Prepare for volatility, even if there’s a soft landing for the economy

After more than a year of recession predictions, some experts have backed off past forecasts and now embrace what’s known as a “soft landing” for the economy. Even so, one financial advisor is stressing the importance of preparing for future stock market volatility.

A soft landing could include an economic slowdown and unemployment ticking higher without an official recession, explained certified financial planner Barry Glassman, founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services in McLean, Virginia.

While a soft landing may be good news for investors, there’s a risk of becoming “a bit complacent” about market volatility, said Glassman, who is also a member of CNBC’s Financial Advisor Council.

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Glassman said it’s possible the soft landing may already be priced into the market, meaning future expectations are reflected in current prices. “If we see any deviation from that Goldilocks scenario, we’re likely to see much greater volatility in the markets,” he said.

Glassman said a lot of people are wondering how to shift their investments given the “rosy scenario” of a soft landing.

But “the fact that we may see a soft landing or avoid a recession altogether doesn’t mean people should change their strategy of building up a safety net, and hopefully recession-proofing their portfolio in the first place,” he said.

‘Investors are finally getting paid to wait’

We’re now getting paid to have money on the sidelines.

Barry Glassman

Founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services

For example, the top 1% of high-yield savings accounts are paying more than 4.5%, as of Aug. 14, according to DepositAccounts, and the top 1% of one-year certificates of deposit currently have yields of 5.5% or more.  

Meanwhile, Treasury bills are paying well over 5%, as of Aug. 14, and some of the biggest money market funds are also paying above 5%, according to Crane Data.

If you’re a saver or more conservative investor, “it’s an amazing time to set money aside,” Glassman said. “Investors are finally getting paid to wait.”

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