I’ve Got A Secret For You!

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I've got a secret for you! People are fearful because of the recent stock market craziness. I share a shocking secret that will help you during this time.

Howdy folks, I’m going to keep it short and light for you today. Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past week or so, the stock market has been going absolutely nutty. Not just nutty, but jacked. We had days where the market would be up at a nice clip, only to spiral downwards by the end of the day. We also had days where the stock market was down nearly 1,000 points.

It’s easy to see the craziness and expect a return of 2007-2008. I spoke to thousands of investors during that time, and after. They were seeing their portfolios go down the dumps and they sold everything out of fear. They locked in their losses, sat on the sidelines and missed out on the following run-up. If you are tempted to do the same thing today I have a secret for you.

Are you ready? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here it goes…

It’s going to be ok!


I know what you’re thinking. But, but, China is having problems.

The Fed can’t decide when they will raise rates

The price of oil has certainly plummeted too much

Blah, blah, blah

Listen, I don’t know what the market is going to do. Anyone who tells you they know what will happen should summarily be ignored. What I can tell you is the above fears are white noise blared at you by talking heads who don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.

You know what? None of them – be it Yahoo Finance, CNBC, Jim Cramer (who needs to be muzzled by the way), CNN, etc. have any clue as to what your situation is and what you should do with your portfolio.

You know what they do know? That we are emotional creatures and they need ratings. I’ll let you put the two together.

While this is a great time to assess your risk tolerance, attempt to quantify any potential opportunities in the market and understand your investments, it is not a time to act out of fear.

I've got a secret for you! People are fearful because of the recent stock market craziness. I share a shocking secret that will help you during this time.

In reality, this is a time to do very little. It’s time to keep your head down and continue to work towards your goals. It’s time to turn off the TV and focus on what you want – not the fear they want to stoke in you. It’s time to plan out what you want to throw on the grill for your Labor Day BBQ!

That’s it. The secret is there really is no secret! 🙂 If you want more in-depth, ‘how to’ posts on investing in the stock market, feel free to check out some of these:


What’s your reaction to the recent volatility in the market? Were you able to take advantage of any opportunities? What’s your plan for Labor Day?

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

Latest posts by John Schmoll (see all)


  • Kristi says:

    Simple but true advice, John! The market has been crazy, but it would be even crazier to just sell off everything out of fear.

    I’m going to take your advice and plan my Labor Day barbecue instead =] I would love to smoke some ribs on the grill!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Agreed Kristi. The crazy approach to take is to sell everything. I’m taking the opposite approach of looking for opportunity and ignoring the rest.

      Sounds like a plan to me. 🙂

  • Natalie @ Financegirl says:

    I wrote about the same thing today! It’s definitely something that people are freaking out about because they don’t know what it means to them. My hope is to provide understanding that lessons the panic.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yep, it’s on the minds of a lot of people. So much of it goes back to that basic understanding Natalie. We fear what we don’t know and knowledge cuts that fear down.

  • Mrs. Budgets @MrandMrsBudgets says:

    I was able to add to my small cap ETF that was down, it wasn’t at the bottom but close enough for me. I hope to pick up some more stocks this week by adding to positions that are down.

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    I’m not paying much attention. We are thirty-five-years old and don’t plan to access the majority of our investments until retirement age. I’m going to keep investing monthly and ignore the hoopla.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    I think 20-somethings and 30-somethings have a huge advantage of time being on their side. The boom-bust cycle seems like it would cause a lot more stress to those in their 50s and beyond. There really is no reason for 20-somethings to panic, granted some may have $ in stocks that they plan on using to purchase a home in the near future. That inevitably will add to their stress.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Completely agreed DC. Those who are nearer to retirement would understandably be more concerned, but aside from that it’s best to keep on keepin’ on.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    I can totally understand 20 somethings freaking out if this is their first rodeo, but people our age have no excuse. It’s like they didn’t learn anything the first time. I haven’t changed anything except for trying to decide when the best time to put in my 401k contribution might be this month.

  • Emily @ says:

    Nice work, John. We were out of town last week with limited TV and internet, and that was probably a very good thing. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the talking heads are about as credible on the future of the stock market as a Magic 8-Ball.

  • Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor says:

    I love your attitude about this, and it means a lot coming from you. We did jump on some investment opportunities last week. And our Labor Day weekend will be spent camping with friends–the ultimate frugal getaway.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Kalie! Love that you got in some opportunities – that’s the best way to go about times like this.

      Awesome, have a great time!

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    I couldn’t agree more, John! It is going to be okay. No matter what “everyone” is telling you otherwise. Yup, the course correction hurt but investors need to think of it as a boo-boo. Painful for a second or two but quickly forgotten. I don’t want to pretend seeing my portfolio lose money didn’t hurt but I also know considering where my portfolio was in 2008 and where it is today, even after Black Monday, I’m pretty darn happy. 🙂

    • John Schmoll says:

      Completely agreed Shannon. Yep, I hate losing money too and last week did hurt, but overall I’m very happy myself. 🙂

  • Ramona says:

    These are clearly challenging times, but we cannot do to much, on a personal level. Just to keep on working, saving and trying to manage our money the best we can.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde says:

    I actually love market volatility because I feel like that’s the only way you can make money. I tell my clients when the markets drop it’s like everything you love going on sale and it’s the time to stock up.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’m honestly the same way in most cases Shannon. I explain it to others the same way – your favorite store is having a massive sale. If you’ve budgeted for it then you can really score some nice deals. When you start seeing solid companies at great prices it only makes sense to take that approach.

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