The Forum partners have been through many crises over the past 35 years. It is never easy, and there is always the thought that it is different this time. It is difficult not to be fearful and emotional when the current situation evolves day to day. However, this is why you work with a financial advisor, to be the buffer between your emotions and to keep you focused on your long-term goals.
We have chosen to communicate more often during this market crisis than we have in past corrections because of the personal fear that this health-driven crisis has generated. Fortunately, Forum clients have listened overwhelmingly and continue to stick to their long-term plans.
Regarding our daily operations, we feel that it is important that we do our part to protect our associates across the country while ensuring that business operations continue uninterrupted. To that end, Forum has moved to a fully remote work environment effective immediately. Our teams will continue to work full-time. We will continue to respond promptly via phone, video conferencing and email.
The logical next question investors might ask after whether markets get worse before they get better (which we cannot answer) becomes the question, “How long could it take to recover?” For that answer, we looked at the largest to smallest peak-to-trough market losses of all time, sorted by the length of time in months it took to recover from past losses.1
Two key takeaways from this chart:
1. These events happen more often than we recall (this will be the 25th such event in less than 100 years).
2. Half of the time, markets have recovered in less than 12 months.
Keep in mind that during these recovery periods, investors did not know if the eventual recovery was another temporary rebound that would be wiped out by further losses, or the real deal. For those investors who have thought even for a moment about going to cash during these volatile markets, the odds of getting back in before the majority of the recovery has already taken place are unlikely in these faster recovery periods.
If you have been concerned about current global events, a financial advisor can guide you through these periods of volatility, so that you can reach your long-term goals. This type of market downturn occurs about every three to five years, so if you have felt unusual anxiety during such times about investing, we encourage you to talk with a financial advisor. In times like these, the personal health and well-being of our clients and colleagues is and will continue to be our primary focus.
1 Ben Carlson, “How Long Does It Take to Make Your Money Back After a Bear Market?” A Wealth of Common Sense, March 13, 2020.
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