Stick With Your Plan

Timing the market is nearly impossible. The worst thing you can do is sell stocks when prices are tumbling.

Image of computer screen with stock activity.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One major challenge we face as a monthly magazine is that we write, edit, print and mail this publication weeks before it arrives in your mailbox. As I write this column for the February issue, it is early December. We send the publication to the printer in mid December, and most subscribers will receive their issues in the new year.

That’s especially problematic when we experience a stretch like the one following Thanksgiving—when Omicron upset Wall Street’s best-laid predictions. The prospect of a new, highly transmissible COVID-19 variant led to speculation about new shutdowns. That precipitated a roller-coaster ride for the stock market as investors fretted about the economy. Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell unnerved traders even more when he warned that with a strong economy and tight labor market, inflation is likely to be persistent rather than transitory. He signaled that the Fed may move up plans to wind down its bond-buying stimulus program—the precursor to lifting short-term rates. The following week, as Wall Street concluded that Omicron would be less disruptive, the markets roared back.

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Mark Solheim
Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Mark became editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine in July 2017. Prior to becoming editor, he was the Money and Living sections editor and, before that, the automotive writer. He has also been editor of as well as the magazine's managing editor, assistant managing editor and chief copy editor. Mark has also served as president of the Washington Automotive Press Association. In 1990 he was nominated for a National Magazine Award. Mark earned a B.A. from University of Virginia and an M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Mark lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, and they spend as much time as possible in their Glen Arbor, Mich., vacation home.