DeCesare Retirement Specialists

Work to Wealth

ELECTION ALERT Do You Have a Sell Process?

| Work to Wealth

With the market so volatile, you need one in place.

The Market Is Cyclical…

As history proves time, and time again, the stock market is cyclical. Like gravity, what goes up, must come down.

The problem with this cycle is that many investors don’t have the time or the willpower to ride yet another wave of market volatility, and as a result, they end up selling low and buying high.

How can an investor avoid selling at the wrong time?

The answer is simple. They need a strategic investment plan. This plan will not only address your short- and long-term investment goals, but it will clearly outline how you will get there by defining your risk tolerance, timeline to retirement, as well as, set the criteria on how you would like your investment professional to handle your account over the course of your relationship together.
Your strategic investment plan should give you confidence as an investor, helping you to build wealth through risk-managed investment solutions that protect your investments from market downturns.

How should you plan to avoid forced selling?

In the wake of all this recent volatility, you may be seeking a way to subtract as much impulse and emotion as possible from your sell decisions.

Have you set sell guidelines?

While you can’t control the market, you can plan to maintain control of your losses. Has your advisor worked with you to create a sell discipline? If you consider yourself a serious stock market investor, you really should have one.

When you are forced to sell, you are reacting. You are allowing headlines, pressures, or short-term money needs to force your investment decisions. Impatience takes over – and in the stock market, impatience is not your friend.

If your ultimate goal is wealth preservation, a sell process can be very useful. It can help you recognize a mistake and deal with it – fast. It can define what a “loss” is for you. It can set the conditions that signal when to sell.

There are many factors that can be used as sell determinants. Percentage of loss (or appreciation), poor fundamentals or financials, negative price action, underwhelming earnings, interest rate movements – they can all play roles in a sell strategy.

A good sell process isn’t just about cutting your losses. It can also set parameters for exiting long-term winners and taking short-term profits. As a byproduct, a well-designed sell process may allow you to reduce risk exposure in your overall portfolio. It can help you periodically refine that portfolio as well.

The cost of trying to time the market. Hulbert Financial Digest undertook a study for Morningstar and found that from May 2008 to May 2009, stock mutual fund investors lost $42+ billion as a result of buying high and selling low. In fact, investors with Class A shares in America’s biggest domestic equity fund (the one with the most assets under management in May 2008) who just held the fund from May to May would have been down 31.4%, yet Morningstar concluded that the actual return for the average investor in that fund across those 12 months was -32.7%. Cash inflows and outflows revealed that the average investor had more money in the fund when it was declining than when it was rising. That 1.3% difference represents $1+ billion in Class A shares in just one fund. 1

Sell smartly. Your sell process should align with your long-range financial objectives. Contact us and we can help you set the parameters of that strategy.

Ahead of one of the most “interesting” elections in modern times, uncertainty is causing a significant breakdown in the underlying market trends. As with any good contingency plan, have it in place prior to the actual emergency. If you have questions or concerns about how you are or should be positioned, please feel free to contact me at 856.235.3830 or

1 – [7/12/09]

These are the views of Peter Montoya Inc., not the named Representative nor Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representative nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information.