Mar 30

Investing Tricks for Turbulent Times

Making the Ups and Downs Easier to Handle

By Todd Holden, Financial Advisor

Owning mutual funds can be hard. While arguably no other investment vehicle has generated more wealth for Americans than mutual funds, especially when used in a salary deferral retirement plan such as a 401(k) or Thrift Savings Plan, there are times that owning mutual funds can be brutally difficult. This is one of those times. Between inflation and war, it seems our mutual fund portfolios are under attack. It is turbulent times like these that we need to develop tricks to make ourselves better investors and not allow our fears to upset our financial goals.

The main reason that mutual funds feel difficult to own is that they are intangible. We never go to the grocery store and buy the “All-American Growth Fund Class A shares” or fill up our tanks with the “Mid-Cap Fund 2 Class I shares.” Quite often, we don’t know what our mutual funds own.

The trick I use with myself, my parents and many clients is to make mutual funds more tangible. We do this by looking at the companies our mutual funds own.

A client called recently concerned about her portfolio. The first thing we did was discuss how much of her portfolio was made up of stocks — in her case, about 55%. So I pointed out the fact that when she heard news about stock market gyrations, it really only applies to about half her portfolio. Understanding this fact soothed her a bit.

Then, we took a deeper dive into the stocks she owns through her mutual fund portfolio. Her top five stocks were Microsoft, Alphabet (aka Google), Apple, Amazon and UnitedHealth Group. The next five were recognizable household names as well — companies with which she is familiar and uses on a regular basis. When I read this list to her, I could almost hear her breathe a sigh of relief.

We spoke about the fact that the prices of these companies’ shares will fluctuate every day based on how the market does. In spite of these gyrations, she feels these companies have good prospects and are worthwhile to own. After making her mutual funds more tangible to her, she is more comfortable owning them.

The companies your mutual funds own may be different. Find out by reaching out to your advisor. It serves neither an investor nor their advisor well to develop a well-thought-out investment plan just to sell out during turbulent times. An advisor who helped you develop your investment plan should be there to help you through these challenging times.

Investing in mutual funds involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Fund value will fluctuate with market conditions, and it may not achieve its investment objective.



Todd Holden

Financial Advisor

Todd Holden is a Financial Advisor for Northwest Financial Advisors. Through his affiliation with LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer,1  Todd provides a comprehensive range of financial and investment planning, including retirement income planning, estate and wealth transfer planning, insurance protection planning and tax-efficient investment management.

Todd has more than 20 years of industry experience, having entered the financial services industry at Merrill Lynch in 1987. From 2009 to 2016, Todd served as the Financial Consultant for Belvoir FCU and Library of Congress FCU, successfully working to meet members’ needs. Other industry experience includes time spent at MetLife and HSBC.

Todd believes that a good financial advisor should always:

  • Listen more than speak
  • Keep things as simple as possible
  • Provide value that exceeds any cost and
  • Be worthy of the trust and confidence his clients have placed in him

Todd received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance & Economics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. As the son of a retired Air Force pilot and the spouse of a U.S. diplomat, he has spent much of his life traveling the world. Todd likes to say that he is married to the TSP as it plays a significant role in his family’s retirement plan.

Todd and his wife Kelli have been married since 1989 and have two grown children. They have resided in Falls Church, VA since 2008. When the children were younger, Todd served on their school’s parent advisory committee, helped build sets for theater productions and managed his son’s hockey team. He is a novice sailor and an avid bicyclist.

1 As reported in Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2020, based on total revenue.
Todd Holden, Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

Todd Holden

Recent Articles

Nov 16

What Does the SEC Mean to Main Street Investors?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a U.S. government oversight organization charged with overseeing and enforcing our nation’s federal securities laws. Founded at the peak of the Great Depression and after the passing of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the agency’s mission consists of three primary objectives:   

  • Protecting Main Street investors who depend upon the nation’s financial markets to help create their financial wellness and future financial security