Don’t Live in Fear of a Market Crash

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We’re less than six months away from 2024, which is an election year. That means both sides are going to be telling more lies than a 6-year-old who broke Mom’s favorite vase.

We live in a world of misinformation. People (or the media) will literally tell you the exact opposite of the truth. Up is down, and black is white.

And paying attention to misinformation can cost you a lot of money.

One of the most common forms of misinformation comes from folks who constantly expect a market crash. If someone is bearish and has a logical reason, I’ll listen. I may even agree from time to time.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people who tell you the dollar is crashing when it’s near 20-year highs. People who tell you the economy is dire when unemployment is near record lows and restaurants and airplanes are packed.

Let’s use the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index, which measures supply chain stress, as our indicator. A reading of 0 means supply chain conditions are average. Each number above or below 0 is the number of standard deviations supply chain stress is above or below its average.

The current reading, which is below -1, indicates there is a below-average amount of stress on the supply chain. In fact, it’s the lowest reading we’ve seen in a quarter-century. Quite a difference from a year ago, when common goods were sometimes tough to find.

Chart: Global Supply Chain Pressure Index

Furthermore, the Dow Jones Transportation Average just hit a 52-week high, suggesting people and goods are moving around the country in high numbers.

So we have a situation where goods are plentiful but prices are still high due to strong demand. Pretty much anyone who wants a job has one, and wages are growing. That’s a sign of a solid economy, regardless of what permabears say.

But the permabears’ pronouncements are not just folly. A lot of people take action when someone with credentials says the economy is on the verge of collapse. They sell stocks or load up on gold.

(I have no problem with gold, by the way. I’m bullish on metals. Gold is a good long-term hedge against inflation or the dollar falling. I believe most investors should have some gold in their portfolio.)

But when business owners can’t find employees, you can’t get a reservation at your favorite restaurant between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m., and every seat on every plane is occupied, chances are – barring a black swan event – the economy is not about to implode.

And that’s exactly what the market has been saying all year. But many market experts and media personalities have been pounding the table, telling you the economy is tanking or is about to.

Year to date, the S&P is up 18%, while the Nasdaq has gained 37%. Anyone who listened to the permabears’ rubbish six months ago missed out on big gains.

Look at what’s happening around you… in your town, state and country. And make your investment decisions based on what you actually see.

Don’t listen to those who always say the market is going down or the next crash is around the corner.

The market goes up over the long term, and getting spooked to the point that you sell and sit on the sidelines likely means missing out on big gains like the ones we saw in 2020, 2021 and this year.

Keep in mind, the global economy shut down in March 2020 due to the pandemic. We’d never seen anything like that before. Six months later, the market was at new highs.

If the permabears weren’t right about that crisis, they probably won’t be right about the next one… if there even is one.

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