What is happening in the stock market as well as the broader economy right now is ugly and there are real underlying issues that will take time and pain to resolve. The bottom line for me as an investor is that I don't require the money that I am putting at risk in the market for at least seven years. Due to this I can afford to brush off paper losses and take advantage of major weakness in stock prices to do some buying. The recovery is inevitable, the timing is unknowable. Corporations will continue to strive to grow earnings year after year and our capitalist world will enable them to do so over time. These same corporations will also continue to throw me growing cash in the form of dividends, to keep me satisfied as an investor in their profitable firms.
I am not sure if we have hit the bottom yet, nobody is, but one thing I do know is that many stocks are offering up much better value lately than they were months ago. Yields are up and P/E ratios are down. Many companies have earnings that are able to remain fairly stable through recessions and other market turmoil. Some companies will earn less money in the next few years than they did in the last few, but their share prices are reflecting anemic growth for the next ten years.
The point is that it really doesn't matter if we've hit bottom or not. A bell will not ring when we do, and the economic world will still look as bleak as it does now when we do. All a long term investor can do is remember that they are just that, long term investors, and continue to evaluate potential investments for purchase as they have always done or simply dump more money into the general indices, since they can buy more of them than they could last quarter. Avoid the temptation to do something reactionary with your long term equity positions to combat against the crash we saw last week. If you are not buying, consider doing nothing.
Yes, it is a giant sale on stocks, Shop Wisely For The Long Term.
Some great further reading here:
Your Retirement Income is On Sale, by Dividend Money
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