Stocks plunge as coronavirus spreads

Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are financial advisors living in Mineral Point WI and serving the surrounding communities. Michelle Bertram does financial planning for retirees along with business consulting. Beverly Bertram specializes in retirement planning and income planning for her clients. Michelle Bertram and Beverly Bertram are authors of the book, Creating You DREAM Retirement and creators of the DREAM Retirement Process. Serving Madison WI, Verona WI, Mount Horeb WI, Barneveld WI, Dodgeville WI, Dubuque IA, Platteville WI, Lancaster WI, Cuba City WI, Fennimore WI, Darlington WI, Monroe WI, Spring Green WI, Black Earth WI and beyond“Stocks plunge as coronavirus spreads — 5 questions to ask your broker right now” this was the headline on MarketWatch today.

Stock markets plunged Monday, following alarming news over the weekend that the coronavirus had spread much further than originally thought.

If the coronavirus (or anything) has you worrying about all the stock funds in your investment portfolio, the problem may not be the coronavirus, it may be how you are invested.

If you are worried about losing money, there are a couple of things you should consider and some questions to ask.

  1. Are you taking too much stock market risk? Do you even know what your risk is? If not, let’s start with a simple risk assessment of our portfolio.
  2. How would you feel/react if the markets kept falling? What would your money managers, advisors do (if anything)? Are you comfortable with that?
  3. Are you smartly diversified? Not just in asset classes but in strategies, styles, managers and colors of money. *
  4. Are your investments appropriate for you? Where you are at in life? Do they fit your overall financial goals?

From the highs to the lows of the bear markets of 2000 to 2002 and 2007 to 2009, investors in the S&P 500 suffered losses of about 45%, even counting dividends.

Someone close to retirement cannot afford losses like that, especially if they don’t want to or are unable to keep working.

Warren Buffet once said, “You know who’s swimming naked when the tide goes out.” Meaning when the market is up, everyone is looking good, but when the market falls and the tide goes out, you find out who has too much risk exposure. You don’t want to be left swimming naked!

Bottom line, you need to arrange your investments in such a way that you will be okay if the market goes up or down or stays the same. It may be time to take gains and risk off the table.

For more information, to request a free copy of our book, sing up for our upcoming Inspiring Woman classes or  request your custom assessment and colors of money report*, call 608-987-1511 or go to

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