Panic is Not an Investment StrategySubmitted by Saratoga Financial Services on April 23rd, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak, which has brought global economies to a near standstill, has sent the major US equity averages (the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq) tumbling into bear market territory, putting an end to the record bull run that began in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Uncertainty in the market paired with breaking news stories can test even the most seasoned long-term investors. During these times, it's very tempting to think about pulling your money out of the market. The media seems to focus on anxiety-ridden news stories, reporting daily 'breaking news' segments with terms like 'markets in turmoil' and 'stock market crash'. Even the most experienced investors are not immune from reacting emotionally to these ratings-driven scare tactics. It's easy to second-guess your better judgement if you let the headlines affect your emotions. While these thoughts are very normal, selling solely because the market has suffered a big decline over a very short period of time may be the worst thing you can do. Panic selling not only locks in losses, but also puts investors at risk for missing the market's best days, not giving your portfolio an opportunity to recover.
When markets fall sharply they also tend to rebound sharply. Therefore, your time in the market is more valuable than trying to time the market. We know that volatility can be hard to sit with, but that's exactly what you need to do. No one wants to be sitting on the sideline when the market decides to rebound. History shows that the market rewards investors who can bear the volatility and avoid the harmful emotional traps. For example:
Staying the course isn't easy, but instead of allowing your emotions to dictate your decisions, focus on maintaining a long-term perspective that can help you ride out the challenging times.
We know that the past couple of months have been trying, but w e want to assure you that we are here to support you through the good times and the more difficult ones. As always, please feel free to contact us at (518) 584-2555 any time if you have questions or concerns. Stay positive and stay healthy - we will get through this together.