Spread the Good News

Lately, it seems like only bad news travels fast. We are all under a constant barrage of news and information, and most of it seems to be negative. If you turn on any 24-hour news channel, there will be a non-stop “Breaking News” crawl across the bottom of the screen alerting you to the most recent thing you need to worry about. Negativity sells.

The good news is that no matter what has happened in history, staying invested and sticking to a prudent strategy has always been the best decision for the long term. And, while there will never be time where we all sit back and think there is nothing to worry about, I can say that the markets have been very resilient through a lot of periods where people have opined “this time it’s different.”

In a way, ‘they’ (media, talking heads, analysts) have been right. The headlines and the reasons to be concerned have varied from time to time, but what has not been different is the resiliency of the markets through a lot of political, financial, and global turmoil.

Look no further back than February of this year for some examples. Here is a small sampling of some headlines:

 

The headline:
-From the USA Today, February 2nd, 2016: “February not likely to rescue stocks, history shows”
What actually happened:
-The S&P 500 erased almost all losses from January 2016

The headline:
-From Money Morning, February 8th, 2016: “Why the Dow Jones Industrial Average Fell 177 Points Today” (blamed on lower oil prices)
What actually happened:
-The Dow was up .30% in February and 7.08% in April, while oil was up only slightly

The headline:
-From Business Insider, February 11th, 2016: “Chaos on Wall Street”
What actually happened:
-The Dow went up 1,100 points the remainder of the month

 

Seeing the larger picture while these types of headlines are grabbing our eyes and ears can be difficult. The key is to stay focused on your own needs and goals and stick with that strategy. Rebalancing (as mentioned in our previous post) can help smooth out some of the rough patches.

According to Morningstar, staying invested in stocks over various periods has given investors a greater chance of positive returns. Here’s a ‘good news’ chart using equity (stock) returns in calendar-year periods from 1926 through 2015:
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Source: Morningstar. *As represented by the Ibbotson Associates SBBI Large Company Stock Index (calendar years ended December 31).

While this may not be headline-grabbing information, it is a positive indicator for those investors who can stay the course. So, spread the good news, staying invested is almost always the best choice!

Spread the Good News
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