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Here's Why Investors Shouldn't Panic on a Bad Market Day

By Rachel Warren and Brian Withers - Oct 15, 2021 at 6:30AM

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This is why long-term investing is the most effective way to build stock market wealth.

The market has had its fair share of ups and downs lately, but that doesn't mean investors should cash out or stop buying more great stocks. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Oct. 6, 2021, Fool contributor Brian Withers explains exactly what investors should be paying attention to right now. 

Brian Withers: I looked at the market and it was really interesting because when I was pulling the notes together, and this happens sometimes, maybe one in 10 days or one in 20 days. I always put the lead for the show as stocks were up or stocks were down. When I did the thing, at one or two o'clock this afternoon, stocks were off across the board.

Everything was down. I want to show you my thing, because luckily I took a picture of it rather than doing a link. Let's see: Do I have it in my desktop? [pause] These are the most-active stocks. You can see Apple ( AAPL -1.17% ), Microsoft ( MSFT -1.97% ), Facebook ( FB -1.14% ), everything was red. There is Moderna ( MRNA 1.74% ), look at that. Tons of stocks were off across the market today and we were going to talk about, and we're still going to talk about it, stocks that are down. 

But I just looked at the market [laughs] and the market ended the day up. [laughs] Not just barely up, it ended solidly up. It's interesting that the switch in the middle of the day had to do with, apparently there was a debt ceiling, a tentative agreement reached or whatever.

The market hates uncertainty. This debt ceiling thing, I think had been hanging out there for a little while. It's the silly thing that a long time ago we put a law in place and said we can't have the debt go more than this. If it goes more than this, it's like if you run out of money and basically, you stop the government from spending.

It shuts down the government. [laughs] But we always vote to extend it or expand it. It's a silly thing that Congress actually has to take action to stop the government from being shut down. Well, that apparently either it's happening or it's on the way to happening. So the market switched gears.

We're welcoming back [Fool contributors] Demitri [Kalogeropoulos] and Rachel [Warren] back to the [laughs] 5 o'clock hour. Regardless of whether stocks are up today [laughs] or down today, over the last decade this I can say for sure: 365% total returns, more than a four-bagger over the decade. Just wonderful decade for stock investing.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$161.84 (-1.17%) $-1.92
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$306.84 (-1.14%) $-3.55
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$323.01 (-1.97%) $-6.48
Moderna, Inc. Stock Quote
Moderna, Inc.
$306.72 (1.74%) $5.23

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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