It’s been a rough year for major indexes.
The S&P has fallen more than 18 percent. The Dow is down 14 percent and tech stocks on the Nasdaq have plummeted more than 28 percent.
The simple explanation is that big federal stimulus has driven up inflation, which is an increase in the price of goods and services.
“The market doesn’t like inflation, because the Fed [Federal Reserve System] has to raise interest rates, because too much inflation creates a very volatile economy,” said Kevin Spellman, a senior lecturer and the David O Nicholas Director of Investment Management at UW-Milwaukee.
The upshot — there’s a lot less money on paper in your 401K or stock portfolio for the time being.
So, is it time to sell?
“Well, a lot of the selling should have been done earlier,” said Spellman.
That means, at least to a lot of financial advisers, that if you didn’t get out earlier in the year, it’s time to sit and hold.
“Everybody should just take a deep breath, and contrary to what most people would think, this would be a very good time to plan that vacation and get away from everything,” said Tim Banks, a financial adviser with Lpl Financial in Franklin.
Banks has been in the business for 42 years and ultimately, he said, market forces more powerful than the individual investor, like you and me, will determine the value of your money.
For the rest, he recommends are good financial adviser with a vetted background.
Still, there’s another step you can take to impact your money — a deep educational dive into the market.
“If you have no interest in doing it, you’re stuck with the buy and hold and taking what you get,” said Rick Rogowski, the enrollment director at Online Trading Academy.
He wants investors to know that they have options.
Right now, the academy is teaching students to short the market — selling high and buying low — as the economy may be trending toward a recession.
“If you can’t assess risk, you don’t take the trade, because you have to have good risk-reward. Stop treating your 401K like a piggy bank and treat it like a business,” he said.
Not everyone has the time to take a class on how to the short the market or learn how to trade beyond long-term holds or monthly withholdings for a 401K.
Rogowski also admits control over your investment has its limited when it comes to the power of institutional investors.