Financial Corner – How Should Millennials Respond to Market Decline?

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Our local Financial Expert John-Paul Tancona from Edward Jones Investments (Mount Arlington) continues to dedicate his time to helping local residents make the right decisions. This week his article focuses on what should Millennials (ages 23 – 39) should be thinking about with this market decline.

The coronavirus crisis has unsettled every age group, as we are all worried about our health and that of our families and communities. And if you’re in the millennial generation, generally defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996, you might also be concerned about your financial future, given the sharp decline in investment prices. How should you respond to what’s been happening?

Your view of the current situation will depend somewhat on your age. If you’re an older millennial, you had probably been investing for a few years when we went through the financial crisis in 2007-2008. And you then experienced 11 years of a record bull market, so you’ve seen both the extremes and the resilience of the investment world. But if you’re a younger millennial, you might not have really started investing until the past few years, if you’ve started at all, so you’ve only seen a steadily climbing market. Consequently, you may find the current situation particularly discouraging, but this is also a lesson in the reality of investing: Markets go down as well as up.

But no matter where you are within the millennial age cohort, you might help yourself by taking these steps: 

  • Stock Market SmallEnjoy the benefit of having time on your side. If you’re one of the younger millennials, you’ve got about four decades left until you’re close to retiring. Even if you’re in the older millennial group, you’ve probably got at least 25 years until you stop working. With so many years ahead, you have the opportunity to overcome the periodic drops in investment prices, and your investments have time to grow. And, of course, you’ll be able to add more money into those investments, too.

  • Invest systematically. The value of your investments will always fluctuate. You can’t control these price movements, but you may be able to take advantage of them through what’s known as systematic investing. By putting the same amount of money at regular intervals into the same investments, you’ll buy more shares when the share price is lower – in other words, you’ll be “buying low,” which is one of the first rules of investing – and you’ll buy fewer shares when the price rises. Over time, this strategy can help you reduce the impact of volatility on your portfolio, although it can’t ensure a profit or protect against loss. Plus, systematic investing can give you a sense of discipline, though you’ll need to consider the ability to keep investing when share prices are declining.

  • Focus on the future. You’re never really investing for today – you’re doing it to reach
    goals in the future, sometimes just a few years away, but usually much further out. That’s why it’s so important not to panic when you view those scary headlines announcing big drops in the financial markets, or even when you see negative results in your investment statements. By creating an investment strategy that’s appropriate for your risk tolerance and time horizon, and by focusing on your long-term goals, you can develop the discipline to avoid making hasty, ill-advised decisions during times of stress.

As a millennial, you’ve got a long road ahead of you as you navigate the financial markets. But by following the suggestions above, you may find that journey a little less stressful.   


“If anyone has any questions please reach out and use me as a resource. If anyone in this community wants to pick my brain or has concerns about what’s going on in the market, I’d would be happy to make myself available.”

Bio of Local Resident John-Paul:

John PaulHi, my name is John-Paul Tancona and I’m a financial advisor with Edward Jones. I have over 19 years of experience in this industry, working with both institutional and retail investors.

John PaulI earned my bachelor’s degree at Villanova University in 2000 and immediately started my years journey into the world of finance. My first 13 years were spent working at high profile wealth management firms covering large institutional investors. Recently, I joined Edward Jones and changed my focus to educating and empowering individual investors so they can achieve all of their financial goals.

We believe in working with investors one on one, either at your local Edward Jones office or conveniently at your kitchen table. We want to find out what is most important to you and your family so we can take you through our established process and partner together for life.

Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for your children or grandchildren’s college education or just trying to protect the financial future of the ones you care for the most, we can work together to develop personalized solutions tailored specifically to help you achieve your goals.

I live in Sparta with my wife, Julieann, and two children: Dominic (10) and Daniel (7).

My branch office administrator, Ellen Hawkins, has 35 years of experience and is dedicated to offering you an ideal client experience.

I look forward to answering your financial questions and concerns. Please contact me to discuss your options so you can make informed decisions about your unique financial situation.                                                                                               

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