3 Ways to Prepare for a Market Correction

Contributed by: Matthew E. Chope, CFP® Matt Chope

Markets need to correct from time to time – I believe it’s as natural as the day is long. We may even be past due. I attend a lot of conferences and lectures about everything related to finances, financial planning, investments and economics – All the fun stuff!  Well, fun to me.

Recently, I heard the presenter talk about this chart, the “S&P 500 Growth/Value index Ratio”.  He actually said the S&P 500 still has a ways to go - like 25% before it's at the same peak of 2000. My thought was: Why anyone would want to get back to the type of silliness we had in 2000? 

Three years ago I did not see excesses in the market valuations and most economic indicators were still getting better, and rightly so.  I believe today valuations are rich.

Economic Cycle in Extra Innings

Someone asked me recently what inning we’re in for this economic cycle. I responded: Probably the 13th inning! The average lifespan of a US economic cycle is 4.9 years and we are almost at our 6th year.  However, there may be time left. We could see the rest of this inning, maybe more, before a 10% downturn or more.  A 10% downturn is a very normal annual event, historically speaking. And we have not had a 10% downturn in the Dow or S&P 500 since the 3rd quarter of 2011 -- almost 3 ½ years.

3 Steps to Prepare for Volatility

At The Center, we strongly believe in a philosophy of investing, not attempting to time the market.  So I’m not here telling you this a market top.  No one is smart enough to do such a thing with any consistency and getting in and out can be more detrimental than staying put over the long haul. These are the 3 steps I suggest to my clients no matter the market cycle:

  1. Make sure your long-term allocation is still appropriate
  2. Double check that your time frame is correct for the investments in your portfolio
  3. Review and consider your risk tolerance for those investments

If there is money you need in the next 12 months for a project or money invested for less than 5 years, discuss with your planner where to put this so that it has less volatility. In my next blog, I’ll take a look at the bigger picture and what to watch for signs of a potential downturn. 

Matthew E. Chope, CFP® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Matt has been quoted in various investment professional newspapers and magazines. He is active in the community and his profession and helps local corporations and nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning and money and business management decisions. In 2012 and 2013, Matt was named to the Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine.


Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.

This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Matthew Chope, CFP® and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor's results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.