Donald Trump’s election to the White House is likely to spawn market volatility and other changes that will make your clients nervous on all things retirement.
“Whatever your politics, it’s important to recognize that half of American voters are elated right now, and the other half are anxious,” writes Bradford M. Pine for Kiplinger. “Fear has driven a lot of the news in this election cycle, and until there’s more policy certainty and a degree of predictability, we’ll likely see a continuation of volatility going forward.”
Trump’s policy changes across the spectrum could influence everything from Social Security and Medicare, as well as retirement savings plans. However, he hasn’t said much about what those changes might be. “Trump’s campaign made little mention of Social Security,” writes Sean Williams for the Motley Fool. “Rather than tackling changes to Social Security itself, Trump’s pledge revolves around making changes to the individual and corporate tax structure in order to boost the growth of the U.S. economy.”
In addition, Republican lawmakers could make changes to Medicare, including implementing premium support, writes Robert Pear for The New York Times.
A Trump presidency also introduces questions related to the fiduciary rule, which requires brokers and advisors to provide advice in clients’ best interest, writes Darla Mercardo for CNBC.
Regardless of expected changes and volatility in the meantime, brokers and advisors should encourage clients and their employees to stay calm.
“Investors have a horrible track record of knee-jerk reactions to market volatility, which means they miss out on subsequent big gains,” writes Kelli B. Grant for CNBC.
SigFig, a portfolio manager, found “the more people sold during the August 2015 market correction, the worse their investments performed,” Grant writes.
The current political climate can provide an opportunity to encourage clients to take a look at their investments and make informed changes.
“Volatility (can) provide investors with some opportunities for end-of-year tax-planning. Even without an election, the fourth quarter is typically when advisors recommend investors look to offset realized gains with strategic selling,” Grant writes.
Another important reason to encourage a wait-and-see approach: Change won’t happen quickly.
“It always takes time for a new administration to gather steam,” writes Paula Aven Gladych for Employee Benefit Adviser. “Trump has not said anything about the markets except that he wants to grow the economy so that Social Security and Medicare don’t continue to be a drain.”
And, a little optimism doesn’t hurt, either.
“The American economy is resilient, diversified and strong,” Pine writes. “That makes for good long-term prospects, in my view. I always urge my clients not to ride the highs too high or the lows too low. Instead, it’s important to step back from your emotions and have a plan.”