Special Report: What Investors Should Be Doing Right Now

The Buffettisms are being trotted out by the dozens these days. A few of our favorites:

Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.

I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.

A market downturn doesn't bother us. As long-term investors it is an opportunity to increase our ownership of great companies with great management at good prices.

Unfortunately, these sane nuggets of investing wisdom are being drowned out by that other message dominating the news: "Global Meltdown!" "Big Weekly Wipeout!" "Bush Calls for Panic!" Worst of all, they're not an exaggeration. Well, except for that last one, which we lifted from humor news weekly The Onion.

Still, you get the gist. We've watched the S&P 500 plummet nearly 45% in a single year, economic indicators turn more menacing than the terrorism threat level, and iconic financial institutions kneel hat-in-hand before the Bank of Uncle Sam.

Historians coined the crisis "The Panic of 2008" mere days after it began. Sadly, the label has proved apt.

Hop off the emotional rollercoaster
Whether or not panic is truly justified remains to be seen. We do know that at times like these, history tells us that investors with nerves of steel make the most money, even if it takes a few years for them to be proven right. Financial deliverance comes only to those who are of sound mind and investment philosophy. Right now, most investors have a hard time getting into that head space.

So let's go back to Buffett -- the voice of reason with the record to back it up -- who recently wrote in the New York Times:

Fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation's many sound companies make no sense. These businesses will indeed suffer earnings hiccups, as they always have. But most major companies will be setting new profit records 5, 10, and 20 years from now.

Spoken like a true investor. And, putting his money where his mouth is, Buffett's been on a buying spree of late, snapping up preferred stock in Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) and General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) , and bidding on Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG  ) outright.

Follow the Fool's rules for surviving and prospering
There is no better time than the present to be an investor. We mean it. To show you how to find profits in panic and opportunity amid chaos, we've put together this special report -- a Fool's playbook, if you will -- with four essential investing lessons to heed in every market, but particularly this one.

For more in our "What Investors Should Be Doing Right Now" Special Report:

Dayana Yochim Inc. is reinvesting dividends for long-term gains. She does not own shares of any company mentioned. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (37)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On October 28, 2008, at 3:07 PM, wuff3t wrote:

    "Bush Calls for Panic!"

    Problem is, with his history as a public speaker, you can imagine him actually saying that...

  • Report this Comment On October 28, 2008, at 5:25 PM, josefa65 wrote:

    What can you tell me about the amero?

    Some say to buy gold because the dollar is going to be devalued. What say you?

  • Report this Comment On October 28, 2008, at 11:22 PM, zeker99 wrote:

    The problem with the advice of buying good stocks now is my money is in mutual funds, which have decreased in value. I therefore have no money to invest as my money has been lost in the down market.

  • Report this Comment On October 29, 2008, at 12:02 AM, silverfox70 wrote:

    You have rated CNI as a prime stock to own because of their great rail connection and a well run company. BNI stock has been acquired by Buffett in great quantities, so why has he selected BNI over CNI?

  • Report this Comment On October 29, 2008, at 9:53 AM, catoismymotor wrote:

    Silverfox70, as I understand it Buffett is on an American only diet at the present. Should he desire Canadian bacon & maple syrup I am sure he will proclaim it to the masses,eh?

  • Report this Comment On October 29, 2008, at 12:41 PM, JohnT32 wrote:

    I just read "What You Need to Know About the Oil Crisis" and would like to hear feedback regarding Valero Energy.

    Why has the Valero stock price fallen so much? Anyone buying?

    I did purchase Denbury Resources based upon the report.

  • Report this Comment On October 29, 2008, at 1:38 PM, mknicholson wrote:

    What are you suggesting moderate risking mutual fund owners/retirees do other than "hang on" because the market will rise?

  • Report this Comment On November 03, 2008, at 5:24 PM, dividendgrowth wrote:

    Why Buffett chose BNI over CNI? Because his buddy Bill Gates has been in CNI since 2000!

    He doesn't like to coattail!

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