Stay Agile Investing in the Ides of March

“Beware the Ides of March,” a soothsayer told Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s famous play of the same name.

Whether you believe in superstitions or not, March of 2020 will go down as a historic month on Wall Street. After peaking on February 19th, the S&P 500 fell 34% in just 23 trading days, marking the fastest bear market ever.

Stocks have since rallied back. But the overall surge in volatility has been breathtaking. For perspective, the S&P’s average daily move this month was 5.14%, which easily tops the previous record of 3.90% (November 1929).

Many are now opining on whether it will be an L, U or a V-shaped recovery. Read more…

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Billionaire Howard Marks Pitches a Defensive Investing Outlook

Given that many good companies lost between a quarter and half of their value amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March, and their debt may now yield many multiples of a government bond, it’s no surprise to see investors lining up to buy the dip. Distressed debt investor Howard Marks and his firm’s hundreds of analysts and portfolio managers are sharpening their pencils on a shopping list of bargain buys, but the billionaire investor preaches a defensive approach to battered-down markets.

In a new letter to clients, Marks says that the unknown unknowns of the pandemic and its impact on economy are so great investors should practice cautious investing. Read more…

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Smart Investors Will Be Buying These 5 Stocks in April

The past five-plus weeks have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for Wall Street and investors. Between hitting an all-time closing high on Feb. 19, 2020 and the previous Monday, March 23, we witnessed the benchmark S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) lose 34% of its value. It marked the shortest time frame ever for the S&P 500 to push into bear market territory (16 trading sessions) and lose 30% of its value (22 trading sessions).

The market has also been exceptionally volatile on the heels of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreading both globally and within the United States. Over a span of 22 trading sessions, beginning Feb. 24, 2020, the S&P 500 logged 10 of its 13-biggest single-day point declines, as well as its six-largest single-session point gains of all time. Read more…

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You Won’t Regret Adding 250 Bucks to These 4 Stocks

Let’s be brutally honest: The past five-plus weeks have been especially trying as an investor.

Whether you’re a seasoned vet that’s been investing for perhaps five decades or you’ve dipped your toes into the water for the first time within the past year, you’ve witnessed something historic in recent weeks. The panic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the subsequent mitigation measures that are bringing economic activity to a near halt throughout a number of major cities, pushed the U.S. major indexes into bear market territory faster than any previous bear market.

What’s more, the volatility investors have witnessed is unprecedented. Over a 22-session stretch, the broad-based S&P 500 logged 10 of its 13-largest single-day point declines and its six-biggest single-session point gains in history. Read more…

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Warren Buffett’s Rules for Investing in a Crisis

At nearly 90 years of age, Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) is not only one of the most successful investors of all time, he’s also one of the most experienced.

Buffett started investing in stocks when he was just a teenager. That means he has more than seven decades of investing experience under his belt.

During this time, he’s seen wars, recessions, market booms, busts, the financial crisis, the S&L crisis, the Cuban missile crisis and many more major market-movers. While every market crisis has had its unique challenges, there’s one thing that has untied them – they’ve come to an end. That’s what has been driving his investment strategy for decades. Read more…

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This is the Most Important Factor in Successful Investing

Investing can be a daunting process. There are so many things you can’t control – market swings, company actions, and stock price movements. But when you get right down to it, being successful at it is pretty simple. Invest early and often, then wait as long as possible before tapping into your nest egg. Compounding is an incredible wealth builder, but it needs time to work. The amount of time your money stays invested is the most important factor in successful investing.

Let’s look at some ways to maximize the amount of time you have your money working for you.

Getting started:
You may have heard the saying, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now.” The same is true with investing. Ideally, your first investments should be when you first get paid for lawn mowing, babysitting, or chores around the house. We’ll assume those days are long in your rearview mirror, so for you, the second-best time is now. Read more…

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3 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Your Investments Are Losing Money

Over the last few weeks, millions of Americans have watched their investment portfolios hemorrhage money as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt life across the globe. It’s likely to take several weeks or months to staunch the bleeding, and months more to see shares rise to their pre-COVID-19 levels. What does that mean for investors?

It means you need to be careful about the choices you make right now. The wrong decisions could turn these short-term losses into long-term disasters that you may never recover from. Here are three things you need to avoid during this pandemic. Read more…

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Bear Market Investing: 3 Things to Do to Make Money

I think I speak for all investors when I ask, “Did anyone get the license plate number of the truck that his us?”

In a span of less than five weeks, we’ve witnessed the benchmark S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) lose around a third of its value, with the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) building into an all-out panic. With absolutely no precedent to the mitigation efforts currently being undertaken to control the spread of COVID-19, we’re liable to see some historic (and ugly) economic data on the horizon. Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that the S&P 500 has logged 10 of its 13 largest single-day point declines over the past month. Read more…

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Here’s How You’ll Know it’s a Good Time to Invest

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected us all in some way at this point. If you’re lucky enough to be bored but employed, you might be wondering whether it’s an opportune time to put money in the stock market or wise to keep up with your regularly scheduled contributions to a non-retirement investment account (also known as a brokerage account).

With the S&P 500 down nearly 31%-this month-the market has the attention of bargain-hunters and regular investors alike wondering whether the coronavirus is an investment opportunity or cautionary tale. Read more…

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Coronavirus Fears: Where to Invest 500 Dollars Right Now

If you have $500 to invest right now, then I recommend you invest it in the stock market. That may be shocking to read, considering as of this writing, the S&P 500 is down 28% since this year began – and still falling fast. But as scary as it is, the stock market has fallen over 10% 37 other times in the last 70 years. And it comes back every time, meaning that buying during a correction can produce outsized long-term gains.

Where exactly to invest $500, however, depends. Here’s a few scenarios that may apply to you. Read more…

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