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It’s everyone’s biggest fear. The stock market takes a dive. The biggest question on your mind: What’s going to happen to my retirement account?

This post will take you through past scenarios and what to do if this happens in the future.

BREXIT

A recent example of this sort of dive was BREXIT, when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union back in June 2016. The day following the decision, British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned.

The decision had an impact on United States markets, as well. The Dow Jones industrial average fell by 611 points, one of the largest single-day drops in recorded history.

Furthermore, this was the worst two-day period for U.S. stocks since the August 2015 plunge.

 

 

Is there a “highest point” in the stock market?
The stock market is known to take dives, but it is also known to climb back up.

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via Market Watch

Looking at the graph above, we always think we’ve reached the highest point possible in the market, but continue to prove ourselves wrong.

“Markets adapt. Policymakers adjust. Businesses will change course while they continue to seek profits. Prices will reset. Opportunities will emerge. Market volatility brought on by the UK’s historic BREXIT vote is no excuse to disengage from portfolio planning. Investors who are willing to look forward, with one eye on the opportunities and one eye on their goals, will be more likely to realize both.”

— David F. Lafferty, CFA
@LaffertyNatixis

Nonetheless, clients will still panic, so you’ll need to be prepared to provide as much relief as possible (Here’s a list of 4 common concerns your clients may have and tips to alleviate their stress).

What do situations like this mean for retirement plans?

When BREXIT occurred, Leading Retirement Solutions received an influx of questions from clients, wondering what was going to happen to their plans.

Here are 5 ways to help your clients during these situations:

  1. Remind clients to be thinking long term rather than short term. Check on your investments quarterly and bi-annually to see how they are performing. Retirement accounts are intended to be long-term financial vehicles, whereas the market is constantly changing, even on a daily basis.
  2. Let them know the extent to which you can advise them. You can tell them that they can view their statements in their account to see how well their retirement account is performing.
  3. Create an easy list of steps that clients can use and refer back to in order to request a reallocation of their investments.
  4. Ask your client if they are invested in funds that are not performing well. More often than not, the client is invested in mutual funds rather than directly in stocks or bonds.
  5. Follow best practices when you are speaking with your client over the phone. Remember to be timely and genuine in your responses.

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For more great tips for your retirement firm, check out our blog.

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