How to invest before the next market tests, according to the main adviser

  • The most important advice financial advisor Winnie Sun has for clients right now is to stay on top of the current market environment, but prepare for the challenges ahead.
  • This means a focus on safer, more liquid investments, while continuing to contribute to long-term financial goals through automatic savings structures, such as automatic 401(k) plan enrollment.
  • “We are actively encouraging both,” Sun told CNBC ahead of their FA Summit on June 15.

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Winnie Sun is co-founder and CEO of Sun Group Wealth Partners, based in Irvine, California. a member of the CNBC Council of Financial Advisors, Sun is a regular on-air media contributor for a variety of local and national programs. She is the host of the digital TV show “LevelUp With Winnie Sun”, the weekly personal finance tweet chat #WinnieSun, and the “Yes Factor” podcast on the LinkedIn podcast network.

Sun recently shared his thoughts on a number of saving and investing topics ahead of the CNBC Financial Advisors Summit on June 15.

The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

CNBC: Given everything that’s going on right now — the interest rate environment, the macroeconomic climate, the debt ceiling debate, stubborn inflation, a potential recession — what’s the most important piece of advice you’ll get? is giving to customers this year?

Sun: The most important advice we’re giving our clients right now is to stay aware of the current market environment, but prepare for the challenges ahead. It is important for our clients to know that it is in their best interest to contact us when they are concerned, even outside of a scheduled portfolio review. We want to talk about how our clients can stay in control and on track. We also don’t shy away from tough discussions. For many, preparation means increasing safe and liquid investments while continuing to contribute to long-term financial goals through savings structures and proactive measures. We are actively encouraging both.

CNBC: One of our topics this year is the psychology of financial advice. How do you help clients navigate big financial decisions that are also extremely emotional: the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or even something like inheriting a windfall?

Sun: This is such an important topic and I’m grateful that it’s being discussed. As financial advisors, it is crucial for us to not just listen but really listen to our clients’ signals of stress and emotions. While we may perceive a financial decision as clear and direct, our clients may still be hesitant. There are underlying truths and emotions behind your reservations, and it presents an opportunity for us to humbly and kindly ask questions to better understand your concerns.

I have personally experienced losses during the pandemic and dealt with job insecurity in the past, but that doesn’t mean I fully understand the unique challenges and emotions each client may be going through. The most important thing we can do is listen and keep listening, until trust is established and the client feels ready to make decisions at their own pace. From my experience, most people simply want to be heard and appreciated, and we can serve as that support person when we engage in private conversations with them.

Join CNBC’s Virtual Financial Advisors Summit on June 15, where top advisors, investors, market experts, technologists, and economists will discuss market risks, potential buying opportunities, and tools advisors can use to generate constant returns and minimize drawbacks. Learn more and sign up today.

CNBC: If you had one piece of financial advice for young people just starting their careers, what would it be?

Sun: My only advice to those who are just starting out in their careers is to find someone they can talk to and trust. Find someone with whom you have a connection and who has more experience in the areas you could benefit from. I love meeting clients when they get their first job and we can talk about what a 401(k) is, what a Roth IRA can do, and more.

When it comes to your finances, find a financial advisor to guide you as you embark on your journey and with whom you can grow as your wealth landscape evolves. Starting the path to financial independence is crucial, and the sooner you start, the better.

CNBC: On the other hand, what advice would you give to those nearing the end of their careers who feel like they don’t have enough savings for retirement?

Sun: If you feel like you haven’t saved enough for retirement, you’re definitely not alone. However, it is time to determine the extent of the deficit. Instead of letting stress and fear consume you, take a proactive approach.

When we meet with a client interested in retiring, we start by calculating retirement planning numbers. Once you have a clear understanding of your financial situation, you can make informed decisions regarding possible solutions. This could include considering a side hustle, temporary or otherwise, to generate additional income; adjust your retirement plans or schedule; or explore alternative options, such as downsizing to a more affordable home or location. With a well-defined game plan, you’ll experience less stress and gain a more realistic perspective of what your retirement will look like.

CNBC: Looking inside your crystal ball, what is something that gives you hope for the future? What gives you pause?

Sun: Today’s youth give me great hope for the future. When I talk to my own children, I see their passion for life and their understanding of the importance of being responsible, good humans, and of course also the importance of planning and saving. They genuinely care about others and have a strong moral compass. They show responsibility and kindness in their actions. Its characteristics and values ​​fill me with incredible hope for a brighter tomorrow.

What gives me pause is the prevalence of numerous vocal individuals in the news and on social media who actively seek to divide people rather than unite them. It seems that many have become less concerned with the well-being of others compared to just a decade ago.