3 0: sOCA
ORTGAGE at a
BANK you can TRUST
impact the financial markets at any time,
Wolberg may frequently rebalance, or
redirect, where a client's funds are allo-
Wolberg explains, "There's a lot of
uncertainty in the world and uncertainty
is a driver of fear. We have to remind
people that we just went through the
worst three-year period since the
Depression and history is a good rule ...
the markets will come back."
Everyone got nervous when the mar-
ket hit bottom last summer. Lots of
money was tied up in money markets
with rates approaching 1 percent.
"Investors don't have illusions that they
can survive on that and they look for
other places to put their money," he
says. "We've found what works best is to
parcel out funds to different places and
not take too many risks."
Key to Wolberg's strategy is to get an
honest opinion of a client's risk tolerance
and then construct an investment portfo-
lio balanced between stocks, bonds and
alternate investments like hedge funds.
One caveat though: "The length of
time in the market is as important as
which stocks are chosen. Look to the
long-term investment. The market cycle
could be five to seven years. You're not
making a one-hour investment," he says.
"In this way, the portfolio should hold
up well [no matter the market}," says
Wolberg, adding, "we've taken a lot of
people off the ledge."
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There's no arguing the level to which an
investor will rely on the steady and thor-
ough hands of their financial planner to
protect their investments, no matter the
economic climate, or how high the
ledge. But, that's not to say the onus is
entirely on his or her shoulders.
Certified financial planner Diane
Farber says "it's up to the individual to
understand the choices they're making
when planning their finances. The plan-
ner is there to help and answer the really ,
important questions of goals and objec-
Farber, first vice president, invest-
ments, and retirement planning adviser
at the Bloomfield Hills office of
Prudential Securities, says that in addi-
tion to understanding an investment
strategy, investors need to agree with
what's happening with their money.
And, "ask your advisor how you're
doing relative to that asset category and
the index used to gauge [that category's]
return," she says.
Farber, who holds a master's degree in
social work from the University of
Michigan and worked as a family thera-