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How Investors & Advisors are Staying on Track in Uncertain Times

How do you stay on track with your investments this year, given everything else that’s going on? 

Many investors have made real progress on their financial goals, despite all that’s changed in 2020. What’s their secret? 

We asked FundX Insights readers to tell us what’s helped them move forward in 2020’s uncertain markets, and we’re sharing six of their investment wins in the hopes that it inspires you to do the same in your accounts. 

You’ll learn ways to make your investments easier to manage and get tips to help you stay invested if recent volatility continues.

If you’ve been distracted from your investments this year, these ideas could help you get back on track. And if your investments are already in good shape, you’ll learn how you can put your investing expertise to good use.

Six smart investing tips from investors like you

1. Simplify your investments 

Many investors looked for ways to make their investments easier to manage. “I have cleaned up our funds and reduced the overall number of funds to a more manageable handful,” Mary K. told us.  

Ralph W. said he invested in one of the funds of funds that we manage: “it requires no changes by the investor with market changes.” 

2. Focus on staying invested

It wasn’t easy to stay invested in 2020, but those who stuck with stocks through the bear market decline were rewarded. “I stayed the course in equities this entire year, and am so glad I did!” longtime FundX member Greg K. said.

What helped these investors stick with their plans? Some pointed to their allocation to stocks and bonds. Others said they’d learned from past experience: “After surviving the 2009 market crash by staying invested and thriving with the following 10-year bull market, I was certain it was the correct response for this uncertain market, too,” an investor told us.

One investor credited our longtime Upgrading investment approach for helping him stay disciplined: “With Upgrading, I feel comfortable enough not to panic during the downturns,” said Thomas W., a subscriber to our investment newsletter since 2003. 

3. Look for ways to get some peace of mind

You may probably find it easier to stay invested if you can reduce your investment worries, so look for ways that you can get a little more peace of mind about your finances. For some investors, that means keeping a little more in cash. “I increased my cash position to about 8% and it really relaxed my mind,” an investor said. 

Nemesio M. decided to make a short-term change to his allocation given concerns about the election: “I have just lowered my investment to around 80% for each account, due to uncertainty of the stock market before Election Day.”

Others turned to less volatile investments, like bond funds, to help them manage risk and stay on track through volatile markets. “Bond ETFs have been a great stabilizer,” Paula O. said.

“I've been moving the gains in equities mostly into bond funds,” Michael H. told us. 

4. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back

Investors acknowledged their fears about investing in such uncertain times. They’re worried about the outcome of the presidential election. They’re concerned about how to generate income with bond yields so low. And they’re nervous about how the stock markets (and their portfolios) are so concentrated in technology stocks. But they haven’t let uncertainty stop them from getting and staying invested. 

5. Get help if you need it

You don’t have to manage your investments on your own. There are many great investment resources available today that can help streamline your investment decisions and navigate today’s changing markets. 

Some investors told us they followed the model portfolios in our investment newsletter. Others said they used charting websites to track their funds and ETFs. One investor said he reached out to an advisor this year, even though he usually manages his own money. 

6. Share your expertise with your kids or grandkids

If your investments are in order, then this could be an opportunity to share your wealth of knowledge with the young people in your life. 

Cesar C. had one of our favorite investing wins: “I talked to my children about the value of compound interest and investing early and often.  When the market declined earlier this year they took advantage and added more to their brokerage account. They also selected a stock or mutual fund and did a research project on why it would be a good investment,” he said.

An inside look at how FundX wealth managers are helping their clients move forward

Curious what investment advisors are doing to help clients this year? We asked FundX’s team of investment advisors and wealth managers what they’re doing to lately help their clients move forward, and here’s what they had to say: 

Helping clients gain the confidence they need to get invested

“I’ve been helping many of my clients reconcile their fear of market sell-offs with their desire for steady growth. Often we’ve adopted a plan to get invested again in funds and ETFs that are less correlated to the stock and bond markets.” - Janet Brown, FundX CEO. 

“I have a client who is pretty risk-averse, but he needs to own stocks to meet his investment goals. So I developed a plan to get his five accounts invested gradually over the next few months, determining how often to invest his assets and which accounts to invest first. And that’s given him the confidence to take those important first steps back into the market.” -  Sean McKeon, investment advisor.

Helping clients and their families use their wealth for good

“A longtime client of mine passed away last fall. He had a substantial estate, so I’ve been working with a team of people, including the family, their CPA and lawyers, to help manage the estate. I’m also helping my late client’s wife use her wealth to meet her financial goals, which includes supporting a nonprofit foundation that she and her late husband had started together. And his daughter recently became a client, too." - Marty DeVault, investment advisor. 

Providing financial planning to help clients retire comfortably

“I created a financial plan for a new client who had been saving for retirement, but she didn’t know how much she might need to live comfortably or when she’d be able to retire. We discovered that she’s in much better shape than she realized, and she’s now looking to retire in the next year.” - Rohan Nayak, certified financial planner and investment advisor. 

Returning and reinvesting IRA distributions to keep retirees on track

A client of mine had taken a required minimum distribution (RMD) from an inherited IRA earlier this year, and initially we weren’t able to return these RMDs. Given the new guidance from the IRS this summer, we were able to return his RMD and get him reinvested in time to capitalize on some of the market’s gains." - Dan Cozano, investment advisor. 

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