Grin and Bear It

Jonathan Clements

IS THE STOCK MARKET swoon messing with your head? You don’t want to make this market decline any worse than it has to be. To that end, here are 10 steps that’ll help preserve your sanity and your portfolio:

  1. Avoid touching both your face and leveraged exchange-traded index funds.
  2. Change the password on your investment accounts to “ItsTooLateToSell.”
  3. Downgrade your opinion of investors based on their degree of hysteria.
  4. Don’t watch Contagion, Margin Call or the New York Knicks.
  5. Quarantine your emotions every time the Dow drops 1,000 points.
  6. After your brother-in-law finishes pontificating, ask whether he inherited his clairvoyance from his mother or his father.
  7. Avoid contact with insurance agents pitching equity-indexed annuities. Don’t shake hands with brokers on any deal that promises downside protection.
  8. Unless you live in a ranch-style house, stay away from open windows.
  9. Wash your hands for 20 seconds after watching CNBC.
  10. Use the vacation fund to buy stocks. Mention it to your spouse after he’s had a few drinks.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @ClementsMoney and on Facebook. His most recent articles include Bad NewsDon’t Lose It and Stand Your Ground.

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Jack McHugh
Jack McHugh
3 years ago

‘Use the vacation fund to buy stocks.’
I see a lot of that kind of talk right now, and don’t necessarily disagree – for younger people. But as a former ‘beat the market’ timer type now on the wagon of rules-based index fund investing – plus getting pretty close to retirement – I’ll probably stick to my rule of rebalance once a year, in January.
Dumb luck, but that dodged me a bullet this year, and took money off the table at the top two years ago. (In the mini-bear of Jan. 2019 I did some minor ‘buy only’ rebalancing.)

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