The stock market road…
Recent news provided a change from the constant barrage of political broadcasts. Enough Trump, enough Hillary, is there anything else happening in the world?
Well, as a matter of fact, yes.
For a number of nail-biting, nerve-wracking days the alternative news was not upbeat.
The stock market plunged. Plummeted. Went down. A lot.
Most people are not stock market aficionados. I, on the other hand, spent 15 years in the financial field. Market data aired on my office TV throughout the day, performing its magic as colors changed from red to green and back again, and chart lines meandered up and down. Watching too closely made one dizzy.
As a retiree my days begin with a review of the local papers, New York Times and Wall Street Journal headlines, emails, and a Facebook scan. No different than many retirees’ early morning routine. However once the stock market opens, market headlines receive a once-over.
My philosophy has always been invest for the long term. As I age my horizon shortens, but remains focused on tomorrows.
I did not panic and sell during the financial crisis years ago. Most of the clients of the financial firm I worked for also took a deep breath and concentrated on the future, hoping the crisis was not going to deplete their resources forever. They were diversified enough to avoid becoming victims of immediate impoverishment.
It took years for the market to recover and move ahead, but it did.
Now, mainly because of events on the other side of the world, the market scared us again. It is difficult to avoid feeling panic-stricken while watching the numbers in almost real-time flash on electronic gadgets while serious-sounding, alarmed broadcasters add to our sense of fear.
Sometimes it is a good thing when not connected continually electronically. Do we really need to know in real time Trump’s position on immigration, or whether or not Biden is going to jump into the race, or how the world’s stock markets are performing? Are our lives enhanced with this up-to-the-minute information? Or does it simply fill our time and clog our brains?
I want to be connected and know what is happening, but wish to manage my need-to-know.
If I panic whenever the stock market reacts negatively to events, I should not be in the market. When I cannot afford the risk, or stomach the volatility, it is time to get out. Now I monitor investments, hope for the best but prepare for, if not the worst, a period of disquieting conditions.
And should the worst occur, I know where my kids live.