The Fear Index is going up as the Market goes down

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

It doesn’t take an index to tell us that there is fear relating to the stock market right now, but the CNN Money fear index confirms this. The coronavirus impact on the market has been fierce, in the last few weeks the market has had some huge loses including the worse day since 2008. While it is up as I write this today, I don’t think we have saw the last of the volatility.

So, should you be fearful? You will hear people tell you not to panic, not to worry, but that only applies IF you are positioned in the right way. In the 2008 crash and its aftermath, $2 trillion of Americans’ retirement savings were wiped out in just 15 months, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The market recovered, of course — but for clients nearing or in retirement, a market downturn may be something they simply can’t afford to endure. Without enough time to make up for the damage to their portfolios, they won’t be able to fund the retirement lifestyle they had envisioned.

For those within five years of retirement — five years before or five years into retirement — taking a big loss in a bear market can completely change their lives.

The key to investing is avoiding the big losses. Risk management and asset protection are the most important. Many people we talk to are more concerned about taking a big loss then they are with returns.

The most significant threat to retirement portfolios is bear markets. We believe it is incumbent upon us as financial advisors to do all that we can to protect our clients from catastrophic losses.

What you need is a business plan for life. This strategy is based on cash flow, tax, and risk impact, rather than products and investments, and can effectively deal with multiple what-if scenarios at any point in time. The decision to change investments or not depends more on your business plan for life than what is happening in the market. That said, if you are 5 years or so before retirement or if you have retired within the last five years or so, then it is critical for you to review your “business plan” as too much market risk could dramatically change your retirement.

We’d like to schedule a quick, 15-minute call with you to talk about the three trends we are seeing, with the stock market and otherwise, that could affect your retirement. Whether there is a next step for us together or not, we promise you will walk away from that call with some simple action items for yourself.

Go to, click on contact and request a call there or call us at 608-987-1511.

Want to share this blog post? Click the links below!

Don't miss a post!

Sign up to receive an email notification when a new blog post is published.

Select the categories you'd like to be notified: