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Financial Focus: Avoiding Frightful Investment Moves

Matt Carroll is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Mishawaka. He visited ABC 57 News for this week's Financial Focus.

There's a lot of fear that can come with how to invest your money, but it's so important to do so!

How do you know where to put your money when it comes to stocks?
      
Many so-called "experts" - not to mention your friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers - are more than willing to provide you with "tips" on "hot" stocks.

But by the time you hear about these stocks, they may already be cooling off - and, in any case, they may not have been appropriate for your needs in the first place.  

How do you know how to walk the line between risking too much of your money, and not risking enough?

If you constantly worry about the value of your investment portfolio, and you lose sleep whenever the market drops sharply, you might be taking on too much risk for your own comfort - so you may need to invest somewhat less aggressively.
        
Conversely, if you invest primarily in conservative, low-yielding investments because you think they will help you avoid losses, you might not achieve the long-term growth potential you need to help you reach your important financial goals, such as a comfortable retirement.
        
When you invest, try to balance your need for growth with your personal tolerance for risk. 

There are a lot of outlets available for us to check the daily status of the markets. How often should we check these?

Unfortunately, many of the news items of today - or of any day - are more negative than positive. 
      
But as an investor, you don't want to be forced into a "sky-is-falling" mentality, because such a mind-set could lead you to make rash, unwise decisions, such as selling quality investments too soon or staying out of the market altogether. 
      
Generally, no single event has truly long-term consequences for investors. 
      
Consider the recent "Brexit" vote - in the immediate aftermath, the markets fell sharply, but just a few weeks later, they hit all-time highs. 
      
That won't happen with every newsworthy occurrence, but historically, the markets have shown resilience. 
      
So stay invested and follow a smart, long-term investment strategy that's suitable for your situation - and look beyond today's headlines.

It may seem like a simple concept to some. But, why is it crucial we put our money in different places/assets?
     
If you only own one type of financial asset, and a market downturn hits that asset class strongly, your portfolio will likely take a big hit. 
      
You can greatly reduce the effects of market volatility - and give yourself more chances for success - by spreading your money among a range of investments. 
      
(Keep in mind, though, that diversification can't always guarantee profits or protect against all losses.) 

If you have questions and would like to contact Matt. You can do so at 574-252-2464 or at matthew.carroll@edwardjones.com.

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