With the stock-market on a seemingly endless thrill ride of highs and lows, investors’ nerves are frayed.
US News recently offered five easy tips for long-term investors to help navigate a volatile market.
- Sell some of your stock.
- Hedge your bets through diversification
- Look for bargains in the market.
- Don't worry about daily swings.
- Keep things in perspective.
US News put the volatility into perspective. “Assuming you have a long-term investment horizon of at least five years, chances are the current volatility will pass in a couple of weeks, months or, in a worse-case scenario, a couple of years,” the report said.
Owen Murray, director of investments at Horizon Advisors, says long-term investors with well-balanced portfolios can essentially ignore the short-term noise in the market.
“Most individual investors position their portfolios to support their long-term financial goals, such as retirement or funding education expenses for their children or grandchildren,” Murray says. “As long as you have confidence that the market will be higher years into the future, you shouldn’t stress out about declines in the near term.”
Not only is there a debate on whether or not investors should brave the daily volatility, there also isn’t even a clear consensus on Wall Street about just why markets themselves are seemingly on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists led by Marko Kolanovic said that biased news outlets, political opportunists and publicity-hungry analysts are whipping the stock market into a frenzy that goes beyond anything justified by economic or earnings fundamentals, Bloomberg reported.
Kolanovic, global head of macro quantitative and derivatives research, was among the JPM analysts who published a year-ahead outlook on Friday with an expected 2019 target of 3,100 on the S&P 500 Index, implying a gain of almost 18 percent from current levels. The latest sell-off has overpriced the risk of recession, said Kolanovic’s colleague John Normand, head of cross-asset fundamental strategy.
The benchmark stock index sank 4.6 percent in the latest week, to 2,633 points, its biggest decline since March, and is down 1.5 percent for the year to date. In the past three weeks, U.S. stocks have lurched between between gains and losses of at least 3 percent, volatility not seen such the global financial crisis a decade ago.
“To some extent, we trace the disconnect between negative sentiment and macroeconomic reality to the reinforcing feedback loop of real and fake negative news,” the strategists wrote.
And they see a lot of factors playing into that loop.
“Domestic political opposition may have an interest to paint a negative economic picture, individual market analysts gain more visibility and coverage with negative calls, and foreign adversaries amplify a negative news cycle in order to foster divisions and erode confidence in financial markets and the economy,” the strategists wrote.
For his part, President Donald Trump reportedly has been “glued” to the recent volatile stock-market movements, worried that his actions are fueling the plunge.
Trump has been asking his advisers if they think the tariffs he's levied against China are causing the market's unrest over the past two months, The Wall Street Journal said. Trump remains convinced that the volatility isn’t his own doing, but rather, the product of the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise the benchmark interest rate, the Journal said.
The president still sees the Dow Jones Industrial Average as a significant benchmark for his performance, WSJ.com said, citing sources close to Trump. The blue chip index is up about 23 percent since Trump's inauguration but turned negative for the year during another rough market session Friday.
While at the White House, he will often keep the TV tuned to business channels and watch the Dow’s minute-to-minute movements, people close to the White House told the Journal.
Asked about Trump’s attention to the stock market, one person close to the White House told the Journal: “He’s glued to it.”
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