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Financial Advice

Weekly Wrap: What’s Next?

Some ideas for investors who can’t stand still.

What’s Next?

Like many of you, that's what I’m asking myself. Russia has invaded Ukraine and, as I write this, there's no clear answer as to “what’s next.” More sanctions, to be sure. But beyond that, no one knows.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has made an already jittery market even more nervous. Investors came into February concerned about inflation, supply chain challenges, and rising interest rates--so concerned, in fact, that they moved out of U.S. equity and bond funds in January. Fast forward to late February, and many continue to seek out safer assets.

As investors, we know the markets are never predictable. But what we’re experiencing these days sure feels like extreme uncertainty to many. That uncertainty leaves us feeling helpless. And while many investors can “keep calm and carry on,” others (including me) would prefer to feel a little more in control. We want to do something--no matter how small--to feel better about our finances during times of turmoil.

There are a few go-to pieces of advice that I return to during periods of market stress. They're my perspective-setters, and as you'll see, all are from my colleague Christine Benz. Some of these pieces were created during brief market hiccups or, more significantly, near the start of the pandemic and subsequent bear market of 2020. Other pieces are newer. In any case, the takeaways within them are timeless and actionable.

3 Ways to Take Control in a Volatile Stock Market Risk, Not Volatility, Is the Real Enemy A Checklist for Volatile Markets: Retirement Saver Edition A Checklist for Volatile Markets: Retiree Edition Your Market Downturn Tool Kit Webcast: Tune Up Your Portfolio in Uncertain Times

Those looking for Morningstar's take on market events will find plenty of insights and investment ideas from our markets team. And for stock investors seeking fresh ideas, many stocks from our Best Companies to Own: 2022 Edition list are now undervalued. No matter your investing temperament--or your place on the keep calm/control freak spectrum--the bottom line is to keep investing. It's timeless advice. For proof, I encourage you to watch the interview that Christine did with the late Jack Bogle in another challenging year for investors: 2008.

--Susan Dziubinski

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Were Last Year's Top Funds Lucky or Smart? These funds were mostly clobbered in the coronavirus sell-off but rebounded nicely in 2021.

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Is Your Stock Mix Out of Whack? It's important to review your portfolio's equity exposures and interest-rate sensitivity.

5 Charts on Market's Response to the Ukraine Invasion Despite potential inflationary pressures from the conflict, expectations for Fed tightening have been dialed back.

Why Are Wide-Moat Stocks Underperforming? High-quality stocks with competitive advantages should outperform during tough markets. They aren't this year.

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