Market Turbulence

What to Do When the Markets are in Turmoil

 “We’ve never seen anything like this,” my friend whispered in an ominous tone. “Like what?” I asked. “This economy,” he continued. “You know, inflation. Debt. The stock market.” “You’re worried about the stock market?” I asked. “Aren’t you?” he responded. “Do you remember when COVID-19 first appeared?” I asked. “In late February 2020, the stock …

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Timing is Everything (but Predictable)

“DOUBLE YOUR NEST EGG” the headline screamed. “Now’s the time to jump into cheap stocks, funds and real estate.” Bad timing for a magazine called “Smart Money.” This headline was on the cover of the October 2008 issue—immediately before an epic financial crisis and market meltdown.  In early October 2008, the Dow Jones Industrial Average …

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The Problem with Swimming Naked

Legendary investor Warren Buffett once said, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” This was the billionaire’s iconic way of saying that risky financial behaviors inevitably get exposed when economic conditions change dramatically.  Unless you have been snoozing the last 6-8 months, you probably know the economy is changing. …

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When the Markets are Making You Nervous

“I bet you’re getting a lot of calls.” I could tell by the background noise he was driving with his windows down. I suppose calling to needle me seemed a good way to pass the time. I didn’t take the bait. “Calls about what?”  “This dang market,” he said. “Inflation is out of control. Fuel …

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Are You Betting Against the Odds?

Each year the college basketball season concludes with a tournament known as “March Madness.”  Part of the appeal is that there’s often a team from a small school that gets on a roll and beats several heavily favored opponents. Fans love these David vs. Goliath storylines. This year, in the men’s bracket, the unlikely underdog …

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When Investing Feels Like Gambling

“The stock market is like gambling,” someone told me earlier this week. I understand such feelings.  Thanks to inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and other factors, the markets are more volatile than normal. The S&P 500 is a prime example. It fell 12% earlier this year. It has since recovered about half that year-to-date …

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The Problem with Those “Average Returns”

An old joke says that if you keep one foot on a hot stove and your other foot in an ice bucket, on average you should be comfortable. That line always makes me smile. It underscores a reality in the world of markets and investing—averages can be both mathematically accurate and experientially awful.  Case in …

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Do These 3 Things When the Market is Soaring

The stock market is at an all-time high. Which is great, right? Your 401(k) has never been higher, and you’ve never been richer! But wait. “What goes up must come down,” right? If the market is soaring now, is a dip—or a crash—just ahead?  It’s a dilemma: Should we be content or concerned? Should we …

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