Friday, October 17, 2008

Financial Markets – Don’t take actions you may regret later

Many of you want to know why I commented about Suze Orman and Jim Cramer last week so I thought I would explain. After Suze appeared on Larry King and Oprah and made a blanket statement telling investors to sell stocks, the Dow went on a 6 day slide. Coincidence? Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Half my clients are entrepreneurial financial advisors. They have been bombarded with calls from their clients over the past two weeks. Typical conversations start with “Suze Orman (or Jim Cramer) told me to sell my stocks.” When celebrities make blanket statements without prefacing them with “You should seek advice from a financial planner prior to taking action on your investment accounts” they risk causing widespread public panic.

The panic and craziness that ensued after 9/11 will stay with me forever. The current market instability is reminiscent of that time, only far worse. I just happened to be on the phones at the Vanguard Group helping 401(k) participants with their accounts during 9/11. I heard conversations all over the call center about participants selling at the bottom of the market, regretting it later, but unable to reverse the trade.

You should always seek advice from a competent financial advisor who understands your risk tolerance, time horizon, and complete financial picture before making a move that could have financial ramifications for the rest of your life.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors
Scottsdale, Arizona

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