How to Handle Market Volatility

First of all, preparing for volatility needs to begin well before the volatility arrives.  It starts with your plan and making sure you have an investment strategy to help you reach your goals with the least amount of risk possible.

For those nearing or in retirement and living off income from your investments, the key is maintaining enough equity exposure within your investments to grow your income over time and allow it to keep up with inflation.  Fixed income investments such as money market funds, CDs, and short-term bonds simply are not producing the interest rates high enough to achieve this goal.

With that said, for almost all of you, there is going to be at least some equity exposure within your investment accounts, and so at least a portion of the account is going to move and flow with the equity markets.  Your ability to handle these movements and stay the course is exactly how you will be rewarded with the returns you need to reach your goals.

For those of you who are still in the accumulation phase and investing money on an ongoing basis (or those of you who have had a liquidity event and are investing excess cash), volatility should be seen as a great buying opportunity.  This is easier said than done, but from an investment perspective, it’s what smart investors do.

Whatever you do, don’t abandon your financial plan or make the “big mistake.”   Instead, maintain a long-term perspective.  For the great majority of you, even if retired, your investing time horizon is still measured in decades.  Therefore, the “risk” in your portfolio (as defined by the probability that it will go down and stay down) can diminish significantly if you stay properly diversified.

While periods of volatility in the market can be stressful, be encouraged by this: equity investments (even with the extreme volatility of the past) have rewarded patient investors with better returns compared to fixed income investments over long periods of time.  So stick with your financial plan, which should include a properly constructed portfolio utilizing equity investments for long-term goals and fixed income investments for short-term goals.

Warren Buffett is quoted as saying, “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”  This is the same guy who told his trustees that when he dies they should put 10% of his money in cash the rest in the S&P 500 stock index.  Instead of being afraid of volatility, he understands he’s simply investing in the most well-financed, profitable companies in the world.

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Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Beyond crunching numbers and investment strategies, at SageSpring, we’re about building relationships. When you encounter Founder & President of SageSpring, Jeff Dobyns, it’s easy to understand why this is at the very heart of who we are as a firm. You won’t find stuffy formalities with Jeff; instead, you can expect to find him sharing a warm smile, communicating a compelling vision, or patiently untangling life’s complex challenges with clients. He believes in truly getting to know clients, understanding their aspirations and priorities, and navigating their financial plans with a tailored, comprehensive approach. Our team members have often been caught taking notes on Jeff’s effortless relationship skills from a distance, and we admire them for striving to learn from one of the best. 

Jeff’s financial expertise and wisdom are the perfect match to his innate people skills. Jeff holds the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChLU®) designations, and has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. 

His dedication extends beyond the office to the boardroom and the local community, where Jeff is passionate about giving back. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. Jeff actively supports other initiatives in the community by sitting on the board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee and the Halftime Institute of Nashville. 

Witnessing his four children, Gracyn, Hunter, Tanner, and Logan, excel on the field is almost just as rewarding, if not more, than celebrating the victories of seeing his clients overcome obstacles and build wealth. Spending weekends boating on the lake, hiking mountain trails, and fishing with his family are the moments Jeff cherishes most. It’s this grounded perspective that reveals the true meaning of wealth for Jeff: not just numbers on a page, but the freedom to create experiences that enrich your life and the lives of those you love. When you choose the Dobyns McMillin Wealth Team, you choose more than financial expertise. You choose a partner who champions your dreams, celebrates your victories, and walks besides you on the path to achieving your unique goals.

**Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.