The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 14, 2013

The Color of Money: Tips to outlast the crisis


     Q: Should I be doing something different with my investments?

     A: Chris Horymski, associate editor for Consumer Reports: "We've been advising the same, long-term passive investing approach as always, precisely because of events like these. Staying diversified among asset classes, which means owning both stocks and bonds, and not trying to guess the outcome of whatever happens in Washington, is usually the best course of action."

     Q: Is there anything I should do about my retirement plan? I'm scared.

     A: Don Blandin, president and chief executive of the Investor Protection Trust: "The evidence from recent market downturns is clear. Investors who panicked on bad news and took their money out ended up returning too late to realize profits when the markets bounced back. The real danger of 'overreacting' is not at the moment of crisis -- it's days, weeks or months later when the market comes back and you are still sitting on the sidelines with your cash.

     "The best solution for long-term investors is to stop obsessing about day-in, day-out ups and downs. You are much better off buckling in for the long haul.

     "Now, the one positive thing about a crisis is that it gets you focused on your investments. And that can be a very good thing. We encourage people to take stock of their portfolio every year. Figure out what is working and where it may need to change or be supplemented in some way."

     Q: What should I do if I'm near retirement?

     A: Valerie Coleman Morris, author of "It's Your Money So Take It Personally" and a financial literacy specialist: "Be vigilant. Don't loan money. Put your financial oxygen masks on and breathe. Time is not on your side for recovery, so have a personal ceiling on your spending and lending."

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