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Anybody reading the papers this last few day will have seen the volatility of share prices, with the FTSE 100 now at 6200 against a peak of over 6700 in early July.

Some call it a “correction”, others a “crash” – probably depends from where you’re viewing it.

So, how to survive? Well, we can’t give investment advice here, and neither do we have a crystal ball, but a few pointers:

– first, a loss is only a loss when you realise it. If you’re a long term investor, who know where the markets will be 6 months, 12 months, 5 years? Long term equities have always beaten bank and building society deposits hands down.

– secondly, think about your risk profile. If you’re heading for retirement or otherwise know you need access to funds soon, watch the market, or get a broker to do it for you, and when you think its at its best switch into something less risky. On the other hand if you are a long term investor, then you can afford to take a longer term view, survive short downturns, and await the future growth.

– think about your investment mixes. A mix of equities, property, managed funds (eg a pension) and cash is likely to be a good choice. Putting all your eggs in one basket, be it shares, buy to lets, whatever isn’t a good strategy.

– monitor your overall portfolio – equities, ISAs/ PEPs, pension funds, endowments and so on. Devise your own system for monitoring performance periodically – I do it every six months.

– if you are using an IFA or a broker make sure they are clear about your risk profile and goals.

– and finally, remember the price of shares may go up and down, you may not get back what you put in, yada yada – but you knew that anyway?