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Please Don’t be a Noob

16 September 2008 1,290 views No Comment

Don’t start giving in to panic as the market works its way lower. Sure some once impressive financial institutions are going the way of dinosaurs. Perhaps your 401(k) looks like it might lose weight faster than you can. Whether you’re managing your own account or entrusting your nest egg to a professional mutual fund manager, the market and your investments have seldom felt more bleak. Whatever you do, don’t panic.

Don’t make a run to your bank and demand to close out your savings and checking accounts. If you panic and start trying to cash out your 401(k) and your other investment accounts, you will be part of the self-fulfilling prophecy and contribute to the downward spiral or vicious cycle that is concomitant to all financial panics. Whatever you do, don’t panic.

Please don’t be a newb. Act like you’ve been here before. You might vaguely remember the Russian credit crisis, the Southeast Asian tiger economies melting down, the spectacular dotcom bust, and 1987’s Black Monday. Those crises, as frightening as they seemed, eventually passed. I’m not saying things are going to get better any time soon. We might go into a full-fledged recession. You could lose your job. On the other hand, maybe someone invents teleportation and ushers in a new economic boom. No one knows what the future will bring. Whatever you do, don’t panic.

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