The sky is falling!
At least, that’s what you would think if you read financial news headlines after the S&P 500 dropped over 3% in just one day last Friday.
“Stocks are freefalling!” read one particular article I came across.
I’ve felt the hit a little, myself. I saw our investment accounts drop around $3000 in the last week or so. While not a huge amount compared to the decreases long-time investors have seen, it’s still not so much fun to watch the numbers fall.
So, you know what I’m doing differently with our investing since the stock market is going down?
The reality is that this is actually a relatively small drop compared to the market crash in 2008 or the tech bubble burst of 2000. Despite all the noise from financial media, the S&P 500 is only down about 7% for the year, compared to 43% in 2008.
And even if we were seeing a bigger crash like that of 2008, it wouldn’t affect my long-term investing outlook at all, except that maybe I’d invest even more heavily. In fact, when you’ve got a lot of years until you plan to touch your invested money, market drops are like the clearance aisle of the stock market.
Historically, I know that the market has gone up over every 15-year period in the last 100 years, and I don’t see any reason that trend shouldn’t continue. There are terrible months and even years in history where it has plummeted, but it always comes back up and surpasses its previous high point.
Long-term investing is pretty boring. You just keep putting money away with each paycheck, ignoring the financial news, and you go about your life. Frankly, I’m not interested in what the market’s doing today because it has no bearing on my financial behavior at all. There are plenty of far more important things to think about – like what I’m going to eat for breakfast tomorrow