It's been a tough year for the stock market so far. After enjoying explosive growth during the latter part of 2020 and 2021, stocks have been on a slide since January. Tensions overseas, inflation fears, and general uncertainty are all contributing to a world of volatility that investors have had to endure for weeks now.
Recently, I did a portfolio checkup and not shockingly, I saw that my balance is down roughly 10%, compared to where it sat at the start of the year. And clearly, that's a disheartening thing to see. But it's also not something that scares me for one big reason.
I'm staying the course
If I were within a year or two of retirement, I'd admittedly be growing increasingly nervous about my portfolio by the day (though to be fair, I also wouldn't be as heavily invested in stocks as I am right now). But since I'm not planning to retire for decades, recent stock market volatility isn't really shaking me.
See, I have no plans to tap my portfolio for cash anytime soon. My goal in owning stocks is to hold them through retirement, and that means I have many years to recover from this recent correction.
In fact, this isn't the first time my portfolio has lost about 10% of its value in a relatively short period of time. But in the past, by holding onto my investments rather than dumping stocks in a panic, I've managed to recover from every downturn I've experienced. And since I'm playing the long game, I'm not going to get myself into a tizzy as a result of a rocky few weeks.
That said, there are a few moves I'm making right now in light of this recent bout of volatility. First, I'm checking to make sure my portfolio is as balanced as I want it to be. If I see that I'm too heavily invested in a specific market segment, I'll move assets around for a more even mix.
I've also, over the past few weeks, branched out a bit in my portfolio by loading up on REITs, or real estate investment trusts, and I may continue to go that route, not just due to recent volatility, but also because it fits into my general investing strategy. To be clear, that strategy is rooted in diversification, and owning REITs across different sectors lends to it.
Should you be worried about stock market volatility?
Stock market downturns are never fun, even if you're used to them. And if you're close to retirement, it may be time to review your assets and make sure you're not invested too heavily in stocks if you'll be tapping your portfolio soon.
But if you have no plans to cash out your investments in the near term, then there's really no need to stress over recent stock market activity. Stock values can rise and fall without notice, and while things may be looking bleak these days, the market could take a turn for the better before you know it.