Don’t Panic Over Dow’s 1,089 Plunge and Definitely Don't Sell

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1,089 points shortly after the market opened Monday following the 531 point loss last Friday. The downward move, the most for the Dow since the May 6th, 2010 “Flash Crash”, rocked even the most seasoned investors. Still many recommend two strategies, buy on the dips or just sit tight but never sell.

John Sweeney, EVP of Retirement & Investing Strategies at Fidelity, tells, “You get a little bit of heightened anxiety but the advice we give is no different than other days.”  Fidelity, which handles over $5.3 trillion in customer assets, pushes its clients to have long-term financial goals in place. If you don’t volatile markets could cost you more over the long term.

It pays to stay the course during extreme market events, according to Fidelity which crunched the numbers going all the way to the Great Depression of 1932. For example, investors who pulled money from the stock market during the height of the financial crisis in March of 2009 missed 178% return over the past five years.

Case in the point, mid-day Monday, the Dow Industrials recouped more than half of the morning’s losses. Jim Awad, of Awad Asset Management, was among those investors buying what he described on FOX Business Network as “quality stocks” while the market was falling. He did the same last Friday when the Dow Industrials finished the session 531 points lower. One example of a quality stock, according to Awad, would be General Electric (NYSE:GE) which has a dividend yield of 3.7%.

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“Stocks will be volatile, drops will happen and should be expected,” added Sweeney, who also reminds us that stocks are designed to outpace inflation over the long term.