It is nice when you can experience a great bull run (rising markets), but it could put you in a position where you don’t want to invest more, thinking it may be time for the good market to reverse its positive trend. The problem is that when markets are high and you aren't looking to sell, you might not quite know what to do with your portfolio. You just need to know the strategies for investing in high markets.
Stick to Your Plan
If you have an investment plan then stick to it. Whether it's buying stocks in an IRA or investing your tax refund, it's important to follow your plan and continue to think long term.
Don't Be Afraid to Shuffle Your Retirement Assets
Great markets often lead to profits, but those capital gains can quickly mean you're paying a lot of taxes. A smart trick that investors use in these circumstances is to shuffle around investments that are contained inside retirement funds like an IRA or a 401(k). If you want to capture profits or reduce your stock holdings that have risen, selling inside an IRA is a way to do so without any immediate tax implications. While this strategy is useful in any market, it's particularly useful for high markets where the profits are more substantial.
Don’t Let a High Market Scare you
Just because the market is running high doesn't mean there is no reason to invest in stocks. After all, just because it's more expensive today than it was yesterday doesn't mean it won't be even more expensive tomorrow. If you look back over the market’s history via Macrotrends, you can see that it was “high” many times and many times it has moved higher. If you are investing for the long run, the current level of the market is not that important. However, be careful of market hype. Most investors tend to buy into the market more when it is high than when it is underperforming. Making investments out of emotion or without going through the due diligence is a good way to lose out on the money you are hoping to make.
Make Sure You Diversify
You have heard me say it before and I will say it again: diversification is key … especially when the market is already high. For example, you might have a portfolio that's made up of 75 percent stocks and 25 percent bonds. If stocks go up, you could see a shift to 80 percent stocks and 20 percent bonds. It may be a good idea to let that ride for a bit while the market has strength. However, at some point, going back to your plan and rebalancing back to 75-25 may be a wise move. Just because the stock market is reaching record highs one week doesn't mean it will keep climbing. Sooner or later there will be a downturn, and when that happens your portfolio needs to be varied enough to absorb the impact without losing everything.
In summary, don’t shy away from a high market but don’t get caught in the hype. Stick to your plan and remain long-term oriented.
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Equity investing involves market risk, including possible loss of principal. Diversification doesn’t ensure a profit or guarantee against loss. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. There are no investment strategies that guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.
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