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The End of Low Volatility

Whether you view Friday’s stock market sell-off as an adjustment to permit the markets to climb higher on a more solid base, or were nervous about the sharp short term “loss” of unrealized gains, it’s clear that the stock market’s meteoric, historically-long winning streak hit a bump in the road this week.

Draw downs and sell-offs are normal, but they are still painful when they occur. The market calls it a “correction” but, to the individual investor seeing their net worth drop, it never feels “correct,” particularly since it’s impossible to accurately predict when the volatility and the draw down in prices will end.

It’s hard for anyone to really anticipate what their own risk tolerance will be until it’s put to the test. In moments of calm, we all want to think we’ll have the presence of mind to remember that the market is cyclical and that downturns and corrections are often an opportunity. Things might look a little different though, if your child’s 529 plan funds just shrank, or if you’re nearing retirement and are counting on an IRA and a 401K, or if you were just about to take some earnings to finance an important project.

Notice how you felt on Monday as the market dropped again: it’s a good insight into your current risk tolerance.

Market values have increased dramatically in the last few years and in 2017 in particular. This current market volatility comes after the longest period in history without a correction and with remarkably low volatility. As a result, Friday’s sell off and Monday’s drop may have been a bit of a shock, even though a 5% drop was not unusual as recently as 2016. That makes it particularly difficult to anticipate what will happen next, in the direct short term, since investors may react unpredictably, including too many people who are driven by how they guess others will react.

There are two important things to remember when the market is volatile. The first is that volatility and risk are not the same thing: volatility is a normal variation in value, risk is the possibility that an investment will fail. The second is that it’s important to look at trends over time, not just yesterday’s news. As I said in this CNBC interview this week, this is a long-term process: you can’t be in it for just the 48-hour cycle.

Sherman Wealth Management LLC (“Sherman Wealth”) is a Registered Investment Advisor (“RIA”), located in the State of Maryland. Sherman Wealth provides asset management and related services for clients nationally. Sherman Wealth will maintain all applicable registration and licenses as required by the various states in which Sherman Wealth conducts business, as applicable. Sherman Wealth renders individualized responses to persons in a particular state only after complying with all regulatory requirements, or pursuant to an applicable state exemption or exclusion.

This web site is intended to provide general information about Sherman Wealth. It is not intended to offer investment advice. Information regarding investment products and services are provided solely to read about our investment philosophy, our strategies and to be able to contact us for further information.

This article was originally published on Shermanwealth.com

Sherman Wealth Management LLC (“Sherman Wealth”) is a Registered Investment Advisor (“RIA”), located in the State of Maryland. Sherman Wealth provides asset management and related services for clients nationally. Sherman Wealth will maintain all applicable registration and licenses as required by the various states in which Sherman Wealth conducts business, as applicable. Sherman Wealth renders individualized responses to persons in a particular state only after complying with all regulatory requirements, or pursuant to an applicable state exemption or exclusion.

This web post is intended to provide general information about Sherman Wealth. It is not intended to offer investment advice. Information regarding investment products and services are provided solely to read about our investment philosophy, our strategies and to be able to contact us for further information.

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Brad Sherman

About Brad Sherman

Brad Sherman has over a decade of experience in the financial services industry. He founded Sherman Wealth Management because he believes that every client deserves the highest level of individualized attention, regardless of their age or the size of their financial profile. He prides himself on being an advocate for his clients, providing a Fiduciary, fee-only service, designed to make clients feel comfortable with their investment choices and strategies. Brad lives in Rockville, Maryland, and enjoys football – both fantasy and real, baseball – especially his beloved Nats, and Nerf Ball with his young son.

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