Retired Investor: Getting Through Difficult Markets

by Julie Jason

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Having a goal-oriented skill set can help you cope with turbulent markets and move toward a secure retirement.

Julie Jason directs the money management practice of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc. of Stamford, CT. She is the author of “Managing Retirement Wealth: An Expert Guide to Personal Portfolio Management in Good Times and Bad,” (Sterling, 2011).


Samuel from South Dakota posted over 2 years ago:

I've been retired from my career for over 17 years, but I still have a full-time job managing my portfolio. It has done well over those years, but it was managed by the one person most affected by the outcome, me.

Douglas from California posted over 2 years ago:

The challenge in retirement for me this past year has been maintaing one's net worth ( if that is your goal) and generating enough returns to supplement and maintain your desired lifestyle. This looks like it will continue to be a real challenge over the next 5 to 10 years. With current interest rates and dividend returns,the squeeze is on. Whoever thought, that it would be this difficult for a retiree to maintain a 3 to 4% return on their overall portfolio.

T from Florida posted over 2 years ago:

It has been a challenge. I have always used Financial Engines planning tool for asset allocation. (I used to pay for this service, but Vanguard offers it for free to its investors). I have a large portfolio of individual bonds (mostly munis) which generate income. And when one matures I get a nice chunk of change to either reinvest or use for expenses. I am about even in value with where I was 3-years ago, so feel lucky & think that proper asset allocation has contributed to this.

Jay from Delaware posted over 2 years ago:

Yes, a system is absolutely essential.....including setting appropriate stop losses on every single security owned.

I never ride a bear down.

Reading Bill O'Neil's books a few times helped me rid myself of damaging emotions.

I've been retired since 1995.

Donald from California posted over 2 years ago:

Invested in relatively long CDs when the interest rates were 5%+ and now they are maturing. The problem now is how to maintain the portfolio without increasing the risk. Tough decisions . A laddered purchase of immediate annuities has helped balance since they are 8%+ I can tolerate lower CD rates in about 1/2 of the funds coming out of the CDs. The stock and bond portion of the
Portfolio is holding up relatively well but as others have said - watch it! Still well ahead in net worth overall over the last 4 years

Frank from New York posted over 2 years ago:

My hobby is to manage my portfolio successfully so I can withdraw 4% and increase the principal to at least cover inflation. Who else has as much interest in the results of my investments besides myself? I enjoy reading financial articles on the internet, the WSJ and magazines. I keep a certain amount set aside for fun investing and keep about 40% in bonds, 20% in money market and 30-40% in mutual funds and individual stocks I am 70 years old and tend to lean more and more towards dividend paying funds and stocks although I currently own CLF, RIO,
SLV and HME for risk assets.

Peter from Oklahoma posted over 2 years ago:

I would like AAII to focus on and
do more to help us retired folks who
manage their own accounts.

Income: being the objective with various returns and risks.

I'd like to see some income producing portfolios,
with low, medium, and reasonable higher risks.
That includes a mix of Stocks, Mutual funds, Bonds & alternative investments.

I have saved,invested, and managed my own accounts
for over thirty years.
Education has not come cheap.
AAII lifetime member.

Joseph from California posted over 2 years ago:

The past 12 years or so have not been for the faint of heart, for sure. The latest debacle of '07-'09 has again proven to us that we should not succumb to the emotion of fear, although there were times that tested the soul, not to mention one's basic investing fortitude.

The other lesson that was learned was to stay the course. Those that did have been in turn rewarded for their patience -- in my case, a 12%-14% return since 2009 with a lineup consisting of only mutual funds.

Respectfully submitted.

Joseph from Louisiana posted over 2 years ago:

My modus operandi for investing over the yrs (30+): save like there's no tomorrow, keep track of your monthly consumption (I have records going back to 1983), keep educating myself on financial, socio-political affairs, demographics etc (AAII member since 1987), diversification. Also not jumping into the latest "fad du jour" and not selling out at the bottom also help. I'm up 25% over where I was just before the 08-09 crash.
One last piece of advice: KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Jean from California posted about 1 year ago:

Thanks AAII,
Life member since 80, retired since 85...still solvent and first computer was an Apple2e and the Dow Jones software program...Baud rate 300.
Enough said.

Thomas from Ohio posted about 1 year ago:

Agree that AAII should set up an income portfolio with various returns and risks. Income portfolios with low, medium, and higher risks would be helpful for those of us managing our accounts. Bonds, bond funds and dividend paying stocks are of most interest.

Tony Mack from Massachusetts posted about 1 year ago:

Nice to hear comments re do your own investing. I am in the middle of that struggle. I always did my own investing, but when I retired, I figured it might be smart to let a pro handle it so I wouldn't run out of money. I gave him 80% of my money, and did the other 20% myself. After 5 years, the pro had only half the return as me (4% vs 8%, and he thought the 4% was terrific). So I figured maybe I picked the wrong pro. So I moved 50% of my money to a different very successful pro. After 6 months, I am ahead of him also. What is the story here? These guys must lie on how good they do, or I am a jinx on them. I am going to take over 100% of my money soon. I thought I was being smart by not handling all my own investing.

Harry Sargent from Virginia posted about 1 year ago:

I would like to see an article that addresses retirement distributions advantages and disadvantages from taxable vs tax deferred accounts.

Robert Galloway from West Virginia posted about 1 year ago:

Giving money to "Professional Managers" erodes your capital by the asset based fees charged (1.25% to 1.5% annually, payable quarterly).
Their returns quoted are not net of fees. A 4% return may only be 2.5% or 2.75% net of fees.

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