Don't lose money: stop stock-picking when the market is down.

You're more likely to lose money if you're constantly checking, chasing, and stock-picking when the market is down.

Ways investors can help avoid self-inflicted losses in a down market.getty
There are a few things investors can do to help avoid self-inflicted losses during a down market. First, it's important to stay disciplined and not panic when the market starts to drop.

It's important to remember that market declines are a normal part of investing. While it's best to take steps to plan ahead for a market decline, it's also crucial to know what to do during a selloff. Equity investors should remember that it's unrealistic to avoid all losses, but there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of self-inflicted, preventable losses. Here are three ways to do just that.

Single stocks don't necessarily reflect the stock market as a whole.

Looking at the chart below, it's clear that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. After years of strong performance, there can be no guarantee that a company will continue to do well in the future. This is why it's important to always be mindful of the risks involved in any investment.

Can the biggest 'winners' in the stock market stay on top forever? Know when to take profits.Kristin McKenna, Darrow Wealth Management
The stock market is a volatile place, and even the biggest winners can see their fortunes change in an instant. That's why it's important to know when to take profits and cash out while you're ahead. Kristin McKenna of Darrow Wealth Management shares her insights on when to sell.

The stock market has experienced some significant ups and downs in recent months, with newly public companies and seasoned stocks alike experiencing stunning drawdowns. However, when compared to the Russell 3000 index, the stock market doesn't look so bad after all. This shows that there are still opportunities for investors to profit in the current market conditions.

Single stocks are more volatile than the overall stock market. (Rivian and Coinbase went public in ... [+] 2021)Kristin McKenna, Darrow Wealth Management
The recent debuts of Rivian and Coinbase on the stock market have shown that single stocks can be much more volatile than the overall stock market. This can be a good thing or a bad thing for investors, depending on the stock in question. For those who are willing to take on more risk, single stocks can provide the opportunity for greater rewards.

This paragraph provides some interesting perspective on single stock performance. According to JP Morgan, between 1980 and 2020, roughly 45% of stocks that were ever in the Russell 3000 fell 70% or more from a prior peak and never recovered. This means that nearly half of all stocks are at risk of a major drop at any given time. While this may seem like a cause for concern, it's important to remember that stock performance is always a matter of chance.

There's no doubt that investing in a single company can be extremely lucrative. However, it's important to understand the risks involved and to take profits when the time is right. Otherwise, you could end up losing everything.

Checking your accounts can do more harm than good

Investors often incur unnecessary losses by checking their portfolio during market downturns. The chart below plots the one-year total return for the S&P 500, illustrating how daily gains and losses can add up to significant losses over time. The purple line shows daily gains and losses while the orange line reports monthly. By avoiding the temptation to check their portfolios during downturns, investors can minimize their losses and maximize their gains.

Checking your investments more often in down markets doesn't change the outcome.  (1 year total ... [+] return 11/2021 - 10/2022. Does not include investment costs or expenses; cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not indicative of future results.)Kristin McKenna, Darrow Wealth Management
In down markets, investors often think that they need to check their investments more frequently in order to make sure they are not losing money. However, research has shown that this doesn't actually change the outcome. In fact, checking your investments more often can actually lead to worse results. This is because you are more likely to make impulsive decisions based on emotion instead of logic. So, if you want to be a successful investor, it's important to resist the urge to check your investments too often.

There is no clear winner when it comes to the debate between organic and non-organic foods. Both have the same net result in terms of nutrition and health benefits.

If you check your investment account every day, you will see more ups and downs in the market. This can be stressful, and may prompt you to make hasty decisions that could lead to losses. It's important to stay calm and make smart investment choices to protect your money.

It's important to be aware of recency bias when making any decisions, especially when it comes to trading. Just because something has happened recently doesn't mean it's necessarily going to continue happening in the future. So if you're looking at making a trade, take a step back and evaluate all the factors involved before making a decision.

Chasing the market can be a fruitless endeavor.

There's no need to make changes to your portfolio based on recent events. While it may be tempting to do so, the reality is that there's little correlation between the best or worst performers in the past month or year and longer periods of time. In fact, recently, the outcome is reversed.

The best investment today might not be the top performer long-term and vice-versa.Kristin McKenna, Darrow Wealth Management
The best investment today might not be the top performer long-term and vice-versa. Kristin McKenna, Darrow Wealth Management This is an important point to consider when making any investment decision.
Equity factors, performance over time.Kristin McKenna, Darrow Wealth Management
As an equity investor, I am always looking for factors that will lead to superior performance over time. I believe that Kristin McKenna and Darrow Wealth Management have the experience and expertise to provide this.

It is remarkable how well small cap, high dividend, and defensive sectors have performed over the past month. However, looking at a longer time frame, it is clear that these indices have been the worst performers. This just goes to show how important diversification is in investing. Markets are cyclical, so it is crucial to have a diversified portfolio in order to weather the ups and downs.

Looking at your account daily can tempt you to sell losers and chase winners around, but this can have lasting implications. These charts also highlight the downside of tax loss harvesting. Harvesting losses only for tax purposes can have broader implications due to the wash sale rules.

If you sell an investment for a loss, you can't buy the position (or one substantially similar) back for 30 days. So you'll either buy something you don't like as much or stay in cash. The market may move significantly during this time - four indices above have gains over 10% in a month. This policy can be frustrating for investors who see the market moving without them. However, it is important to remember that this rule is in place to protect investors from making impulsive decisions.

If you're waiting for the perfect time to invest in the stock market, you may be missing out on some major gains. According to Bespoke Investment Group, the S&P 500 has averaged a 15.2% return in the first month of a bull market since 1928. Over the first three months, the average gain increases to 31.6%. What the market will do coming out of the 2022 bear market is anyone's guess, but historically, markets move quickly, and the best days in the market often fall within a week or two of the worst ones. So if you're waiting for the perfect time to invest, you may want to reconsider.

Silver lining! Market shifts can bring opportunities

With interest rates on the rise, cash is king. Investors with cash on hand can benefit from higher yields on one-year Treasuries, which are now yielding 4.75%. This is a 2,700% increase from last year's yield of .17%. To take advantage of this, investors can create a Treasury ladder or buy longer-term bonds to lock in a higher return. With cash flow increasing, this is a great time to be an investor.

Treasury yield curve.Kristin McKenna, Darrow Wealth Management
The Treasury yield curve is a vital tool for measuring the health of the economy.

There's no reason to park your cash in a 0% checking account when you can get a much better return by investing in a high-yield savings account. With interest rates on savings accounts rising, now is a great time to start earning more on your cash.

Investors should consider allocating part of their portfolio to Treasuries, as yields are currently attractive. However, this should not be the sole investment, and individuals should not sell all their portfolio holdings to buy Treasuries.

This article highlights the importance of understanding the nuances of investing, and how a passive buy-and-hold strategy should not ignore key factors like rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting.

When the markets are down, investors often feel the urge to take action in order to stop the losses. However, acting on this impulse can often be unwise, and is one of the most common ways that investors end up incurring preventable financial losses.

As the Russell 3000 index falls below 97% of the US equity market, many investors are concerned about the potential for further losses. However, some analysts believe that the index could rebound in the coming months, providing relief for those who have been affected by the recent market downturn.