It was a rough week for the stock market, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones down well over 1.5%. But the weekend is a good time to take a step back and put things in perspective.
Here’s the ugly month of September for the S&P, including this ugly week:
Here’s Apple‘s ugly month:
A month may feel like a long time to endure frustration and negative feelings day after day. It’s hard not to let the repetition get to you and influence your opinion.
It is not in our instinct to plan months and years in advance. It is only relatively recently that the human race has been afforded the stability and the relative safety to allow us the freedom to think beyond what is right in front of our faces. I don’t know about you, but I’m not worried about killing a rabbit for dinner with some kind of snare. The biggest issue I have when it comes to food is whether I want ice cream or cookies for dessert. And my concern about getting ice cream is that the traffic will be bad on my way to the store. It’s not that I will be mauled and eaten my a saber-toothed tiger.
I harp on keeping things in perspective over and over and over again. But it’s because I see people making the same mistakes over and over and over again. Yes, “Bendgate” and iOS-8 bugs have hurt Apple shares this week. But c’mon, look at this beast:
And that’s just one year’s worth of perspective. Check this out:
Hey, wanna know one of the easiest trading techniques you could have used in the past ten years to become a millionaire? You could have put $30,000 in Apple back in 2004 and then turned off CNBC and forgotten about it.
I’m as nervous as the next guy about the direction the market is headed over the next few months. But that doesn’t mean I’m predicting its downfall just yet. Yes, it’s true that I believe there is a large correction coming at some point, but that correction could come next month or it could come in 2018.
The stock market is not black and white. It it were, it would be no more than a giant ATM. To be a successful trader, you must have a balance of aggression, fear, perspective, fluidity, and discipline. Timing is everything. I can hate the stock market’s prospects over the next week, love the market’s prospects over the next three months, hate the market’s prospects over the next three years, and love the market’s prospects over the next 10 years. And even though I’m talking about the same exact stock market, the time-frames make a huge difference.
Here’s this week in some perspective: yes, the S&P 500 dropped 32 points on Thursday and was extremely volatile all week long. But really? Is this really so scary?
Everybody have a great weekend, and try to remember to keep everything in your life in perspective, not just the stock market. Things are rarely as extreme or important as they feel like they are in the moment. There’s only a handful of things that truly matter in life, and the rest is just details.
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