The stock market is making history—and not the good kind. As of this writing, it looks as if the market will have its worst December since the Great Depression. This news could be even worse than it appears: The last three months are usually the strongest of the year—instead it appears that the S&P will end 2018 with a loss of 5.6%.
The market could rally, and I would not be surprised to see it do so for a short period of time. But I believe this drop is not a blip but the beginning of a bear market—maybe even a recession. After all, it’s time: Bear markets occur on average every three and a half years (source: Ned Davis Research). We haven’t had one since 2008. There’s also good cause for the market to fall, factors including the government shutdown, China tariff negotiations, global debt, and rising interest rates. I believe the first two issues will be resolved soon, but the others are real cause for concern. The Fed’s interest rate hike comes at a time when the global economy is slowing rapidly. As the U.S. dollar strengthens because of rising interest rates, global debt denominated in dollars becomes more expensive to service and to pay back. And that global debt is also making history: In July 2018 it hit a new record of approximately $. It could only take one of those indebted countries to default and start a domino effect like what we saw in 2008.
Money Matters protected our clients (and the listeners of my radio show) from the 2008 bear market by taking them out or urging them to get out of the market in November 2007. Those who adhered to our buy hold and sell strategy saved themselves from losses. We again just recently alerted investors to get out of the market. Why do we think selling is a good idea? Why not just buy and hold and wait for the market to come back? There are several reasons (I explain them thoroughly in my book, Buy, Hold, and SELL!), but one of the most obvious ones is very simple: As a retired investor (or one nearing retirement), do you have time for the market to come back? The S&P 500 Index took 6 years to return to even after the 2008 bear market. If you were living on your investments, it could have taken even longer to recoup your losses. Can you afford to wait that many years?
I don’t think you should. In fact, I urge you to protect your retirement today. We’d love to help you do so.