All my life I have loved to fix things. I was never content letting someone else do it. I had to do it myself. At age 7 when my gas-powered airplane wouldn’t start, I put my little brain to work. I knew it needed fuel, air and battery in the right quantities to start. I just needed to figure out which one was off. I soon had it flying again. At 17 years old my Ford Pinto wouldn’t start. Same problem, same solution. Throughout my marriage there has been a similar theme. Call for help? Ask directions? Not going to happen. My wife, sometimes frustrated, knew I was determined to fix it myself.
I am an American. I am blessed, sometimes cursed, with that amazing spirit that I can do anything. I can fix anything. That’s what Americans do. It is what we have always done.
It’s now 2020 and our nation has built the biggest and baddest economy the world has ever seen. This economic engine is unstoppable. Then suddenly, without warning, it sputters. We clamor for a solution. Fuel? Air? Battery? What is it missing? What is wrong? The problem, the roadblock, the obstacle is so tiny we can’t even see it. A little virus has clogged our engine and it frightens us. We demand a solution because we are Americans, and we can fix anything. We always have.
Fear of this virus has sent Wall Street into a bear market, the sixth in my career, and people are asking what to do. The best action is taken long before a bear market hits. If your portfolio has suffered losses anywhere near what the Dow Average has done this month, and I mean even half of it, then you were unprepared. Assuming you were well allocated, what do you do next?
March 12th gave us a clue. On that day stocks, bonds, U.S. treasuries, gold, even Bitcoin were all down. It was a remarkable day for future textbooks to analyze. It was the day the investing world stood still with nowhere to flee. So what is a red blooded, “I can fix it” American investor to do? We insist on an answer, but there wasn’t one on that day.
Our American nature demands solutions, but sometimes, on some days, there isn’t one. This won’t be easy advice for Americans, it goes against our nature, but, assuming you entered this bear market prepared – take a deep breath, relax, and wait. Tomorrow or next month, an opportunity will surely come. We can’t fix everything. Some things just need to fix themselves. This virus will cause its pain, upset lives, and run its course. Then it will end. The stock market damage has not been caused by the virus, but by fear. When you see fear begin to subside, that will be your opportunity to start reinvesting the cash you have set aside just for times like these.
Some days, the best thing to do, the wisest thing to do, the most profitable thing to do, is nothing.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 375 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
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