As the stock market and the economy have continued to chug along, we felt it was time for a more conservative approach.  Today we talk about some of the steps we are taking to reduce investment risk for our clients.  

What's Happening Now: A More Conservative Approach (4:36)

What's On Your Mind?

Do you have a question about what’s happening in the world of finance or investing?  Is there a topic that has you curious?  We’d love to hear from  you.

 We’ll do our best to answer it in a future episode.  To submit your question, fill out the form.  If you prefer, you can send us an email directly.  That email address is

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Our Expectation: Stocks Will Act Like Stocks

We expect stocks to act like stocks. This means we believe—over the long term—they will perform well. They will generate the returns we need to improve our purchasing power and grow our assets.
It also means the growth won’t happen in a straight line. There will be periods of stress and pain along the way.
The market is at all time highs. And we haven’t seen a true bear market in over a decade. The current economic expansion is the longest on record. We felt it is time for a more conservative approach.  
Here is how we are doing it.

Step 1: Rebalancing

Rebalancing your account means we reset your asset allocation. Here is an example. A couple of years ago, John’s account had 60% of its value in stocks. The other 40% was in bonds. Because the stock market has done extremely well, the stock allocation grew to 65%.
Rebalancing his account sells some of the stock holdings and buys bonds. When complete, his allocation is reset back to 60% equity and 40% bonds.
In September, we will have an episode of Monday Morning Money about rebalancing.

Step 2: New Core Holdings

 Over the past two months, we have reviewed many of the core holdings in our portfolios. We determined several funds needed to be replaced. One of the by products of these changes was reducing some of the investment risk.
One tool we use to help measure the investment risk of our portfolios is a service called Riskalyze.  We measure the risk characteristics of the funds and ETF’s we use.  
Riskalzye also helps us to better understand how you feel about the risk and reward.  You can complete a brief survey to find your Risk Number.  There is a link below.  It costs nothing, and it takes 5 minutes or less to answer the questions.

How Much is Too Much?

How much risk can you tolerate?  Would you be uncomfortable if your portfolio was down 10% in the next six months?  What about 20% or more?  Our 5-minute risk assessment questionnaire (powered by Riskalyze) will help you identify your appetite for risk and reward.  We can then take a look at your accounts to see if your investments align with the results. 

Taxes Matter

Most of these changes will occur in IRA’s or other types of accounts which don’t create a tax bill for you. If there are changes which need to be made in a taxable account, we will call you to discuss the tax implications.

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Financial Planning

Neal Watson is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and a Financial Advisor with Fleming Watson Financial Advisors  He typically works with people who are planning for retirement.  Fleming Watson is a Registered Investment Advisory firm located in Marietta Ohio.  Our firm primarily serves Marietta, Parkersburg, Williamstown, St. Marys, Belpre, Vienna and the surrounding communities in Washington and Noble Counties in Ohio and Wood and Pleasants county in West Virginia.

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