Busy time for financial advisors

September 18, 2008 4:10:14 PM PDT
With the economy on a roller coaster, financial advisors are taking a lot of meetings with their clients.At the Vanguard Group, the volume of calls from investors is up, but manageable, according to the Malvern-based mutual funds giant.

They say clients aren't calling for major changes, but they do want to talk to representatives about their account allocations.

"I think it's more to ease their fears," said John Marcante of the Vanguard Group. "I think clients want to know what Vanguard's philosophy is, and what our philosophy is that this is the worst time to be making dramatic changes to your portfolio."

Rich Goergen, a broker at Charles Schwab, says he's getting similar calls.

"All this fear has people concerned, and rightly so," Goergen said. "They want to know, are they in the right type of investments? It is gut-check time."

In Center City, several investors said they planned to stay the course on their accounts, even if it's a white-knuckle ride.

"I'm a long-term investor, and I believe everything that goes down must come up," Tabitha Quigley of Galloway, New Jersey said. "So, I think we'll just have to hold for a while and see if the market improves."

"I want to ride it out, I want to see what happens, I want to believe in the economy," said Sharon Tyson of Germantown. "Right now, it's a little tough to do that, but I'm going to sit tight and do that."

Arthur Manley had just come from checking his account at Charles Schwab, and said he wasn't planning any changes to his portfolio, but was thinking about bargain hunting.

"I was looking, potentially, at buying some AIG stock at a value discount," Manley said.

AIG, of course, is the insurance giant that was handed a 2 year, $85 billion bailout by the government this week and is now selling for about 2 dollars and fifty cents per share.

Experts say you can do some things to protect your investments. They say to balance your account, diversify, and make sure you understand how much risk you are willing to take.

One thing they agreed on: You should not panic-sell when the market is down.

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