There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, and many investors are concerned about what that may mean for the stock market.
The S&P 500 is down roughly 12% from the beginning of the year (which officially puts it in correction territory), and the Nasdaq is down around 18% in that timeframe. Between factors like the unrest in Ukraine, continued supply chain issues, and surging inflation, some investors worry we may be headed toward a full-blown crash.
To be clear, nobody knows for certain what will happen with the market. But there are a few pieces of advice from expert investor Warren Buffett that can make it easier to weather this stock market storm.
1. Downturns are temporary
The stock market has faced countless corrections and crashes over the decades, and it’s managed to recover from even the most severe ones. While it may take months or even years for the market to fully rebound, it has always bounced back eventually.
This is why Warren Buffett suggests maintaining a long-term outlook when investing. Even the strongest stocks may take a hit in the short term if the market dips, but over time, they’re likely to recover. By holding your investments regardless of what the market does, you can ride out the storm.
“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”
— Warren Buffett
Nobody knows exactly what’s in store for the market, but the decisions you make now could affect your investments for years to come. By staying focused on the long term and avoiding any knee-jerk reactions, you can give your investments the best chance at surviving volatility.
2. It can be a smart buying opportunity
Not only are downturns temporary, but they can also be a great chance to load up on quality stocks for a fraction of the price. In fact, not only does Warren Buffett not fear market downturns, but he embraces them because he takes those opportunities to invest heavily.
“Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.”
— Warren Buffett
This can seem counterintuitive, as it’s natural to want to pull your money out of the market during periods of volatility rather than throw more money in. However, stock prices are often significantly lower during downturns. When you invest at the low points, you may see substantial gains when the market inevitably rebounds.
3. Quality stocks can help your portfolio survive
Simply investing during a downturn isn’t enough to reap the rewards — you’ll also need to ensure you’re choosing the right stocks. Not all stocks are strong enough to recover from market downturns, which is why Buffett encourages investing in businesses.
When you’re researching investments, look at the company’s underlying fundamentals. Strong businesses make for strong stocks, and if a company has a competent leadership team, healthy financials, and a competitive edge in its industry, it’s more likely to survive a market slump.
“We own stocks based upon our expectations about their long-term business performance and not because we view them as vehicles for timely market moves. That point is crucial: Charlie [Munger] and I are not stock-pickers; we are business-pickers.”
— Warren Buffett
The stock market can be daunting even in the best of times, but it’s especially nerve-wracking to invest during periods of uncertainty. However, by keeping a long-term outlook and choosing the right investments, you can set yourself up for success regardless of what happens with the market.
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