I’m one of the most conservative investors I know… Yet my losses over the last three weeks are now over $1 million.

Sure, they’re unrealized losses. But I can’t stop myself from thinking of what else I could be doing with that million bucks.

I could buy a pretty nice boat for $1 million… I could buy all three of my kids their own starter homes for $1 million… I could feed as many as 150 average American families for a year with $1 million.

All across the world, investors of every size are asking themselves the same question.

For some, the losses are in the thousands. For others, they’re in the billions. No matter the size of the losses, we’re all asking the same question: What could I have done differently?

There are some questions we should not ponder. And this is one of them.

As long as you’re using sound investing methodology, correct position-sizing, asset diversification, and minimal to no leverage… there’s no profit in diving into the well of “what ifs”…

You’re likely to emotionally drown yourself in self-recrimination. Worse, you may financially drown yourself with panic-based decisions.

Even if you’d purchased the S&P 500 at its peak in 2007, right before it dropped 58%… so long as you held and reinvested your dividends, through this year’s peak, you’d have made a compound annual return of 8.7% per year.

That return would’ve beaten bonds and gold – both considered traditional safe havens.

This is the beauty of buying high-quality stocks and blue-chip stock indexes.

Even as I catch myself silently mourning the temporary departure of my hard-earned dollars, I take solace in the fact that – so long as I just sit still – in time, the market will give me back far more than it has ever taken from me.

That’s why I want you to have faith that the sun will shine again.

We’ll overcome the coronavirus… We’ll get through the recession that most surely is awaiting us… And unlike the crisis of 2007–09, the recovery will happen much faster.

Remember, this is a sudden drop in demand due to a pandemic… not due to an implosion of housing prices and leveraged banks like we saw in the Great Recession.

It’s very different… a sort of short, sharp shock to the economy compared to the long, drawn-out deleveraging that had to take place in ’07–’09.

I realize these words might be cold comfort for you. But I’ve put my money where my mouth is for the last 31 years.

I’ve been in the market as a professional since 1989. I’ve seen countless booms, busts, and crashes. Again and again, the U.S. economy has proven itself far more resilient than the naysayers give it credit for.

So even if we end up dropping 40–50% – or more – during this market crash like we did in 2008 (and I want you to know that is absolutely possible)… the long-term compounding power of stocks will come to your rescue – as long as you stay rational.

The market is self-healing.

Once we get past the immediate shock of the whole world sitting at home to stem the coronavirus outbreak… the unprecedented fiscal stimulus to follow will cause a massive boom in stock prices.

But between then and now, we all have to sit through some painful times. And while sitting still may feel like giving up… it’s actually the most advantageous thing you can do for yourself right now.

If you’re looking to be a buyer on weakness, consider something that has always come back from every market crash. I use the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI). I’ve been laddering in on every 10% drop lower in the market.

Every single one of my entry prices is underwater. But I’m not investing for today. I’m investing for 18 months from today.

By then, I would expect us to have a vaccine in place. And once we do, stock markets will be back to making new all-time highs.

Let the Game Come to You!

Teeka Tiwari
Editor, Palm Beach Daily