Few likely have missed the so-called "Trump Rally" currently taking hold on Wall Street, with the Dow threatening to crack through 20,000, and the S&P 500 Index in record territory.
While short-term investors are most affected by such volatility, should those with retirement plans — especially those close to retirement — take note and make changes to their portfolios?
"If one had an investment plan prior to the election, I wouldn't advise someone to make significant changes following the election," said Robert Johnson, president and CEO of The American College of Financial Services. "Too often individual investors make the mistake of believing that investing requires one to react to current economic and political developments. I believe this is heightened with the Trump election because many see it as a radical departure from previous political developments."
Rebecca Pavese, a financial planner and portfolio manager with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Atlanta, said the rally in the market should have no impact on your long-term investment strategy; however, it may require you to rebalance your portfolio to ensure that it stays on target with your overall asset allocation.
"The rally may have impacted some asset classes more than others," she said.
Pavese adds the only outlier to the above advice are those investors who were already planning to make an adjustment to their long-term asset allocation — specifically those planning to reduce exposure to equity and increase exposure to fixed income.
"In that scenario, the recent market rally would make it prudent to make that change sooner rather than later," she added.
Johnson said the Trump victory shows how unpredictable the markets can be — as many would have lightened equity exposures and bet on more volatility if they had known Trump would win before the election.
"The conventional wisdom was that Clinton was the preferred choice of the markets because there was so much uncertainty with a Trump administration," he said. "We have seen exactly the opposite. Since the election, stocks have flourished, bonds have gotten hammered and volatility as measured by the VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) has actually declined since the election."
Nick Ventura, founder and CEO of Venture Wealth Management, said there are some ways for all investors to insulate their portfolio based on what we do know going forward.
"Trump's growth plans are likely to create some inflation, this will lead to higher interest rates," Ventura said. "Interest rate sensitive groups such as utilities and REITS may be under pressure and therefore should be underweight in client portfolios. Banks, who will profit from a higher interest rate spread, should be included in client portfolios."
He added bonds should be reevaluated — since as interest rates rise, bonds will come under pressure.
"Maturities should be shortened, and an underweight position may be appropriate for clients," he added.
While many are focused on the new president-elect when it comes to their portfolios, what investors really need to keep their eye on is the Federal Reserve, said Johnson.
"I think that the biggest factor influencing future financial market returns will be Federal Reserve actions," he said. "We have seen bond yields rise dramatically since the election. This sets the stage for a long awaited Federal Reserve rate hike in mid-December."
Johnson said he would anticipate at least two additional rate hikes of a quarter of a point in calendar 2017 and the expected target Fed fund rates to be 75 to 100 basis points higher than they are today.
"The greatest potential negative impact of a rate rise will be felt in the fixed income markets," he said. "As interest rates rise, the value of existing bonds fall. And, the longer the term (duration) of the bond, the greater the negative price impact of a rise in rates."
Many investors mistakenly think that bonds are safe and stocks are risky, Johnson added. "In an extremely low interest rate environment, even small changes in market yields can lead to dramatic changes in bond values," he said.