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In volatile stock market, keep cash on hand, Billings broker advises

Posted at 11:06 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:50:30-04

BILLINGS- After its worst December since the Great Depression, stocks have bounced back into territory with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 91.67 points Wednesday– the fourth straight day that it has been in positive territory.

But the only thing certain about the stock market lately has been uncertainty with so many wild ups and downs. Gary Buchanan of Buchanan Capital in Billings said this week he doesn’t see that changing until the government shutdown is settled and some of the perceived chaos in Washington settles down.

“I think we are going to have more volatility,” says Buchanan. “It’s hard to get used to what we have and it unsettles investors, so it has to be resolved. It did not affect confidence that much in 2018, but it is very important that the level of confidence is returned.”

Buchanan says with the market so volatile it’s important, especially if retirement is in your near future, to have two to three years cash on hand, so that you don’t have to dip into stock funds during a down market.

“The time that you can get stung in investing is having to sell to raise cash when the market is down—that’s when you get hurt. So making sure that, regardless of your situation, that you have your cash needs defined for the next two to three years is crucial,” says Buchanan.