The Beast, a 7,359-foot wooden coaster at King’s Island in Mason, OH, might just be the greatest roller coaster of all time. As a teen, the thrill of this fast, rough ride kept me coming back for more – waiting in line over and over again. As an adult, I’ve exited the coaster feeling bruised and battered, wondering why on earth I subjected myself to such a punishment.
I read an article this week comparing the stock market to the first hill of a rollercoaster. Gains in the market can sometimes be slow, like each click up the first hill of the track. Suddenly, as you cross the peak, speed picks up and so begins the rapid decline with the force of gravity pinning you against your seat. That’s exactly what has happened the last few weeks in the stock market, with losses triggering a host of negative headlines and panic among investors.
According to Goldman Sachs’ economics research, in the first 12 trading days of 2016, $1.6 trillion in market value was wiped off the S&P 500. For the month of January, after a slight correction, the S&P 500 shed 5.1%, and the Dow industrials lost 5.5%, for the biggest January declines since 2009.
China is in distress, the Middle East is at war, oil prices are reaching historic lows, business lending is down, industrial production is declining, and our retail spending growth rate is at a seven-year low. Now headlines are claiming that The Bank of Japan is adding negative interest rates on central banks deposits. Negative interest rates? What is going on? It can be easy to lose sight of which way is up when the market feels like it’s upside-down.
If you have time before you need to retire, stay on the coaster and keep your long term goals in mind. Time is your friend and long-term investing only works its magic if you leave your money untouched over a long period of time.
But if watching your investments ride the rollercoaster of the stock market is causing you to feel battered and bruised, maybe it’s time you reevaluated how your money is invested. If you are nearing retirement it is especially important to take a closer look at your investment goals and begin to minimize your exposure to risk.
Let the Indiana Baptist Foundation help with your planning. We offer retirement, estate and financial planning for individuals as well as mortgage loans and investment management for churches. Our fixed rate savings accounts, also available to individuals and churches, offer a substantially higher rate of interest than most banks.
317.481.2400 extension 300
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” – Jesus