The majority of Ward's clients, however, are less concerned about missing out on gains than they are in avoiding a market meltdown. "Most of my clients are retired, and they're concerned about volatility," Ward said. "They've lived through it twice, and they don't want to do it a third time."
With the broad increase in the stock market, one downside of portfolio rebalancing is the taxable capital gains it generates for investors. And other than in the energy sector and possibly emerging markets, there aren't a lot of places to find capital losses to offset those gains. That, of course, is good news, but it does mean people will have more significant tax bills. "A rebalancing is going to sell from the positions that have gone up the most, and it's hard to find losses in a portfolio that's been invested since 2009," Ward said.
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Apart from the investment markets, the rising cost of health care continues to be one of the chief concerns of middle-class Americans, and many people are looking to their financial advisors for help.
"I think people are becoming much more aware of the high cost of health care, particularly in retirement," Ward said. "We have a separate budget line item of $1,000 per month for additional retirement health-care costs for our clients, and that doesn't even include long-term care or nursing care."