NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Well this time of year, chances are you're studying those Christmas lists, rather than following every little change in the stock market, which is understandable.
However, swift changes in the stock market are sparking a mixture of interest and concern. East Texas News got some insight from a Nacogdoches financial expert on what those changes could mean for you.
Dr. Banker Phares, a senior lecturer at Stephen F. Austin State University and the director of a financial planning program, is steps away from a stock ticker. He's far from obsessed.
"Well, I walk across the hallway maybe to get a cup of coffee," Phares said.
On Monday, following passage of the Senate's tax bill, the president tweeted, "It could be a big day for the stock market and you." True, but not reason to jump on the band wagon that's already pulling out, Phares said.
"I would personally watch what would happen because most people now if they bought anywhere from three to two years ago or maybe one year ago will probably have the value of their investment up this moment in time," Phares said.
Long-term investors, the people primarily concerned about 401ks and other retirement plans, must remember downturns follow upturns. It's the nature of the beast called the stock market.
"So I would tell them if they bought at a good price, and things are going pretty well, and they have a reputable investment, I would stay where they are," Phares said.
The outstanding finance professor at Lamar University in 2011 reminds individuals their savings is primarily at the mercy of institutional investors. It's all those funds you find in your portfolio.
"You are at the whim, the beck, the call of those institutional investors," Phares said. "If they're riding, going, you're going to go with them. If they decide tomorrow morning they're going to move a different way, you're gonna move with them. They're in control."
Phares won't lose sleep. He researches and occasionally checks the stock ticker on his way to coffee.
Phares said he strongly advises investors to research non-biased accounts of the stock market. He always starts with the securities and exchange commission. "Dot-org" and "dot-gov" sites are his preference over ad related websites. Sec.gov. is Phares' go-to site.