Their holdings may clamor to cash in,
But advisors persuade
That it's best not to trade
In a greedy or panicky passion.
Down 600 points, up 400 points, down 400 points again - the volatility of the stock market this week may induce emotional volatility on the part of those whose retirement savings are tied up in it. However, at such times it is best to remember that the investor's two worst enemies are their own fear and greed, which may prompt rash decisions with adverse long-term consequences. As the legendary early 20th century trader Jesse Livermore once said: "The successful trader has to fight these two deep-seated instincts. Instead of hoping he must fear; instead of fearing he must hope." For more on this topic, listen to this weekend's Marketplace Money on public radio, where an expert panel will answer listeners' questions about how to respond to the market upheaval.
Disclaimer: nothing in this post should be considered as investment advice, for which the reader should turn instead to a qualified investment advisor.