Page 11 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- May 2020
P. 11

MAY 2020
 COVID-19 and The Market: What’s Happening? And What Can I Do?
Important Information About Social Security Services
 Scott W. Knaffla
Historic market volatility has washed over the globe in recent weeks. The spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has precipitated a record drop in the stock market and a sharp plunge in bond yields, sending the U.S. into its first bear market in over a decade. People around the world are facing a health crisis that’s driving an economic crisis, which rightfully so, is leading to high levels of anx- iety for families and individuals concerned about their wellbeing and financial situation. Unfortunately, it’s too soon to tell just how long this environment will last. So, what can you do to cope with the market volatility in the meantime? And what can we learn from past global pandemics?
Virus outbreaks and stock market perform- ance
There is no doubt that this pandemic is dif- ferent and has caused a larger dislocation than past virus outbreaks. However, it’s still encouraging to note how financial markets have historically rallied following major health crises. As this chart of the S&P 500® Index illustrates, markets have generally delivered positive returns in the six to 12 months following the peak of a virus out- break.
This isn’t to say that investors should stick their heads in the sand and pretend the down- turn isn’t happening—this is a very serious and difficult situation. Eventually though, markets should return to some level of nor- mal and slowly the economy will come back to life. Of course, the past is no guarantee of future results, but historically even the worst markets have been temporary dips in a gen- eral march higher for stocks.
What can you do during this time of volatil- ity?
Here are a few steps to consider: •Remem- ber the power of diversification: Instead of simply selling your stocks in an attempt to cut your losses, review your portfolio to see if it is properly balanced between stocks, bonds, and cash that align with your goals, time hori- zon and your ability to manage risk. While a diversified portfolio can’t guarantee profits or protect against all losses, it can greatly reduce the impact of volatility. • Stay focused on your-long term goals: Remember, your investment strategy is based on your goals, not headlines. While it’s important to be aware of the news related to COVID-19, particularly from a health perspective, be careful not to let your emotions affect your investing. Try to keep your portfolio on a steady course. Volatile periods in the market can create good opportunities to either invest more or to adjust your portfolio as needed. But make sure any
investment decisions you make are in the long-term interests of achieving your finan- cial
• Revisit your views on risk: There’s noth- ing like a significant market downturn to remind you that investing involves risk. Mar- ket swings provide an opportunity to re- assess the level of risk in your portfolio and determine whether you still think the amount is appropriate for your circumstances. The level of comfort (or discomfort) you feel when the market moves up or down substan- tially is a good starting point on whether your portfolio fits your risk profile.
• Meet with a financial professional: If you are concerned about the recent performance of the markets, it may be a good time to sit down with your financial advisor. Together you can talk about your financial goals for the future and what steps you can take next to start on the path to achieving them.
Scott W. Knaffla, CFP®, ChFC®, APMA®, BFATM is a Private Wealth Advisor with Flourish Financial Part- ners, a Private
Wealth Advisory Practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. In Marquette, MI. He specializes in fee- based
financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 11 years. To contact him, please visit: or call (906) 226-
7526. Office location: 1501 Division St. Marquette, MI 49855
Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a
registered investment adviser.
Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC.
© 2020 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.
By Edward I Cariuty
Social Security in Escanaba, MI
We recognize that you may have questions about how the Coronavirus Disease (COVID- 19) will affect Social Security services. The first thing you should know is that we continue to pay Social Security and SSI benefits. Also, beware of scammers who may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments. This threat is not true. Don’t let the scammers fool you.
We want to share other important informa- tion about our services during this pandemic. To protect you and our employees, and help
stop the spread of COVID-19, we cannot accept visitors in our offices at this time. We provide many services online and limited, crit- ical services via phone and email. During the pandemic, we are dedicating available staff to serve people in most critical need of our serv- ices.
Need help from Social Security? Many of our services are available online at, including:
• Applying for benefits.
• Setting up or changing your direct deposit. • Changing your address, if you get benefits. • Getting proof of your benefits.
We strongly encourage you to try our con- venient and secure online services before call- ing us. Please be aware that our call wait times are much longer than normal. Save time and go online.
For more information, please visit our COVID-19 page at avirus. There you can find out what limited services we can provide by phone, and impor- tant information about deadlines we are extending to ease the burden on you and med- ical providers during this pandemic. You can also subscribe to get an email or text message notification when we update the page so you stay informed.
Please share our COVID-19 page with your friends and family.

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