's investments across asset classes, with the objective of maximizing returns for the amount of risk taken. Asset allocation helps to reduce the risk of market fluctuations, because as some assets' value may go down, others may go up and offset losses. Asset allocation may seem a bit confusing at first, but it really isn't. No one mix of assets is right for everyone all the time. Be sure to work with a financial professional to choose the appropriate mix of investments for your goals and investment needs.

Surviving Uncertainty

Surviving a down market can be very difficult and discouraging, but there are various strategies to implement today that may help to reduce the impact in the future Some of those strategies may include:

  • Formulate a well-defined investment plan and stay on course.
  • When making investment decisions, think long-term, as opposed to short-term.
  • Think of a down market as a buying opportunity
  • Consider working with a financial advisor

Who Can Help Me?

Are you unsure about the diversification of your portfolio? Now may be a great time to visit your local credit union, and meet with your financial advisor for a portfolio checkup. You can revisit your portfolio together and check to see if you are properly diversified. You can also decide if your current portfolio still matches with your long-term financial goals. To learn more about working with a financial advisor, contact your credit union!


Have You Read...

Navigate The Noise: Investing in the New Age of Media and Hype, by Richard Bernstein.


More information...

Please visit these sources for more information:
http://www.thestreet.com/topic/47481/how-to-invest.html
http://investor.gov/investing-basics


* Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. UFCU has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

May 2016

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