Stay the course in market downturns

3 min read

May 20, 2022


The market is a blood bath today and has been for the past few weeks. Even as someone who only marginally checks in on their portfolio I want to check on it more than normal as things are tanking. It has me thinking about why I am looking at stocks more and if it really matters.

Even though I am checking more I think the key at this point is to just stay the course. I find myself thinking "should I wait for the bottom?" or "should I invest more right now?" which is essentially trying to time the market, something I typically don't try to do. It's true that there are could be more opportunities right now to see some amazing returns, but at the same time probably just as many seeming good opportunities that may never return to previous highs. Staying the course takes more of the emotion out and hopefully will stop me from making any drastic decisions. I realize that I too am not impervious to YOLOing into something so I'm trying to set a couple of guidelines for myself. Maybe you will find them helpful too.

Continuing to Be Boring

Honestly I am a really boring investor for the most part. I essentially subscribe to the "buy an index and chill" for 95+% of my investments. I sometimes like to look at other stocks or crypto but chicken out before I actually make a purchase. I'm not making any sort of recommendations just reflecting on the past few years of my investing journey.

I think being boring investing wise helps not doing anything too drastic because nothing super exciting happened in the first place with my portfolio. Don't get me wrong, it's great to see numbers go up and sucks to see your portfolio shrink but the highs and lows are a bit more muted. Typically an index investor doesn't (hopefully) see giant gains or losses on any small time frame. I hope to stay boring for the most part.

Autopilot helps

I am going to keep the automatic mutual fund purchasing going. As I said before it's really tempting to want to hoard cash to have a giant buy at the bottom but who knows if I'll time it right. I'm keeping my autopilot on to keep myself from doing exactly that.

Just keep buying

Dollar cost averaging is your friend. I might not time the bottom exactly but hopefully my consistent buys will buy me more shares on really down days. This plays into the autopilot guideline as well. My autopilot buying will hopefully be my friend long term to purchase the various fluctuations in the market.

Keeping buying also means to stay the course even if things get really bad. I'm really hoping that this downturn is a blip but once again I don't know. Either way I will keep buying as long as I am able to swing it.