Business

Local brokers advise clients to sit tight

County singer Kenny Rogers could have been a stockbroker. After all, one of his most popular songs, “The Gambler,” offers this advice: “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run.”Investors worldwide got a taste of that kind of risk last Tuesday when a skittish Wall Street saw stocks plunge, slicing 416 points off the Dow Jones industrials average. The trading and sell-off on Wall Street was sparked by a big dip in the Chinese and other Asian markets and given additional fuel throughout the day as oil prices increased and evidence surfaced that the U.S. economy has soured.The potential for panic was most evident as the Dow Jones plummeted by as much as 546 points n the biggest decline since the first day of trading after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. However, the market recovered more than 100 points by day’s end and by the end of the week, the market was showing signs of stabilizing.On Monday, however, Wall Street seesawed through an erratic session, trying to stabilize but ultimately finishing near its lows of the day amid worries about mortgage defaults, a strengthening yen and tumbling stock markets abroad.According to preliminary calculations, the Dow fell 63.69, or 0.53 percent Monday to 12,050.41.Broader stock indicators also fell. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 13.05, or 0.94 percent, at 1,374.12, and the Nasdaq composite index ? which is dominated by riskier technology and small-cap stocks ? fell 27.32, or 1.15 percent, to 2,340.68.Bond prices fell, nudging the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to 4.51 percent from 4.50 percent late Friday, as the stock market’s tolerable performance earlier in the day kept investors from rushing to Treasurys.”People should not panic. The market is still pretty strong,” said David Whelan, president of Eaglerock Advisory Group Inc. in Swampscott. “Patience is what we are preachign to our clients. Hopefully in the short run they will make up for some of the loss on Tuesday.”Whelan noted that only two clients called with questions about whether to sell and neither did. “This is a longterm commitment, and to that extent, I guess we’ve done a good job,” he said. “Most of my clients lived through 9-11 and pretty much know what to expect.”Chris Joyce, a financial planner for Ameriprise Financial at 56 Andrew St. in Lynn, likened the market dip and reascent to a natural rhythm. “If something keeps going up, like the Dow Jones average, breaking record after record, it’s only natural that it will come down,” he said. “That’s the sermon I give to my clients. And that’s what happened. It had to happen.”According to Joyce, investors should establish goals, set a timeframe for those goals, and understand the risks. “What happens to the stock marekt on a daily basis has little or no effect on investors with longterm goals,” he said. “A shorterm investor would not have been in those kinds of investments. They would have been in bonds or in something with a fixed return. The longterm investor is somebody who understands that these things go up and down, and that there is no real timing to it. I tell them, you have to expect these things. You cannot have your investments go straight up all the time.”Market dips are actually healthy, said Joyce, equating the movement to lines on a heart monitor. “Straight flat line, something is wrong. You need up and down. That’s a simple concept. You really don’t need to understand the whole thing like Warren Buffett does. But you do have to set your No. 1 priority of establishing a goal, then work out a timeframe and find the appropriate investment for that timeframe.”According to Joyce, a longterm investment looks to reap a return of 10-14 percent over the long haul.”A lot of people treat the whole thing like gambling. They buy in the morning and sell in the afternoon and have no idea why,” he said. “They might just as well go out on the gambling boat in Lynn Harbor. They didn’t h

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