Let’s say hypothetically that the stock market may rebound by 5%… Simple, common sense math shows that keeping your money in the bank at .05% interest means it would take you 100 years to make the same amount of money that investing it now could. And the cash you are saving under the mattress or in one of your vintage vinyl sleeves? That money is just losing value every second you leave it there, as the cost of blankets and concert tickets continues to climb with inflation.

Risk, Volatility, and Paper Losses

It’s important to know the difference between risk and volatility and many people get it wrong.

Volatility – stock prices moving up and down – is a normal part of the stock market and an opportunity for a disciplined saver to buy when the market is both up and down. When you have a solid plan in place you can capitalize on market price dislocations, like what happened this week. Risk is how likely you are to lose it all and it’s important to remember – while everyone has their own risk tolerance – price corrections and market volatility does not necessarily mean you are going to lose it all. As the chart below borrowed from The Irrelevant Investor’s excellent post on staying the course shows, the stock market has historically climbed in spite of dips. And paper losses are just that: it’s not real loss if you don’t sell.

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