What Should I Do With My Money in Today’s Market?

What Should I Do with My Money in Today's Market

By Ed McClure, CFP®, PPC®

There’s always a degree of uncertainty in the market, but sometimes people get especially nervous. In previous articles, I’ve discussed why it’s a bad idea to react emotionally when the market is down. Today I want to address a different side of the issue. More risk-averse investors sometimes question if they should hold off putting any more money into the market until they feel like conditions are more stable. More adventurous investors might be tempted to put money into speculative investments that they heard about on social media. I tend to lean toward the middle of the road. I always say that it’s not about timing the market, but, rather, time in the market. There’s no substitute for starting early and staying invested.

There’s Never a Bad Time to Start

Let’s take a look at Coca-Cola, just to name one company’s stock. The dot-com bubble burst in 2000. If you had bought Coca-Cola in August of 1998 (the worst possible time to buy), you would have paid around $22 per share. By 2003, your stock would have lost nearly half its value. But if you held on to the stock, by 2022 your investment would be valued around $60 per share (almost triple your original investment). (1) I’m not suggesting you should buy Coca-Cola or any particular stock. The main point is that if you stay in the market, the compound effect will more than outweigh bad timing. There is no way to predict when the market will reach the bottom. You may hear otherwise from companies selling day-trading software, but I always tell my clients that if day-trading software worked, no one would be telling you about it!

Avoid Investment Fads

I often get questions from people who are hoping to get in on “The Next Big Thing.” In 1998 and 1999, people were buying up technology stocks as fast as they could. In 2006, people were rushing to buy real estate. While I believe that both technology stocks and real estate are good investments for the right person, both investments had become fads during these periods. When everyone is buying the same thing, be wary. All you need to do to succeed is buy high-quality, diversified, mainstream investments and hold on to them for the long term.

Take What You Hear With a Grain of Salt

There has always been a large amount of misinformation circulating around water coolers, social media, and even the mainstream news. I’ve seen some of the most intelligent people get caught up in panic or greed. No one is immune to propaganda. If you hear someone urging you to act out of panic, or trying to sell you on a future prediction, pay attention to what that same person said two years ago. Are you taking your advice from people who have a consistent track record of making the right calls? Most people, whether personal friends, neighbors, or talking heads on the news, are quick to advertise their successes and stay quiet about their failures. If your friend bought 20 stocks and lost money on 19, you’ll likely only hear about the one that went gangbusters. We all need to learn to apply critical thinking to the messages we hear. Most of those messages are either false, half-true, misleading, incomplete, or out of context.

I’m Here to Help

Almost without exception, Americans wait too long to start investing. If you are in your early 20s, ask anyone you know who is 20 to 30 years older than you if they wish they’d started sooner. I’ll bet you can’t find even one person who says “no” to that question! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to invest profitably; you just need to start early. If you would like to discuss how to make informed decisions about your retirement, let’s schedule a time to talk. Give me a call at (760) 607-0611 or email [email protected] to set up a consultation.

About Ed

Ed McClure is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Professional Plan Consultant® (PPC®), and founder of McClure Wealth Management. With over 25 years of experience, Ed works with business owners who want to maximize their retirement plan benefits, businesses that need help setting up and managing a 401(k) for their employees, and families who want guidance while planning their futures. He is known for simplifying complicated and intimidating topics and making wealth management concepts easy for others to remember and understand. 

Ed has established himself as a trusted resource for business owners and individuals, and his mission is to help his clients achieve the financial independence and well-being they deserve so they can give their time and energy to the people and things they love. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois. In his spare time, Ed conducts financial workshops for the Just In Time for Foster Youth organization, which helps equip young men and women as they come out of the foster care system. He also loves to travel and spend time with his favorite people. To learn more about Ed, connect with him on LinkedIn.

The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss. This material is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified tax advisor, attorney, and accountant or insurance advisor. Consultation with the appropriate professional should be done before any financial commitments regarding the issues related to the situation are made.


(1) https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/KO/cocacola/stock-price-history