This Week's Market Reminder

This week was a rough one for US stocks.  On Wednesday the S&P 500 lost 3.29%.  On Thursday it lost another 1.7%.  By the time you’re reading this on Friday the 12th, there’s a chance those decreases are even worse.  

Even with such losses, the market is (as of now) about where it was a few months ago, and still positive for the year, extending the current 9 year bull market run.  

I count it as a win that I didn’t receive a single call or email from any members of the Fident Family panicking.  We invest for the long haul.  We come to expect short term selloffs like these, even (especially?) when we don’t know when they’ll occur. 

I debated not addressing the market at all this week, but felt it was a good time to remember that investing for the long haul means coming to expect short term downfalls like this.  We don’t know when they’ll happen, we oftentimes don’t know why they happen, and we’ll never know how long they last until the market is once again back at all time highs and these times are in the rear-view mirror.

This doesn’t discount the emotions involved - they’re real.  It’s not fun, and the General Unknown is just hard.  But we can’t allow emotions to drown out the reasoning of why we’re invested the way that we are.  Investing in equities is still a time-tested proven way to build wealth and accomplish goals - as long we retain a long-term perspective and don’t panic.  
Interesting Resources 

1. A Wealth of Common Sense  - Big Down Days
Ben Carlson, in his typical no-nonsense historical research fashion, unveils some perspective on big down days in the market.  A few summary points: Wednesday's fall of the S&P 500 was the worst since . February of this year; there have been 325 trading day loses of 3% or worse since 1928, or an average of 3.62 a year; volatility tends to cluster in the markets for the simple fact that it’s easier for investors to panic when markets are going down. 

2. - Warren Buffet Says Ultimate Test of How You’ve Lived Your Life Boils Down to 1 Powerful Word
Just a great read, and great reminder, from one of the most successful investors - Warren Buffet.  “Basically, when you get to my age, you'll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. That's the ultimate test of how you have lived your life.”

3. Relevant Magazine  - Is It OK to Give to Charities Instead of Tithing?
I’ve fielded this question more than a few times over the years - and I’m always torn with how to answer.  This article does an excellent job of unpacking some issues behind the question - really examining your relationship with the local church you’re a part of.  Do you believe in the mission? Is the mission being accomplished? Would you trust them with your money?  If the answers to any of these are No, then you might have a larger issue to consider.  
If anyone in the Fident Family does need to connect about the recent market downtuns - please don't ever hesitate to reach out.  Sometimes we just need a listening ear, no matter what the evidence seems to speak to us.

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