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Should you be selling investments while the stock market hits record highs?

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 17:35:19-04

"Should I be selling some of my investments right now before they go down?”

News 3’s financial resource, Carl Carlson, founder and CEO of Carlson Financial, helped us answer that question.

He said every one of our personal financial situations is uniquely different, so it depends. If you are age 30 to 50 and don’t plan to retire until age 65, then generally speaking, no, you should not sell. You are in the stock market for the long term and are not as concerned about how much the stock market is up or down today but far more concerned about where it will be when you begin to get within 5 to 10 years of retiring or needing or wanting to live off some of your investments, he said.

If you are over 50 or within 5 – 10 years of retirement, what should you be thinking? Should you be selling investments while the stock market is so high?

Carlson said in this case, it may be appropriate to make some changes, but he added to not sell everything. You might be thinking about selling a portion of your riskier investments while they are at all time highs and locking in those gains by moving the money to safe or guaranteed products that can give you a decent return. Carlson said this is mostly if you are going to need to be using your investments in retirement to live on.

If you are retired and living off of your investments, then now is a great time to sell some investments at their all-time highs and build up your savings account with cash that you can use to fund your monthly living expenses for the next year. You always need to have some cash on hand, and it’s best to build the cash back up when your investments are high, according to Carlson.

He added that it is all about planning and building and maintaining your personal financial plan. This will tell you what you as an individual or couple should be doing.

If you don’t have a financial professional to help guide you with these types of decisions, he would recommend you find a good one, especially one that is skilled where you need the skills. For instance, if you are close to or in retirement, you need an adviser that specializes in that area.