I thought you all could use something a little on the lighthearted side this morning, given the way the markets are bolting like a pack of startled deer.
For those who missed the action, here’s a brief recap. Months of wrangling over the debt ceiling ended when the two sides reached a tepid agreement on some cosmetic cuts and setting up the framework for future debt relief. That wasn’t good enough for credit rating giant Standard and Poor’s, which downgraded the United States from its coveted AAA rating to an AA+. While that’s hardly catastrophic in and of itself—not to mention nobody quite understands what S&P’s is doing right now—it’s causing skittish investors to sell off in mass quantities. Hence the decline in global stocks this morning, which may be followed by U.S. indexes later today.
This isn’t the end of the world as we know (apologies to R.E.M.!) but it obviously hurts our stock portfolios and gives the markets a kick to the cojones right when they needed a kick in the pants. We’ll come through it, but it’s going to be dicey for a little while.
So this morning, BizEngine would like to present seven ways you can ride out the stumbling stock markets. Some of these are serious, some are not. I’m willing to bet you can spot the difference.
- Hold tight. The worst thing you can do in a mass sell-off is panic and sell everything off, too. The value of your stocks is as low as it’s going to be for a while, so why not let it rebound? Don’t react blindly.
- If you do sell, keep it safe. If you have money in long-term bank accounts or the like, or if you’re planning to sell and get that money out, make sure it’s in a stable account somewhere. Don’t sit on a pile of cash at home.
- Don’t comb the news for hours. The news, by its very nature, tends to emphasize the worst of what’s going on. Read it for a few hours and you’ll be stocking cans of beans in your basement. I don’t think that’s necessary.
- Throw yourself into your business. Just because the stock markets tumble doesn’t mean your business needs to, too. Set out to make improvements and keep business humming and you’ll be too busy to worry overmuch about the dip in the markets.
- Build a bunker. Concrete, stone, space-age metal…it doesn’t matter. When the market somehow triggers the end of civilization, you’ll be ready! Practice the “duck and cover.”
- Become an expert. Nothing will sooth the worried minds of your friends and family like you being able to rattle off the history of the global stock markets and confidently predict their futures. Bonus points for lecturing.
- Get cryogenically frozen. Why agonize over the stock markets when you can sleep through them? Why, you may even wake up in a world with no stock markets at all!
Suggest your own methods for avoiding and/or enduring the madness in the comments.