The last couple of months have been a trying time for investors. A strong 2017 upward trend (not to mention the prior decade’s upward trend) was dramatically contrasted by a volatile year that ended in a steeply downward facing fourth quarter. The S&P 500 total return (including dividends) closed down 13.5% for the quarter and 4.4% for the year. US small company stocks (measured by the Russel 2000 TR) closed down 20.2% for the quarter and 11% for the year*. While these figures are not comfortable for most of us to digest, it’s important to remember that the recent dips are being taken off of a ten year high in which the market rose nearly 400%. Yes, the market will go up, dip down, be flat, and carry us along it’s emotional rollercoaster, but the most important thing to remember is that it’s a long road and a long ride. You will be better off in the long run committing and maintaining course versus reacting and trying to dance around the unknown. My motto: just keep sailing.
The following article, “What Should You Do About a Falling Stock Market? Nothing“, posted by The New York Times on January 3, provides a friendly reminder that sometimes it’s best to just take a nap and ignore the noise. Enjoy the read.