Fiscal Cliff Notes: Position Your Portfolio To Survive The Fall

Image by: m.prinke
By Steven Morrison II

With a deal to keep the U.S. economy from going off the much-ballyhooed “fiscal cliff”looking less and less likely, investors might want to prepare for the potential economic superstorm by parking your money in places where it can best ride it out.

It should be noted that there are many respected economists that feel that the so-called fiscal cliff is just a bunch of hot air, all part of the political show playing out in Washington. And they may be right – the market has not been acting like all hell is going to break loose at any moment. There is a noticable calm.

In fact, many experts say not to panic, that the cliff won’t be as bad as they say. But you’ve decided to hedge your bets and protect your assets, just in case.

You Bet Your Assets

There are many ways that the fiscal cliff scenario can play out – that part you cannot control. What you can control, however, is what happens to your money. You do not want your wealth lost during times of uncertainty. You have chosen the safe route, even if it means eating a few fees now to save potential losses in the hundreds of thousands later.

To combat the results of going over the cliff, some financial wizards suggest that some would be wise to take their retirement account and convert it into a Roth IRA. And when it comes to stocks and bonds, you should cut your exposure down to about half of the total percentage of your portfolio, just to be safe.

Also, because of the triggered tax adjustments as part of the cliff, if you are planning to give someone a big gift, you should do so before the end of the year to avoid a bigger bite from the government.

Due to the potential for capital gains taxes to rise next year, it would also be prudent to sell any stocks you were planning to sell in early 2013 now, or at least before the end of the year.

Game, Set & Mattress

Are you actually wearing camo right now? Do you already have a closet full of MREs, shotgun shells and zombie survival kits? Then maybe you should just go ahead and take your money out of the markets, convert it all to cash and stuff it into your mattress. Really, go ahead. We’ll wait.

You’ve already checked out from society anyway, apparently.

Actually don’t do that. Please stick with guaranteed institutions. One horrible house fire and you’re all kinds of screwed. Plus, having all that cash around makes a person crazy and afraid to leave the house. That’s why they invented banks.