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What to Tell Clients in Bear Markets: Advisors’ Advice

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Related: What Advisors Are Telling Clients About ‘Buying the Dip’: Advisors’ Advice

Those with significant industry experience know there are difficult aspects of being a financial planner in even the best of times for the equity and bond markets.

There is the dual need to secure new clients while ensuring ongoing service levels keep existing clients loyal and satisfied. There is the need to adapt to new technologies and client expectations — and to keep abreast of broader industry changes in the realms of regulation, legislation and litigation.

Those with significant industry experience equally know that bear markets and potential recessions can present turbulent times for financial professionals, especially for those who are new to the field and have perhaps never steered their own business through a prolonged market drop.

Predicting exactly where the markets go next is always a fraught endeavor, but with the S&P 500 (and other broad U.S. and global market indexes) down some 22% since Dec. 31, financial planners are confronting the reality of a potentially painful recessionary period.

With the broad market declines in mind, six financial planners answered our question: What top insight would you share with your newer financial advisor peers who are navigating their first potential recession and prolonged bear market? How can such an advisor — and indeed any advisor — respond to their clients’ fears while preventing them from rash, emotional or responsive decision-making?

See their responses in this slideshow. Some have been edited for length or style.