I’m old enough to remember a handful of Jan-Feb sell-offs in recent years because it snowed too much. True story.
Or a quick 11% ripped out of the S&P 500 because China did something with the yuan one day. Or a 6.5% “Taper Tantrum” because Bernanke sneezed into a microphone somewhere. I remember everything – the details and the feelings I felt in those moments. It’s helpful.
So today, for the first time since who knows, we get a taste of what happens when volatility comes back. If you’re panicking today, then you don’t even know what a correction is.
The action on your screen today is perfectly normal.
You know what isn’t normal? The period leading up to this day, during which we hadn’t seen a 5% pullback from the high since July 2016! That’s the aberration. 215 days without a 5% pullback is a record dating back to 1996. It almost never happens.
This stuff right here, with a spiking Vix and red as far as the eye can see? This is what ought to happen from time to time.
Remember – the market only rewards us because we are taking risk. No risk, no benefit of being here at all.
Today we got the risk that leads to future reward. If you’re over 50, your portfolio ought not have borne all of the brunt of it thanks to asset allocation. If you’re under 50, you should be cheering. It’s way better to add dollars to a portfolio with markets off of the highs than on the highs – especially given the fact that you’ll be doing so, out of every paycheck, for the next few decades.