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Have patience during market corrections
slt ed-jones-office
The Edward Jones office is located at 1904 Broadway Ave. in Great Bend. - photo by SUSAN THACKER Great Bend Tribune


Jim Armatys moved to Great Bend in December of 1987. He’s been with Edward Jones 32 years.
Others at the Edward Jones office in Great Bend are his wife Kathi and son Todd; Jim Vopat; Cathy Esfeld Kelly Henning and Jane Weiser.

Q: Tell us about your family.
A: Wife Kathi, sons Mike and Todd, daughter Kris and six grandchildren.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: We like to travel around the country in a mobile home, visiting the grandkids, fishing and camping.

Q: What first drew you to this type of work?
A: I was a partner at an accounting firm in Nebraska for 10 years. The link was being able to help people chart the course to become financially independent.

Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
A: The interaction face-to-face with our clients.

Q: How has it changed since you first began, and what changes do you anticipate in the next 5-10 years?
A: No one really knows the future. It’s becoming more complicated, with more options available. If you have a goal, if you have a strategy, it’s important to stay with the strategy. It’s important to be aware there will be changes, but don’t have those changes cause you to make decisions that don’t fit your strategy. In five to 10 years? The global economy is not going to go away. There are always more opportunities ahead; it’s very important to have patience.

Editor’s note: The Great Bend Tribune asked financial advisor Jim Armatys to share some investing wisdom with its readers for the 2016 Progress edition. Although this column written by Edward Jones for local Edward Jones financial advisors such as Armatys recently appeared in Tribune’s Business section, Armatys felt is was pertinent advice in light of low oil and crop prices, and predictions of a stock market correction. “It’s a perfect storm,” he said. The good news, “The global economy is not going to go away.”
As an investor, you may be gaining familiarity with the term “market correction.” But what does it mean? And, more importantly, what does it mean to you?
A correction occurs when a key index, such as the S&P 500, declines at least 10 percent from its previous high. A correction, by definition, is short-term in nature and has historically happened fairly regularly – about once a year. However, over the past several years, we’ve experienced fewer corrections, so when we have one now, it seems particularly jarring to investors.
 How should you respond to a market correction? The answer may depend, to some extent, on your stage of life.

If you’re still working … If you are in the early or middle parts of your working life, you might not have to concern yourself much about a market correction because you have decades to overcome a short-term downturn. Instead of selling stocks, and stock-based investments, to supposedly “cut your losses,” you may find that now is a good time to buy more shares of quality companies, when their price is down.
Also, you may want to use the opportunity of a correction to become aware of the need to periodically review and rebalance your portfolio. Stocks, and investments containing stocks, often perform well before a correction. If their price has risen greatly, they may account for a greater percentage of the total value of your portfolio – so much so, in fact, that you might become “overweighted” in stocks, relative to your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. That’s why it’s important for you to proactively rebalance your portfolio – or, during a correction, the market may do it for you. To cite one aspect of rebalancing, if your portfolio ever does become too “stock-heavy,” you may need to add some bonds or other fixed-rate vehicles. Not only can these investments help keep your portfolio in balance, but they also may hold up better during a correction.

If you’re retired … After you retire, you may need to take money from your investment accounts – that is, sell some investments – to help pay for your cost of living. Ideally, however, you don’t want to sell stocks, or stock-based vehicles, during a correction – because when you do, you may be “selling low.” (Remember the most common rule of investing: Buy low and sell high. It’s not always easy to follow, but it’s still pretty good advice.)
So, to avoid being forced into selling, you need to be prepared. During your retirement years, try to keep at least a year’s worth of cash instruments on hand as well as short-term fixed income investments. By having this money to draw on, you may be able to leave your stocks alone and give them a chance to recover, post-correction. And it’s important to maintain a reasonable percentage of stocks, and stock-based vehicles, in your portfolio, even during retirement – because these investments may provide the growth necessary to help keep you ahead of inflation. Consequently, as a retiree, you should have a balance of stocks and stock-based vehicles, along with fixed-income vehicles, such as bonds, certificates of deposit, government securities and so on.
Being prepared can help you get through a correction – no matter where you are on life’s journey.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Jim Armatys.