Six things to know to weather a market downturn this year

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It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders.

It can be unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading into the red. Here are six investing basics to keep in mind during volatile times.

1. Periods of volatility are normal – All markets move in cycles, and periods of contraction are completely normal. While the length of market contractions varies, periods of growth and expansion are usually waiting on the other side. In fact, we’ve seen the S&P 500 correct by at least 14% five times since 2000 only to print subsequent new highs.

2. Don’t panic – Letting emotions dictate your investing strategy is a risk you shouldn’t take. Short-term decisions can have long-term consequences on your portfolio. Being patient can pay dividends.

3. Know your portfolio – Understand your investments and how specific assets represent different goals and outcomes. Keep in mind your risk tolerance and investment timeline, and if either has changed, consider talking to your financial advisor about rebalancing your portfolio. Diversification can potentially help balance risk during a downturn and mitigate extreme swings in value.

4. Stay the course – Remember your financial plan and long-term goals and stick to them. A disciplined investment approach is the best strategy for handling market downturns and will likely enable you to participate when the markets rebound.

5. Consider opportunities – Working with your financial advisor, determine whether periods of volatility are a good time to take advantage of investment opportunities in line with your long-term plan.

6. You’re not alone – Your financial advisor is able to help you. He or she can guide you through difficult markets and be the independent voice that helps you stay focused on your long-term goals.

Material prepared by Raymond James for use by its financial advisors. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 

Charles Tumlin is a Financial Advisor with Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC located at 2015 Boundary Street, Suite 220, Beaufort SC 29902. He can be contacted at 843-379-6100 or charles.tumlin@raymondjames.com or visit our website at www.tlswealthmanagement.com.