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4 useful tasks in a down market

By Beth H. Watson, CFP®

Here in Fall 2022, after coming off of last year’s market highs, ordinary investors may have grown restless. Pullbacks are hard.

As you likely know, the best thing to do now investment-wise is nothing: Don’t draw down your investments any more than you absolutely have to.

In this age of endless distraction and 24-hour news, though, doing nothing is hard.

Here at Corner Post, our experience is that there’s plenty to do besides worry about the market. Here are a few suggestions for tasks that can give you not only a sense of accomplishment, but materially improve your overall financial position.

1)    Revisit your financial plan. Reviewing your plan can help keep your sights on the bigger picture. What role do your investments play in your current and future income needs? Is your plan on track? If not, what track is your plan on? 

2)    Evaluate your cash position. Taking steps to shore up a weak cash position might help you sleep better at night. This is really part of #1, but we’ve noticed that a cash cushion deserves its own line. Many clients who are especially uncomfortable in this market don’t have large enough regular savings accounts—and thus fear having to draw on investments when they are down, potentially locking in losses.

3)    Declutter. Clearing the space around you can help reduce stress and focus on what matters. This is why “inbox zero” appeals to many professionals—there’s no task left undone!

A full e-mail box doesn’t bother me (most of it can be ignored anyway), but I do love a tidy, uncluttered living area. As the writer Gretchin Rubin says, “Outer order, inner calm.”

Whether it is paperwork, knick knacks, unfinished projects, or unaddressed family matters, most of us have some physical or mental “junk” that needs to be cleared. It’s also a huge blessing to your family to take care of this while you are still able.

4)      Update your estate plan. Frequently, clients put this off!  If your will or trust, powers of attorney, and other key documents haven’t been reviewed in a while, make an appointment with an estate planning attorney. If you have no estate planning documents, do this today. Then communicate your estate plan information—at least the location of the documents and executor/guardian responsibilities--to the relevant parties if you have not. Another huge blessing for your family.

I would wager that at least one of the four tasks mentioned above stands out as something you would like to accomplish.

We don’t offer decluttering services, but our office is here if you’d like to revisit your financial plan and/or cash position, or talk through financial-related estate questions with you and your attorney.



Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through ICA Group Wealth Management LLC, a registered investment advisor. ICA Group Wealth Management LLC and Corner Post Financial Planning are separate entities from LPL Financial.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.