Brown In the News

From Mark R. Brown ~ Recession Prep Checklist


With Labor Day now past, another summer is in the rear-view mirror. And though the fall is typically a time of higher volatility in the financial markets, we are still experiencing relative quiet. As of this writing, the U.S. stock market has now eclipsed another all-time high–up more than 10% in 2018. Interest rates, while rising, remain quite low compared to historical averages. Economic indicators, from GDP growth to consumer confidence, remain elevated.

It is precisely because of this rosy outlook that we want to prepare for potentially turbulent times ahead. Since the market bottom in March of 2009, the U.S. stock market has been rising for nearly a decade. The S&P 500 Index is up over 400% cumulatively, and 19% annualized, during this time frame.

We are always preparing for unexpected world events, economic surprises and personal challenges, which is why we invented–and use daily–the Retirement Shock Absorber®. To this end, we want to continue being thoughtful in preparing client portfolios. The following are a list of discussion points that we believe to be topical for today’s environment:

  • Creating “dry powder” now to invest into equities during pullback
    • Not timing the market, but taking advantage of a potential downturn as it happens
    • Rebalancing portfolios to become more aggressive during pullback
  • Review debt, especially at retirement, and consider becoming debt-free if you are not already
  • Reviewing your Retirement Shock Absorber® with your Brown and Company team
  • Reviewing your Lifeboat of Liquidity™ and planning cash flows for future living expenses
  • Reviewing portfolio-related income compared to spending requirement
  • Evaluating the comprehensive balance sheet to improve decision making
    • Availability of turning on cash flow from pensions or annuities
    • Analyzing any “secret weapons” that can be used in times of need:
      • Vacation properties
      • Inheritance
      • Outside investments

We look forward to talking with you over the upcoming months on the above checklist. Please call our team to discuss the specifics for your situation. We remain committed as ever to planning for, and protecting, your successful financial future.


Mark R. Brown, CFP®

Managing Partner | Brown and Company, Inc.