homepage logo

Layin’ It on the Line: Navigating the ups and downs of market volatility

By Lyle Boss - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Oct 11, 2023

Photo supplied

Lyle Boss

The investment world often feels much like standing atop a hill on a windy day. At one moment, you’re enjoying the calm serenity and the magnificent view, and the next, a gust of wind threatens to sweep you off your feet. This unpredictable ebb and flow mirrors the ever-volatile nature of the stock market.

The stock market’s view from the top can be incredibly rewarding. Those who’ve tasted the fruits of a bull market can attest to the exhilaration of seeing their investments soar. Yet, as any seasoned investor knows, the descent can be swift and unexpected.

This brings us to a significant conundrum. How does one enjoy the view without getting blown away? The answer lies in seeking safe and secure investment options.

For many, the word “safe” immediately conjures the image of bank savings accounts, U.S. Treasuries or insurance company annuities. While these have traditionally been considered stable, the returns they offer, especially in today’s interest environment, often barely beat inflation. So, where does one turn for both safety and reasonable returns?

Enter the realm of annuities. For those who might be unfamiliar, think of annuities as insurance for your investments. Much like how you’d insure a prized possession against potential damage or loss, an annuity protects your financial future by providing a steady income stream. The annuity business, which thrives on the principles of safety and predictability, may offer an oasis of calm in the stormy desert of stock market volatility.

There are several types of annuities, but the core principle remains the same: In exchange for a lump sum payment or a series of payments, an insurance company agrees to disburse regular payouts immediately or at some point while fully guaranteeing your principal. These payouts can be tailored to last for a set number of years or the remainder of one’s life, making annuities an attractive option for retirees seeking peace of mind.

Speaking of peace, let’s not forget the possible choice of bonds, particularly U.S. Treasury bonds. When you buy a bond, you’re essentially lending money to an entity (be it the government or a corporation). In return, you’re promised interest payments at regular intervals and the return of the principal amount when the bond matures. Bonds, especially government bonds, are often deemed safer than stocks. Their predictable nature may offer solace to those wary of market roller coasters.

And if we’re venturing down the road of safer investments, it’s worth mentioning diversification. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, why not explore multiple paths? By spreading investments across different asset classes, geographic regions and sectors, one can cushion the blow of any potential downturn in a particular area.

In conclusion, navigating the ups and downs of stock market volatility is no small feat. It requires a blend of caution, knowledge and diversification. While the market’s unpredictable nature cannot be tamed, one can certainly ride out the storms with safe and secure investment options like annuities, bonds and diversification strategies.

In a world filled with uncertainties, knowing that there are still some things we can rely on is a comforting thought. So, as you embark on your investment journey, remember to pack your financial “safety gear.” After all, every hiker knows the value of a good walking stick on a rocky trail!

Lyle Boss, a native Utahn, is a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a fully transparent approach to money management. Boss Financial, 955 Chambers St., Suite 250, Ogden, UT 84403. Telephone: 801-475-9400.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)