Is It Time to Prepare for a Bear?

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Is It Time to Prepare for a Bear?

May 09, 2018

After years of a bull market, a bear market and economic recession are bound to happen at some point, making now the perfect time to start preparing your finances, says Senior CFP Board Ambassador Jill Schlesinger, CFP®

With U.S. stocks in the second longest bull market and economic expansion on record, it is only a matter of time before the markets go into a bear market. Senior CFP Board Ambassador Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, said now is the time for consumers to prepare for a market that doesn’t always go up.

While hard to predict exactly when any recession will occur, it is best advised to manage finances with awareness that both a recession and a bear market are unavoidable. Schlesinger shares what you can do now to be better prepared when the market shifts:

  • Revisit/Create Your Financial Plan: As flight attendants remind us, “items may have shifted during flight.” The same goes for your finances – hopefully for the better, but regardless, right after tax season is a good time to update the game plan.
  • Maintain a Healthy Emergency Reserve Fund: For those still working, maintain six to 12 months of expenses (12 to 24 months for retirees) in a safe, liquid account.
  • Pay Down Debt: There’s nothing like a recession and bear market to expose the dangers of carrying too much debt.
  • Maintain a Diversified Portfolio: Don’t forget to rebalance by trading up assets to maintain your desired level of asset allocation.

Read Schlesinger’s full blog post here with more details.

For additional guidance, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help you develop/update a financial plan, share best practices for building an emergency fund and paying down debt, and assist in creating and managing a diversified investment portfolio.


The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes more than 80,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

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