Raise Your Hand if You Plan to Sell Into Strength

by Rick Ackerman

Financial advisors have been telling clients for years that they should just hang in there when the inevitable selloff came. It’s a safe bet that none of these guys ever uttered the words “bear market” to describe the supposedly healthy correction that eventually would arrive, since that would have spooked investors. Now the correction is upon us, if that’s all it is, but it is already unlike any before it: steeper, swifter and fraught with growing uncertainties about the economic effects of the pandemic. The S&Ps have plummeted nearly 30 percent in just three weeks, and there are no guarantees that an even worse stampede is not looming.

The wisdom and steadfastness of advisors who are presently counseling clients to sit tight is certain to be tested in the weeks and months ahead, even if the global contagion grows no worse. The plunge has already been sufficiently punitive to cast doubt on any rallies that are coming.

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