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Should Investors Be Worried About the State of the Stock Market?

By Jennifer Reardon and Tim Beyers - Feb 6, 2021 at 5:00AM

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From U.S. Capitol riots to the recent GameStop short squeeze, we remind investors that the stock market has survived the test of time.

One month ago, on Jan. 6, protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol. Many investors worried there would be a dramatic effect on the stock market, but it held steady. Not long after the Capitol raid, a new disruption occurred as the GameStop (NYSE: GME) short squeeze -- initiated by the Reddit thread WallStreetBets -- began.

Investors may be more confused and anxious than ever, with some questioning the future of the stock market. Here, in a video recorded on Jan. 6, Fool Analyst Tim Beyers reminds investors that capitalism and the stock market have survived the test of time, and that the business of investing goes on.  

Tim Beyers: Let's get into the news here, and I want to address this because it's not partisan, it's not politics, I'm quoting our producer Mac Greer here on this one. But protesters have stormed the Capitol in the United States.

If you're not in the United States, you may not know what that means, but we have a Capitol Building where the House and Senate of the United States does its business today, regarding the U.S. election. The U.S. election was held in early November, and the final votes of that presidential election were to be certified by what we call the Electoral College here in the U.S.

This is not civics so we're not going to get into details of that. This is also not a political show so we're not going to make a political statement about this, but it is scary. I have never seen that before. This has never happened before, where a side of the political divide is so angry and so virulent that people have taken to the streets and made themselves so lathered up, whatever you want to say, that they have literally stormed the Capitol of the United States. That's just never happened before.

So especially for those of you from other parts around the world, you may be watching us, here in the U.S. and wondering 'What the heck is going on?' I want to validate that that may feel pretty scary. If you're an investor, you may feel like, 'What is this going to do? Is capitalism safe?' I wanted to just first validate whatever you're feeling -- whether it's fear, anger, frustration -- know that you are not alone, that is valid.

But, I do want to give you a little bit of historical perspective here. Political protest has been around for a long time here in the U.S. We don't know the particulars of this, and because we're not a political show, we're not going to get into the particulars of this. But what we do know historically is that capitalism has survived and the stock market has survived hundreds of years of turbulent times. The business of investing in amazing businesses, that's as good of a process as it has ever been.

What a time for us, guys, to be talking about mindset. It's specifically in times like this, and I'll just say for myself here without projecting on anybody else. My first reaction to this was anger, frustration, unsettled, unnerved. And then I have to pull myself back and say, but the business of investing goes on. The business of investing goes on, I know that's true. I know the quality businesses I hold continue to be exceptional quality businesses, and that has not changed.

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