Investors, Stay Sane in a Crazy Market

Be sure to have a complete investing strategy, including your plan to sell, in place before any mayhem occurs.

Volatility is back, posing perhaps the biggest challenge stock investors have faced in this six-year bull run: How do you stay sane in a crazy market? In March alone, the Dow Jones industrial average seesawed wildly, closing up or (more often) down more than 100 points on 16 of 22 trading days. The jumpiness is all the more jarring because of the remarkably smooth uptrend we enjoyed previously. Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has gone 41 months without a decline of 10% or more (the classic threshold for a market correction). Since World War II, corrections have come every 18 months, on average, according to S&P Capital IQ.

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Anne Kates Smith
Executive Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Anne Kates Smith brings Wall Street to Main Street, with decades of experience covering investments and personal finance for real people trying to navigate fast-changing markets, preserve financial security or plan for the future. She oversees the magazine's investing coverage,  authors Kiplinger’s biannual stock-market outlooks and writes the "Your Mind and Your Money" column, a take on behavioral finance and how investors can get out of their own way. Smith began her journalism career as a writer and columnist for USA Today. Prior to joining Kiplinger, she was a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report and a contributing columnist for TheStreet. Smith is a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, Md., the third-oldest college in America.