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STORM SEASON
Important Note:

June through November our agency may become prohibited from binding coverage should a “Tropical Disturbance” enter the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

In these cases we may be unable to bind new coverage quoted in open proposals until the storm leaves our area and our binding authority has been restored.

Please arrange your coverage protection early to avoid this type of delay. While we regret any inconvenience, the carriers impose these restrictions on all agencies.

When to Invest

When it comes to investing, timing seems to be everything. But many investors overlook quantity of time vs. the quality of the time. Indeed, if you’re interested in securities, you know that getting the timing right makes for a constant challenge.

We’re currently entering the ninth year of the bull stock market and new clients still ask when they need to invest. They always want to know if the time is right or if they should wait for the market to decline. They also ask if they should buy their stocks all at once or over an extended period of time.

What’s the right answer to these questions? It depends.

For example, a key strategy for Warren Buffett is to buy the fear and to sell the greed. He famously invested in Goldman Sachs and Bank of America at the height of the fear driven sell-off during the Great Recession. Mr. Buffett is not a “trader” and prefers to hold on to his investments during “difficult times”. He does this because he believes so strongly in those stock’s fundamentals.

Keep in mind that no one can know how equities are going to do in the future. Indeed many small investors waiting for a huge pullback will likely never enter the marketplace. This is because it takes nerves of steel to invest when the market is going down.

Indeed, when stocks fell by about 20% from their highest level, many investors chose to remain on the sidelines. Why? Clients have said they were worried there would be an even larger decline. Unfortunately, that 20% decrease was the lowest and then the market began to recover, causing them to lose out on easy profits for the next few years.

Today, there are other reasons why investors hold off on entering the market. They may be fearful due to current politics or because of what may occur with with North Korea. Even when those situations are stable though, new crisis and uncertainties will continue to emerge. Skittish investors who lack a long-term horizon will always find an excuse to stay sidelined.

Indeed, if you’re trying to find the best time to enter the market, then you’re likely playing a losing game. If it’s risk that you’re trying to stay clear of, then leaving your money in cash is probably even riskier because it’ll lose value due to inflation. Stocks are still one of the best options to earn a return that’s greater than the cost of living.

When they’re finally ready to invest, folks want to know if they should invest all at once or over time using dollar cost averaging or similar techniques.

Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) has been the staple of a buy and hold strategy for a long time yet it is still new for individuals who lack investing experience… so it is worth understanding.

With DCA, an investor purchases a certain amount of an equity over a period of time. For example they may invest $500 a month each month on the same day of the month over the course of several years.

The result is that when the equity goes down in value you are able to purchase more of it. When the equity goes up in value, you are able to purchase less of it. But over time you’ll have increased your portfolio size at varying prices… in effect sometimes picking up more of the equity at a “discount”.

Dollar Cost Averaging is also easier to manage from a psychological perspective… consistent amounts over an extended period of time is easier for most folks to handle than investing a giant lump sum.

But be mindful that DCA is part of a longer buy and hold strategy. It doesn’t eliminate risk… A registered investment advisor or Certified Financial Planner can offer more insights into how best to handle risk management.

Key Recommendations:

* Only consider investing after talking with professionals and having a complete understanding of your overall long-term strategy.

* Be sure you diversify your portfolio.

* Talk with your advisor about strategic re-balancing of your assets and how this can help reduce risk.

Check out Life Insurance too…

Talk with your insurance advisor about how certain Life Insurance products may also help you with your long-term strategy.

Some innovative Life Insurance solutions offer stock-like participation and value appreciation while also giving your loved ones added protection should something terrible happen to you.

As always, if you have any questions about preparing for the future while protecting those you love, please reach out. We’re here to help.