Although the market has a long-term upward bias, sometimes it makes sense to have less exposure to equity investments when the market is high and more exposure when risk is lower.
Our proactive investment approach includes a core strategy of diversification, combined with both strategic allocations and tactical changes from time to time. We believe that we can reduce risk and/or increase returns for clients over the long term by making tactical shifts in asset allocation, providing balance between growing and preserving wealth.
Assessing and managing risk is quite a challenge, but it is very important. Our investment approach is data-driven and integrated into our financial planning process. Please note that stock market corrections are part of investing, and pullbacks happen several times each year. While significant corrections are difficult to forecast, we believe there are times when investors should be more attentive and prepared.
The big picture
Our approach is analytical in nature and takes into consideration several factors, including various trends and historical patterns in financial markets. Analysis of stock-market trends over the past century clearly shows that the market follows longer-term, secular cycles. In addition, intermediate and short-term cycles such as the presidential election cycle and seasonality have also historically affected market returns.
The Retirement Income Solutions advisory team employs specific investment strategies in our clients’ portfolios, depending on each client’s unique objectives and circumstances. Diversification (mixing a variety of investments within a family portfolio) is an investment strategy that is frequently used as a risk-management technique. Since diversification is not always effective in avoiding losses (such as in 2000–2002 and 2008–2009), we may use other strategies and investment vehicles to meet specific client objectives, such as cash flow or income needs, tax situation, retirement status, or risk tolerance. We employ several active management strategies in client accounts. While the types of active management vary, our primary goals are to:
Preserve principal in intermediate-term down markets by moving to a more defensive position;
Adjust a portfolio's exposure to stock or bond markets in response to the perceived risk of the market; or
Invest opportunistically in rising segments of the market while trying to avoid those losing value or showing little current potential for gain.
One example of an active management strategy used by the Retirement Income Solutions team is the Seasonal Strategy. Implementation of active management strategies may change based on market or economic conditions. In the Seasonal Strategy, we conduct a formal review of investments used in this approach as we deem necessary. This may result in portfolio allocation or investment changes being made at our discretion. Based upon analysis of investment cycles and business cycles, we may vary the mix of investments between growth and value, large and small, U.S. and international companies, and vary the mix of various bond categories.
The goal of active management is to reduce risk at times when we believe circumstances are less favorable to certain investments. However, active management could increase risk in some environments or with certain investment decisions or vehicles. Risk of loss exists in all strategies utilized by Retirement Income Solutions.
We believe, but do not guarantee, that the Seasonal Strategy may help offset some of the effects that multiple bear markets may have on a portfolio over the long term. However, no strategy, including the Seasonal Strategy can eliminate the investment risk of loss.
Risk of loss: There may be loss or depreciation of the value of any investment due to the fluctuation of market values and the recommendations or advice given. Investments we manage are subject to various market, currency, inflationary, economic, political, business and other risks, and Retirement Income Solutions, Inc. does not guarantee the future performance or the success of any recommendation or strategy. Losses can occur by using any investment strategy, including strategies employed by Retirement Income Solutions, Inc.