Investors, Don't Let Current Events Spook You

It may seem like you’re facing the storm of the century every time you turn on the news, but the markets have survived far worse.

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My husband, Sean, is a methodical guy who carefully weighs all possibilities before acting. So when he broached the idea of selling all of his stocks because of his concerns about both market valuations and geopolitical uncertainties, ranging from North Korean bluster to neo-Nazis marching in Virginia, I thought it might be time to take a step back and discuss when—if ever—it’s advisable to sell everything.

First, let me state the obvious: Nuclear war would not be good for your stock holdings. That said, if such a conflagration were to occur, we’d all probably have better things to do than worry about our portfolios.

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Kathy Kristof
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kristof, editor of, is an award-winning financial journalist, who writes regularly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CBS MoneyWatch. She's the author of Investing 101, Taming the Tuition Tiger and Kathy Kristof's Complete Book of Dollars and Sense. But perhaps her biggest claim to fame is that she was once a Jeopardy question: Kathy Kristof replaced what famous personal finance columnist, who died in 1991? Answer: Sylvia Porter.