The stock market has been taking investors on a bumpy ride this year amid lots of uncertainty about jobs and the economy, the presidential election, Britain's Brexit vote and other matters. As part of our 3rd quarter 2016 Bankrate Market Mavens survey of leading financial market analysts, we asked:
What, if any, changes should individual investors be making in their portfolios in this market environment?
"Buy value and investments with a yield that is safe."
-- Barry Armstrong, president, Armstrong Advisory Group
"Make sure you are properly asset-allocated by reassessing your risk."
-- Cary Carbonaro, author, "The Money Queen's Guide for Women Who Want to Build Wealth and Banish Fear"
"A slight shift to value."
-- Chuck Carlson, CEO, Horizon Investment Services
"Since everyone has jumped into the large cap, dividend-paying pool -- that's the area that will be most vulnerable."
-- Marilyn Cohen, president, Envision Capital Management
"A portion of their portfolio could be positioned to capitalize on a rise in rates. Note that each of the 4 dips in rates this year has been fueled by the idea that the Fed is dead. Yields then rebound over the next few weeks. We expect the pattern to continue as Brexit fears subside and bond investors realize that it's not good when 2- and 5-year Treasuries yield substantially below the current and projected core inflation rates."
-- Bryce Doty, senior portfolio manager, Sit Investment Associates
"We have been defensive for a while to reflect our concerns about removal of Federal Reserve policy stimulus and high profit margins. We think investors should overweight companies/sectors with strong valuation support and defensive revenue streams. "
-- Michael K. Farr, president, Farr, Miller & Washington
"Allocation should be made on the needs of clients, not necessarily on the drivers of the markets. Long-term money should be in equities. Money needed in the next 12-36 months should be in cash. The percentage of stocks/bonds reflects the risk tolerance of the investor."
-- Kim Forrest, vice president and senior equity analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group
"Investors should continue to over-weight equities since: (a) the returns are likely to be better than fixed-income returns (although they may fall short of fixed-income returns, short-term); and (b) my forecasts for earnings (and hence, stock prices) could be wrong and quite low. The drag from poor energy sector earnings will not be a factor (or as significant a factor) in 2016"
-- Hugh Johnson, chairman and chief investment officer, Hugh Johnson Advisors
"None. While risks abound, a properly diversified portfolio remains the appropriate way to invest for the typical investor."
-- W. Bradford McMillan, chief investment officer, Commonwealth Financial Network
"Investors should have no more than 60% of their allocation in equities."
-- Ken Moraif, senior advisor, Money Matters
"They should probably trim exposure to some of the high dividend-yielding stocks/sectors given the concentration risk and valuation jump that has resulted from increased inflows related to low market rates and the search for yield elsewhere."
-- Patrick J. O'Hare, chief market analyst, Briefing.com
-- Oliver Pursche, CEO, Bruderman Asset Management
"You have to be biased to stocks. There just aren't any other good alternatives. (And no, gold is not a long-term solution as a majority position in your portfolio even if it is rallying nicely in 2016.)"
-- Jeff Reeves, executive editor, InvestorPlace.com
"Re-balancing, taking advantage of pull-backs."
-- Brian Rehling, co-head of global fixed income strategy, Wells Fargo Investment Institute
"Individual investors need to diversify more completely than they have historically. This includes owning global funds, commodity funds, and real estate funds."
-- Chuck Self, chief investment officer, iSectors
"The S&P 500 traditionally gets more volatile the older it gets. Don't get too overexposed to equities. If underexposed, buy when prices decline by 5% or more. If overexposed, lighten up as the S&P 500 approaches the prior all-time high."
-- Sam Stovall, managing director of U.S. equity strategy, S&P Global Market Intelligence
"Increase cash holdings, have a small allocation to precious metals, and by all means, stay with quality. Avoid high-yield bonds."
-- Mark Willoughby, senior vice president, Hilliard Lyons