You watched your portfolio lose 35% of its value over the past three months. You sighed every time you saw the headline "Buy This Stock Now." You even stopped checking for news on your stocks, because they weren't going back up.

But fear not. The market is turning.

The upside of downside
So what, you ask? So buy, I say! All of those stocks you had your eye on a couple of months ago but feared paying too much for. All of those stocks you saw last month but avoided, fearful of falling knives.

Now is not the time to be afraid -- now is the time to jump. Now is the time fortunes are made.

Take a look at these seven companies.

Company Name

Price on 6/11/2006

Price on 09/11/2006


Chico 's FAS (NYSE:CHS)








Corporate Executive Board (NASDAQ:EXBD)








Miller Industries (NYSE:MLR)




Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM)




Steiner Leisure (NASDAQ:STNR)




*Data provided by Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

I've had my eye on these companies for the past few months. Each of them has a strong business model with proven results, and each one has a significant moat to protect it from competitors. And they are all much cheaper now than before. Whether the discount is due to macroeconomic factors, like with Williams-Sonoma, or to concerns with customer service, such as those Dell has encountered, if these are companies you continue to have faith in, then you should take full advantage.

So what does this prove?

  1. Every stock goes on sale, so you must ...
  2. ... have a wish list of investments with rough buy-below prices for your appropriate margin of safety. With a wish list ready, you can pounce when ...
  3. ... the price is right -- and most of the time, the market will beat down on your stock at some point, giving you an optimal entry point.

The Foolish bottom line
The market is turning -- it might not be evident right away, but if you buy quality companies on the cheap, you'll be happy for the occasional downturn. In fact, the recent market slump can be viewed simply as the sale that value-diggers have been waiting for.

At least that's what Philip Durell, the Fool's very own value-digger, told me. As advisor for the Motley Fool Inside Value newsletter service, Philip uses short-term panics to snap up worthy long-term investments. In fact, he did exactly that when he recommended shares of Dell earlier this year, and it's currently trading with a margin of safety of 40% compared to his estimate of intrinsic value. Overall, Philip's Inside Value picks have been worthy thus far -- they're beating the market by more than four percentage points since the newsletter's inception in September 2004. To see his two newest bargain-priced stock recommendations and the more than 30 other buy reports for free, click here for a no-strings-attached 30-day trial.

You heard it here first -- the market is turning. Aren't you glad you checked the news today?

This article was originally published on June 24, 2006. It has been updated.

Fool sector head Shruti Basavaraj does not own shares of any company mentioned above. Dell is also a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick, as is Corporate Executive Board. Zumiez is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick, while Steiner Leisure is a Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.