O'Connor: How to prepare for stock market swings
Crises that buffet the financial markets have become commonplace in recent years: 2008’s banking crisis, the housing market implosion, credit woes at home and abroad, currency fluctuations, natural disasters. As a result, stock prices have been extremely volatile, sometimes rising or falling by 10 percent or more in a matter of weeks – or even days. The past couple of years have been challenging for investors, to say the least.
Fortunately, there’s a straightforward way to meet the challenge of market volatility. The key is to create a mix of investments that can weather big swings in the stock market — while still providing the potential for gains over time.
While the recent frequency of market disruptions may seem unprecedented, investors can take a lesson from prior decades’ periods of extreme stock market swings, including severe declines. In the mid-1970s, a deep economic recession and a national energy crisis contributed to steep drops for stocks, which fell more than 26 percent in 1974 alone. And the early 2000s’ collapse of the dot-com bubble led to a string of annual losses, with stocks dropping more than 22 percent during 2002.
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