Should I Be Scared of a Market Crash?

A question that I have received many times within the Girl$ on The Money community is this:

“What if I start investing and the market crashes?”

OR

“I heard we are due for a recession soon, shouldn’t I be keeping my money out of the market?”

Plus many similar questions that are a combination of those two but are essentially asking the same thing.

Before I give you my “two cents” on this – here is my story:

After several years of saving my money with the intention of investing, I FINALLY bought my first stock in the summer of 2008 – a time when the stock market was flourishing, people were still on a “high” from the real state boom, and life was grand and dandy. As a “first timer” with investing, and despite the “good times”, I was still fearful to invest but I had finally learned how to do so and decided my time had come. I basically did this:

“Felt the fear and did it anyway”.

Fast forward a few months later, the market started to crumble! If you were around in the fall of 2008 you know that we started living through one of the worst market crashes in history. Companies that had been around for generations were filing bankruptcy, people were losing their jobs, the government had to get in “emergency mode” to help the country surpass the chaos, and the list goes on!

You would think that something that was so traumatizing for many would have scared me out of the stock market. However, NOPE! I became more enthusiastic and excited to continue educating myself and continue making educated investment decisions.

The stocks I had bought just a few months earlier were down about 20-30% but that did not worry me one bit. At the tender age of 24, I knew one thing: The market ALWAYS recovers. I also knew that if I invested my money in QUALITY (which is what I was doing), I had nothing to fear.

My bravery to continue investing despite chaos has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

The late and legendary John Bogle said it best:

John Bogle

Now that we got that story out of the way, here are my two cents on whether or not you should worry about a market crash:

The first thing you need to know is that NO ONE has the power to perfectly time the market or to know when a market crash will start or when it will end.

If anyone tells you they know exact dates for when to enter and exit the market, I hope you run the other way because you’re about to get scammed.

The stock market is unpredictable and volatile, especially in the short term. If you want to be an investor, you have to come to terms with that. The market is constantly in motion and can move up, down, sideways for reasons that can make no sense.

For that reason, as you begin your investing journey, keep these things in mind:

#1. You should never put money in the stock market that you’ll need in the next 3-5 years or so. In other words, the money you allocate towards investing shouldn’t be money you need in the short term. This is why I am completely against things such as “investing to pay off debt” or “investing to [Insert short term goal here]”. It does not work that way. 

#2. Make sure you invest in QUALITY* and not junk. There is a difference between putting your money in strong, profitable, growing companies that can make you a whole lot of money in the long term VS. investing in companies you know nothing about just because someone told you that you’ll “make money fast”. You must ALWAYS do your own due diligence and know exactly why you’re purchasing a particular investment. 

*As you all know, I teach a step by step course for investing beginners where I teach you how to do your research, find quality investments, and more.

#3. Come to terms with the fact that, yes, you can start investing next week and the market can crash a month later. However, by not getting started with investing you also run the risk of missing out on building wealth over time due to fear. To me, that’s worst.

Market crashes can also present great opportunities to keep building your portfolio with quality companies that go “on sale”. So, even if a crash happens, you can benefit regardless.

What are your thoughts about this? If you’re still fearful or if anything else is keeping you from getting started with investing, share in the comments!! I’d love to help you get over those fears.

Cheers to health and profits,

Mabel

********

Courses & Resources coming soon:

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