Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Dow 5,000?

By Shannon Zimmerman - Updated Nov 11, 2016 at 4:49PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

What goes up usually comes down. Is your portfolio prepared?

It may be tough to remember amid the market's ongoing upheaval, but not too long ago, everyone was gaga over Dow 13,000 -- even me. Sure, it was just an arbitrary milestone, like observing your odometer as it rolls over to a fresh set of zeroes, but it was fun to watch anyway. And to the extent that the market's rise reflected investor optimism about corporate fundamentals and earnings, that 13,000 figure even had at least a bit of investing substance behind it.

Call it the best of both worlds.

Alas, what goes up ...
... usually comes down. Consider the meltdown that began in early 2000.

As you may painfully recall, the market tumbled hard then, and kept tumbling for quite a long time. Between March of that year and the close of 2002, the S&P-tracking SPDRs (SPY), whose top 25 holdings currently include Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), declined by 34%. Meanwhile, the Cubes ETF (QQQQ) -- which tracks the Nasdaq 100 and counts Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL), and Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) among its top components -- shed some 77% of its value.

With those cautionary tales in mind, savvy investors should strive to ensure that their investments are spread intelligently across the market's valuation spectrum. Buttoned-down "value" stocks, for example, tend to hold up better than growth-oriented fare during downturns. During the period cited above, the Russell 1000 Value bogey, which specializes in the lower price-to-earnings likes of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), declined by "just" 14%.

Things are looking up
Meanwhile, some investors actually made money over that stretch. While I headed up Champion Funds, I recommended a fund that posted a gain of more than 28% while the aforementioned indexes were headed south. In other words, this fund played a mean defense, reaping plentiful rewards for that savvy strategy over time.

The Foolish bottom line
Contrarian that I am, I think a long, hard look at your own portfolio is a great way to celebrate any market milestone, or invest during pullbacks. Ensure that you have a well-diversified, comprehensive group of both funds and stocks to see you through bull and bear markets alike.

Sound interesting? You can snag a special free report – The 11-Minute Millionaire -- and learn more about the Fool's set-and-forget investment service, Ready-Made Millionaire. RMM features a high-octane ETF, a clutch of Grade-A mutual funds that span the globe (and the market's valuation spectrum), and four stocks that we believe are poised for outperformance over the next three to five years and beyond. We're so confident in our lineup that the Fool has plunked down a million of its own bucks on the portfolio. We'll open to new members in just a few short weeks. Just click here to learn more.

This is an updated version of an article first published April 24, 2007.

Shannon Zimmerman doesn't own any of the securities mentioned above. Activision and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Coca-Cola and Starbucks are Inside Value choices. Bank of America is an Income Investor pick. The Motley Fool owns shares of Starbucks. You can check out the Fool's strict disclosure policy by clicking right here.


Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Starbucks Corporation Stock Quote
Starbucks Corporation
$88.35 (-1.17%) $-1.05
Bank of America Corporation Stock Quote
Bank of America Corporation
$36.41 (-0.63%) $0.23
The Coca-Cola Company Stock Quote
The Coca-Cola Company
$64.88 (-0.23%) $0.15
Chevron Corporation Stock Quote
Chevron Corporation
$157.70 (0.83%) $1.29
ConocoPhillips Stock Quote
$101.36 (1.26%) $1.26
Apollo Education Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Apollo Education Group, Inc.
Activision Blizzard, Inc. Stock Quote
Activision Blizzard, Inc.
$80.53 (-0.48%) $0.39

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

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/17/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.