The stock market is unsettled … and perhaps its fluctuations are unsettling you. It’s a stressful time for the economy and Wall Street, and you may be concerned about your portfolio given what’s going on with oil prices, the real estate market, and rising unemployment figures. It may be a good time to review how your assets are invested.

Is your portfolio balanced? A balanced portfolio may help you ride out stock market turbulence. Stocks and mutual funds aren’t the only asset allocation choices you have, and you won’t be alone this winter if you decide to examine other investment options.

Fixed annuities and Treasuries become attractive to investors when the market turns volatile. Bonds tend to maintain their strength when stocks perform poorly; fixed annuities are simply contracts with insurance firms, not correlated to stock market performance (though certain types of annuities may enable you to take advantage of stock market gains while maintaining your principal). Fixed-income mutual funds, dividend income funds and bond funds also have their adherents.

Last but not least, you have cash, though cash holdings haven’t traditionally performed anywhere near the level of the stock markets.

Are you retired, or retiring? If you are, this is all the more reason to review and possibly even revise your portfolio. Frequently, people approach or enter retirement with portfolios that haven’t been reviewed in years. The asset allocation that seemed wise ten years ago may seem foolhardy today.

Often, people in their fifties and sixties feel they need to accumulate more money for retirement, and that feeling leads them to accept more risk in their portfolio than they should. In the absence of a salary, however, you’ll likely want consistent income and growth, and therein lies the appeal of a balanced investment approach designed to manage risk while encouraging an adequate return.

Why not take a look into your portfolio? Ask your financial advisor to assist you. You may find that you have a mix of investments that matches your risk tolerance. Or, your portfolio may need minor or major adjustments. The right balance may help you insulate your assets to a greater degree against financial ups and downs.

Author's Bio: 

Bill Losey, CFP®, America's Retirement Strategist®, coaches women and couples nationwide with their retirement planning and investment portfolios. He is the author of Retire in a Weekend! The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Making Work Optional and also publishes Retirement Intelligence, a free weekly award-winning newsletter. Bill can be reached online at

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