Your Turn: What’s on Your Mind?

by David D. Holland


Reader Question: “This is just a general-type question for us baby boomers. Rule of thumb was always to decrease stock holdings and increase safer investments as you get closer to retirement. I am not following this advice and believe it foolish to not take advantage of today's market. I have two questions: 1) Do you think this advice no longer holds true? 2) Do you think this market is unusual, historically speaking?” – Thanks, Sharon

David’s Response: You pose interesting questions, Sharon. I would agree with some of your thoughts and offer the following opinion:


  1. 1. Generally, I have found that it is prudent to reduce "at-risk" investments in favor of "not-at-risk" investments when it is time to start drawing from them, which is usually when people move into retirement;
  2. 2. I think it is also wise to invest a portion of one's assets (but maybe not everything you have) in the stock market for long-term growth and as an inflation-hedge;
  3. 3. Each time the stock market has made large gains, like at the end of the 1990s, from 2003 thru 2007, and more recently in 2013, many pundits and investors have declared, "this market is different." (And then we’ve found out that it wasn’t so different after all.) Betting on things to be “different this time” usually doesn’t work out.


I’ve given several hundred “second opinions” to investors over the last 17 years. I can tell you that everyone's situation is unique. You may be well-served by your current course of action. Or, you may want to consider a more balanced approach that keeps you invested in the stock market, while also protecting a portion of what you have already accumulated. Regardless of how well the stock market performs in the future, don't forget that one terrorist attack could turn a bull market into a bear. Yes, the market could come back, but how much later, and would it be soon enough for you to accomplish your goals? Remember, in most every situation, you want to avoid drawing income from a depressed or declining portfolio.






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David D. Holland, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, hosts a weekday radio show at 9AM on AM1380 Ormond Beach, AM1230 New Smyrna Beach and AM1490 Deland. He has also authored two books in his Confessions of a Financial Planner series. Holland offers investment advice through Holland Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser in Ormond Beach. He can be contacted at (386) 671-7526. Email your financial questions to