Stoicism amid market turmoil comes hard when a tsunami of dire investment headlines and plunging prices hits you, as we’ve seen for the first 2+ months of 2022. Your financial future rides on Wall Street. What should you do?
Let’s look at recent history. In 2008, the problem was credit risk fears, rising inflation, and collapsing home prices – along with oil hitting $100 a barrel. This time the culprits are different, but very much the same, with investors worried about credit risk fears, rising inflation, and Russia’s aggression – along with oil hitting $100 a barrel.
The effect remains the same: double-digit drops and a possible bear market’s roar announcing a nasty market correction – the first in about two years (as of early March, the S&P 500 was down close to 10% for the year and NASDAQ was pretty far into correction territory).
Consider the mistake some investors made exiting markets in 2008-09. Or those exiting markets in March of 2020 (stocks bottomed on March 23rd by the way). Those investors selling locked in steep losses and often were too nervous to get back into markets as prices rebounded. The result: a double-drubbing.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind in the current market turmoil.
Stocks outperform other asset classes – even considering bouts of steep decline. Investing in stocks means remaining disciplined through both good times and bad – and no formula exists for consistently timing markets to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. Investors who attempt such timing often get sub-par returns because they actually often end up doing the opposite: buying high and selling low.
Higher historic returns on stocks go hand in hand with higher volatility. Conversely, we expect a lower return from bonds in exchange for lower volatility. Pursuing higher long-term returns means accepting accompanying risk, period.
Your portfolios should be based on your unique financial and personal circumstances. This conceptual purpose doesn’t change if stocks correct 10% or rise 10%. Yes, you should rebalance regularly. But don’t buy or sell in a panic.
While fundamentals are little changed, lower prices make stocks more attractive, if anything. (Which is what Cliff noted in Cliff's Notes published on March 1, 2022.)
Proper asset allocation is the one free lunch in the investment world. The magical effects of diversification – which helps smooth returns over time – persist.
During a massive selloff, stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, and other asset classes may all exhibit weakness but this is a short-term phenomenon. Once we move beyond the urge to excessively sell in a panic, the benefits of diversification again become obvious.
Your core portfolio needs to be sufficiently diversified (multiple assets classes with lower correlations) to give you the highest probability of achieving your goals for the reasons important to you. Stick to your core portfolio and look to rebalance so you remain on track long after you forget the scary headlines.
This material provided by Cornerstone Wealth Group is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation of any particular security, strategy, or investment. Any securities mentioned herein are not to be taken as advice or recommendation to buy or sell a specific security. The information provided may not be applicable to your account managed by Cornerstone Wealth Group. Please contact Cornerstone Wealth Group for specific information regarding the holdings and trading activity of your account. Opinions expressed in this commentary do not represent a personalized recommendation of a particular investment strategy to you. Additionally, you should review and consider any recent market news. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting markets or other conditions. The data provided is believed to be accurate, but its accuracy, completeness, or reliability cannot be guaranteed.
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