For many, this is an obvious no brainer, but it involves much more than simply shifting into cash, bonds or gold. What if you don’t want to exit stocks entirely? Then you may need what money managers call tactical asset allocation.
Instead of a long-only, hold-on-for-dear life approach of traditional investing, tactical planning involves shifting in and out of assets as market conditions dictate. In a turbulent market, there are several asset classes that can buffer stock downturns that can be found in several off-the-shelf mutual funds.
The linchpin of tactical investing is flexibility. It’s the opposite of the 60-percent stocks, 40-percent bonds fixed template. As a dynamic model, tactical portfolios are often open to moving into non-financial assets such as gold, real estate and commodities.
What I like best about tactical allocation is that it doesn’t go whole hog on any one asset class. Instead of loading up in the usual suspects in a bearish stock market — such as U.S. Treasuries or gold — it’s open to opportunities around the world. This can avoid big timing blunders and the prospect of being stuck in the wrong asset when markets turn.