In June 2015, I gave birth to my daughter Cella Louise. She is named for her two great grandmothers, and at nine months, she has become such a joy to come home to each day! I remember, however, those early weeks when I so desperately wanted to get her on a schedule. I ran into a friend at the time who said, “You’re in the trenches.” She assured me it would get better, and it did. I’m sure many of you can identify with the ups and downs of a new baby, a new job, an illness, or some other life change.
As a former advisor and currently a leader in Vanguard Personal Advisor Services®, I hear from clients who need a boost out of the trenches. Earlier this year, when the global markets were struggling with slower growth in China and falling oil prices, my team fielded questions and concerns from clients worried about the impact volatility might have on their portfolio.
As advisors, our job is not only to help answer questions such as “When can I retire?” or “How much do I need to set aside for college?” (a question I’ve been asking myself lately), but also to serve as an investing coach, to help clients off the proverbial ledge when they’re nervous that their financial goals may be in jeopardy.
One client I recently learned about was planning to retire over the next year. The recent market volatility had caused considerable fluctuation in his portfolio, and he was contemplating moving his assets into a fixed annuity to provide a consistent income stream because he was nervous that his retirement accounts wouldn’t be able to provide the income he would need in retirement.
The client’s advisor used tools through our Personal Advisor webpages to show him that, although his accounts had been impacted by the recent market volatility, he was still on track to meet his retirement goals. Following this conversation, the client felt comfortable sticking with his original timeline for retirement.
When you’re facing a big life decision that has a potential impact on your financial well-being, or you’re worried about major news headlines, we want to be that friend who helps you make an informed decision, just as my friend did for me last summer when I was in the new-baby trenches. Now, nine months later, I get (mostly) a full night’s sleep and I’m able to read my daughter’s needs much better.
Next time you hit a bump in the road with your financial goals or investments, consider asking for advice from an experienced and objective professional who can help you avoid common pitfalls and partner with you to ensure you’re on the right track.
More insights on market corrections and bear markets.
Advisory services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. (VAI), a registered investment advisor.