Staring Down the Bear [Market]: Investing Insights in Response to COVID-19

It will forever be remembered as the COVID-19 Crisis of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic turned an unprecedentedly long bull market into a bear market in the matter of a week.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic brought a halt to a period of sustained stock market and economic growth that dates back to the end of the Great Recession. After 11 years, 13% annualized earnings growth and 16% annualized trough-to-peak appreciation, people with investment assets were reintroduced to a phenomenon they hadn’t experienced in more than a decade: a bear market.

As unprecedented as the impact of the pandemic has been on virtually every facet of life, the financial ramifications of the crisis were particularly concerning for people because they could be felt, or at least seen, immediately, as stock markets — and peoples’ investment portfolios and retirement accounts — sustained a series of drops in value.

How to manage your assets amid bear market signals like these? CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional members of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) offer the following suggestions:
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