Q&A: Bear-market investing

Stock ticker symbols and numbers appear on a video screen

Key Points

  • The volatile market conditions can make it challenging to maintain your investment strategy.
  • In this Q&A, two Ameriprise experts provide insights to investors across ages and life stages.
  • Your Ameriprise advisor will help you navigate the complexities of managing your investments during a bear market.

How should you think about saving and investing in the current market conditions?

Following are excerpts from a conversation with Marcy Keckler, Vice President of Financial Advice Strategy, and Amy Diesen, Vice President of Retirement Plans.

Marcy Keckler: Given the volatile market conditions, overall how can investors think about putting money into the markets right now?

Amy Diesen: Now is the time to talk with your financial advisor and tax professional about contributing additional dollars to your 401(k) account — or at least contribute systematically and stick with your investment strategy. This makes sense when stock and mutual fund prices are low, even with the current uncertainties. You will buy more shares at lower prices and will lower your cost basis. This can benefit you down the road.

Young investors

Marcy: What advice do you have for investors whose investment experience has been shorter, and who may have primarily experienced only the record bull market that ended recently?

Amy: Younger individuals might feel like they want to step out of the market because they are nervous in the face of volatility they’ve never seen before. Remember that you’ve got time on your side to invest — and time to recover from downturns. Putting dollars into the market with every paycheck can be a true benefit during this type of market fluctuation.

Experienced investors in their core working years

Marcy: What should clients in their core working years (not ready to retire yet) be thinking about in this environment?

Amy: First, unless you’ve had a disruption to your income, continue to make contributions, hopefully at a higher rate because you’re getting close to retirement. Second, review your asset allocation strategy with your financial advisor.

Investors who were hoping to retire this year

Marcy: If someone had been thinking about retiring this year, they might wonder if they should still do that. What are your thoughts for clients in that situation?

Amy: Behavioral science recommends that you acknowledge your emotions, and then have a fact-based conversation with your Ameriprise advisor to revisit your financial objectives. Taking a fresh look at your financial plan can help you determine if you want to make any adjustments. Remember that your plan took into account the likelihood of future market volatility. Your advisor can help you make the important personal decision to retire as you’d planned — or potentially adjust your approach to boost your confidence.

Retired investors

Marcy: How should retired clients think about their situation in the current market pressures?

Amy: Evaluate whether your income sources — a pension or Social Security, for example — will cover essential expenses. Instead of tapping into your investments right now, consider allowing them to recover if you have time. Revisit account allocations. If you had been thinking about a vacation or new car, hit pause and ask if that still makes sense right now. Your financial advisor is here to help you navigate.