It's no secret that the stock market has had a pretty miserable run over the past few months. In fact, last week, the S&P 500 index actually dipped into bear market territory for the first time since 2020.
If you're tired of seeing constant losses in your portfolio, you may be inclined to avoid buying stocks until the market settles down. But actually, now's a great time to continue investing. Here's why.
1. You can snag some discounts
When your favorite brand of cereal goes on sale, your natural inclination is probably to stock up, right? Well, it pays to take a similar approach to investing.
Right now, stocks are trading at lower values across the board. While that might translate to some on-screen losses in your portfolio, it also means the same quality companies you were investing in before this downturn are now available at lower prices. That's something it pays to take advantage of.
2. You can enjoy some tax breaks
If you house your investments in a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan, continuing to save and invest could mean reaping some benefits from a tax perspective. Traditional IRA and 401(k) contributions enjoy tax-free treatment, and that's a good way to lower your IRS burden at a time when money may be a bit tighter (thanks, inflation).
3. You can further diversify your portfolio
A diverse investment mix could be your ticket to riding out a stock market downturn and getting through it unscathed. And now that stocks are trading at lower prices, you have a prime opportunity to branch out into market sectors you may not already be exposed to.
Furthermore, many broad market ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, are also trading at lower prices. Buying ETFs is a great way to diversify without having to put a ton of thought into what you're buying.
Another option worth considering these days is loading up on dividend stocks. The upside of that is that you can collect dividend income that could potentially help offset some of the losses you may be seeing in your portfolio.
In fact, REITs, or real estate investment trusts, are great options for dividend-focused investors. Because REITs are required to pay at least 90% of their income as dividends, they tend to deliver higher dividends than most companies. Plus, if you're not invested in real estate, REITs give you that exposure without purchasing actual property.
Don't shy away from the stock market
It's an unquestionably difficult time to be an investor. Even if you're not planning to tap your portfolio anytime soon, it can be extremely demoralizing to see consistent losses in your portfolio week after week.
Instead of using that as a reason to stay away from the stock market, use it as a wealth-building opportunity. Doing so could not only work wonders for your portfolio, but also help you feel better about a situation that's out of your control.