“Investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme and trying to time a volatile market with hopes for huge gains is a serious financial risk,” Greg Anton, a CPA and chairman of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, said in a statement. “For most people, seeking incremental gains over a longer time horizon is a safer, more sustainable approach.”
“Even though there have been wild swings, overall people are optimistic,” said Lisa Hayes, a senior wealth strategist at PNC Wealth Management.
Still, Hayes cautions investors to stick with a diversified mix of stocks and stock funds in retirement and college savings plans and other accounts to protect against losses and limit the downfall from some high-risk investments.
To further shore up their finances, those who are very near retirement or who have short-term goals should keep a chunk of their savings in cash, certificates of deposit and high-quality short-term bond funds.
And finally, investors should talk to a financial advisor who can work with them as they review their goals, reassess their risk and come up with an investment strategy.
Three in 10 Americans involved in household investment decisions said they never do research into investment strategies and potential investment opportunities, according to the AICPA report.
“Really sitting down and reading reports is tedious,” Hayes said. “That’s where it’s helpful to work with a professional.”