Weathering a Volatile Market: Current Investing "Do's" and "Don'ts"

Weathering a Volatile Market: Current Investing "Do's" and "Don'ts"


In 2013, major U.S. stock market indexes were hitting new highs almost weekly. This tempted many investors to change their investment strategies. To some, the fear of missing out on a bull market started to trump the fear of losing principle. While the markets have evened out a bit, it is an ever-present temptation to make reactionary changes.

This leads to a common misconception that investing merely means buying stocks. While that can be a great option for some, there are many other income producing investments that are not tied to the stock market that allow individuals to generate alternative income streams. All of these factors compelled us to list a few investing “Do’s” and “Don’ts.” 


  • Don’t throw inhibition to the wind with thoughts that investments won’t decline. Equities are called “risk on assets” for a reason, because they follow both up and down cycles. Capital Research and Management Company has found the U.S. stock market experiences three 5% corrections and one 10% correction, on average, per year. With that stated, stocks are also one of the few investments that can keep up with inflation and are good to own when properly allocated, managed and utilized.
  • Don’t try and time the market. Making large bets on whether the market will move one way or another on any certain day is a mistake that even astute professional investors make. Leave your gambling money to the casinos.
  • Don’t invest based on emotions or a “feeling.” Following a disciplined and rational investment strategy can save an investor from making hasty and potentially harmful investment decisions to buy OR sell. Leave the sentimental value to household heirlooms, not your investments.
  • Don’t compare your returns and portfolio to others. Everyone’s investments should be specifically tailored to each individual based on risk profile, time horizon, income needs, and other financial and personal criteria. These will probably differ from that of family, friends, neighbors or others.


  • Do create a plan that is tailored to you and your specific needs and goals and stick to it. This doesn’t mean hold on to investments forever without ever making changes or rebalancing. It means develop a strategy plan for how your money will be managed over time and act accordingly.
  • Do put your money to work and remain disciplined. Once retired, individuals may need to look for ways to supplement social security and other forms of income through investing to make sure they do not run out of money in retirement and are able to continue to live the lifestyle they enjoy.

The final “Do” is to take advantage of a complimentary review of your investments with GCSB Investment Center. We can provide a second opinion of your portfolio or discuss a new investment strategy. We can help provide ways to generate income streams for people preparing for or living in retirement. 

Jim Freeman, CFP® of Financial Alternatives Inc