Advisers: Investors need to be prudent

Published 2:12 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2008

With the decline in the U.S. economy, local financial advisers are suggesting citizens pay closer attention to investments in order to minimize any effects on assets.

The most recent evidence of the weakening market is the bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., the purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co. to Bank of America Corp., and the subsequent fallout.

Nick Amrhein, a 15-year veteran financial advisor at Edward Jones Investments’ Ironton branch, said citizens already lacked confidence in the economy before Lehman Brothers owners realized the company was unable to survive.

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“The main issue is that (the country) is in a financial crisis all around the board,” Amrhein said.

Jerri Compton, financial advisor with Creative Financial Services, agrees with Amrhein.

“The average person won’t be affected by (Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy) because they don’t have major investments in the company,” Compton said. “As far as 401Ks and IRAs, we are all feeling the pinch throughout the market.”

She said those who will be affected the most will be the people who are taking money out in order to supplement their retirement incomes.

“The markets are causing stress and dips,” she said. “People who supplement their retirement incomes do it because they have to. They depend on it.”

She said, sadly, those are the people who are at risk of running out of money unless they are putting it back quickly in large amounts.

Amrhein said people who are worried about account balances now should consider purchasing assets while they are cheap.

“We are the only (industry) in the world that when we are having a sale, people don’t want to buy,” Amrhein said. “When the prices go up, everyone wants to buy.”

Compton said the benefit of the poor economy is citizens will consider the assets and investments they have and, hopefully, make needed adjustments. She said they also need to pay careful attention to them and how they relate to one another.

“People will start to take an interest and stop making blind decisions,” she said. “It’s gets the conversation going and people are more likely to seek advice.”

As far as the future of the economy, Compton said there is no sure way to predict the future.

“We may see further dips, but the nature of the market is tough. Period,” she said. “We can only look at the past and hope it is predictive of the future and hope the market will recover as it has done in the past.”