Got the jitters? It’s OK – Call us
We know. This is not fun. Sure, we’ve seen the market do worse. But it doesn’t have to be the worst to hurt. Add to it the human element, and it may feel like the worst. Stocks dropped over 50% during the 2008 financial crisis, but for most, that was just something to read about. You couldn’t really see it. Today, the virus may be microscopic, but we can all certainly see it. Quarantines, canceled events, empty restaurants and flights, those silly masks, Tom Hanks, and of course, wall-to-wall media hype.
So what should you do?
Avoid risky stuff like stocks? Stocks are as risky now as they were at the high three weeks ago, as they have been our whole lives. Sometimes the risk shows, like now, and sometimes it doesn’t, all at different degrees. No one has ever known, and no one will ever know, when is a good time to be risky. It’s unpredictable.
Should you panic? Try not to. Most people aren’t. It just seems like they are because you’re only hearing from those who are. Panic-mode decisions are sure to cost you a bundle. The best decisions are made logically with reason. Panic is the absolute opposite of that.
Should you just sell and be done with it? As we wrote this at 6pm yesterday (Thursday), the S&P 500 is down 27% from its all-time high just three weeks ago. Selling now locks that in. Forever. Selling now to get back in later is a fool’s game. You’ll surely be buying higher than where you sold, as the eventual recovery will come like a bat out of hell, as it always does. Ultimately, you’ll just be ensuring that you’ll have less money in the future because you’re nervous today.
Better to ask yourself, do you need to sell? If we’ve recommended that you have money in stocks, then you have the time to let this play out and recover. Stocks are long term. Your short term needs are met by some combination of cash in the bank, bonds, pensions, social security, and income from work. That’s why we plan before we invest. You do not need to sell.
Here’s our recommendation: talk to us. Email is ok, but a good, ol’ fashioned phone call or visit is always better. Let us reassure you why you’re invested the way you are (for the fifth time, if you’re John’s mom). Let us remind you that your financial well-being is important to us, and that we truly care for you. When you’re with us, we’re family (the good family, not the loser cousin). So reach out, and we will be there.
Here’s to a great rebound!
John, Bill, Mark & Melanie