With the major market indexes reaching new heights on a regular basis, an increasing number of Wall Street pros have been steadily trotting out long lists of reasons to unload stocks.
That is, of course, in addition to all the ramped-up rhetoric of reliable doom-and-gloomers.
Choose your excuse to bail: Weak earnings. Rising interest rates. Terrorism. Brexit. The political carnival. Bears are keying in on any and all of the factors that could bring the relentless rally to a halt.
Clearly, the hand-wringing is justified.
But the Motley Fool’s Morgan Housel recently posted this chart going all the way back to 1950 as a reminder to investors with an eye to the long term that there are always “smart-sounding temptations” to sell (click for a bigger chart).
He points out that the S&P, adjusted for inflation, has surged 100-fold in the past 66 years, even with plenty of great reasons to get out of the market along the way.
But what about those long stretches of flat or negative returns?
“The takeaway isn’t that the market is safe. It’s that bad news almost never supersedes the power of true patience,” explained Housel, adding that “periods of chaos are the cost of admission for longer-term returns.”