Navigating retirement planning during Covid-19

Investing and saving for retirement can be confusing, but add a pandemic to the mix, and things can seem overwhelming.

Mark Ritter, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at The Northumberland National Bank, notes that his NNB Wealth Management team has received questions about getting out of the investment market over the last six months. “Should we sell everything and bury it in the backyard, basically,” Ritter says, adding that he understands that customers have concerns in a volatile time.

However, Ritter advises his clients to avoid any radical moves, as they’re rarely successful.

“We’re encouraging people not to panic. Panic selling or buying never works because one of the basic rules of long-term investing is that you invest early and often – just like saving early and often, and you average into or out of a market. You shouldn’t take one particular day and buy all your stocks that day, or sell all your stocks in one day. Stock prices move all the time, and unless you’re wildly lucky, you’ll make a mistake and leave money on the table.

“Statistically, the long haul always works better,” Ritter says.

Ritter also notes that this may be a good time to realign your investment portfolio, evaluating the mix of securities and types of companies you’re currently investing in and seeing if they still match your short- and long-term goals. “Growth oriented stocks like Apple, Facebook and Tesla have done extraordinarily well during the pandemic, so you can buy them on the premise that they’re going to continue to grow,” Ritter gives as an example.

He also adds that “more value-oriented stocks – those longer-term mainstays of the economy like Johnson and Johnson, banks, McDonalds, Target - are still doing well, but aren’t showing as much rapid growth. But as we get back to a more steady and stable economy, we’ll see that value-oriented stocks do better in those times.”

Ultimately, Ritter advises, “this is why you want an active manager like the team at The Northumberland National Bank. We’re watching the market every day.”

In addition to active managers, Ritter likes the investment model that Norry Bank offers customers. “A bank wealth management model is likely to be more conservative, which means we tend to be less risky than other investment models.

Ultimately, Ritter emphasizes, investors should have a financial partner that they trust. “You want to be able to sleep at night,” Ritter says. “That’s what we’re here for – to be the first number you call with any questions, to listen to your needs and understand your investment goals, and to be the team that helps you achieve them.”

For more information on working with our Wealth Management team, you can email [email protected] or call 570-701-3592. Visit Northumberland Wealth Management to learn more.

Mark A. Ritter, CTFA, serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. Mark received his undergraduate degree in Economics from George Washington University and he holds several distinguished certificates from the ABA Trust School, National Graduate Trust School and is a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (“CTFA”). Mark has been in the financial services industry for over 33 years.