Yikes! The Sky is Falling!!!

As I write, the market’s in a nose dive. Panicked investors are running for the exits.

Please tell me you’re not one of them.

By the time you read this, stocks may have recovered. Or not. The only certainty is that, long term, the trajectory has always been up.

Besides, price swings only matters when you sell. It’s called the Rule of the Roller Coaster: You only get hurt when you jump off. 

I discovered this the hard way. My first foray into stocks came after my divorce, in 1986. My broker sent me all kinds of reports and statements, none of which I understood, so I threw them away.

A year later, Oct. 1987, the market tanked…big time! I freaked out, called my broker, told him to sell everything. He begged me not to.

“The market will go back up,’ he said, “It always does.”

I didn’t care. I wanted my money where it was ‘safe’.  Of course, the market rebounded, quite quickly. If I stayed put, I’d be a lot richer now. But I learned my lesson.

Fast forward, 10 years later. October, 1997.  Prince Charming Isn’t Coming had been published. I knew a hell of a lot more about investing.

Again, the market plummeted. This time, I’m on the phone calling Schwab. My now 2nd ex-husband was upstairs, pacing the floor, in a frenzy about his finances. My teenage daughter comes downstairs, sees me on the phone, asks what I’m doing.

“I’m buying stock” I tell her.

“But mom,” she says, “The market’s crashing.”

“No, Anna” I say. “It’s a sale!”

I understood it then. I understood that eventually the market would go back up…I didn’t know when, but I knew it would.

Sure enough, in the 20+ years I’ve been invested, despite living through at least 8 market crashes, not just corrections like now (when market falls 10%), but full on crashes (when the market plunges 20%), I’m proud to say, I’ve done very, very well for myself.

The secret to success in investing is sticking to a long term approach. Otherwise, you’re not investing. You’re gambling.

What’s your reaction to this crazy market?

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Comments & Feedback

  • Kat

    Hanging tight for now! I am in about 85% stock and about 12 years from considering retirement, so may be time to rebalance. I am getting married in May and will need to reconsider our total assets after that. Meeting with accountant soon to start planning. My fiance already has a wealth advisor but I think he is paying too much for the service and we will reconsider. Worked for him because he didn’t want to be involved in investing but with me on board, a long time, highly successful investor, time for that to change!

  • Kat

    PS I told my kids the same thing during every market correction, time to go shopping!

  • Monica

    I am sorry not to be there yet, I would have gone shopping!

  • Leanne Duckmanton

    I actually totally forgot about my stocks portfolio. There were warnings since Dec that it was oversold so I actually sold a far bit back then and now I’m enjoying the re buy. But I’ve been totally distracted by my cryptocurrency portfolio bouncing by 30-70% since it bottomed out. The lesson for me has been poignant. Whatever you invest in there are always signs or sentiment that the market is going to go up or down. A year ago I was disinterested now finances are up there with the fun part of my life. When they go down I plan the buys and when they go up I enjoy the profits.

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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