Originally Published on Yahoo! Finance
by Eric Rosenbaum
How about that 550-point intraday dive last week in the Dow! Did that finally get you to sell?
Or was it one of the many headlines about the trillions of dollars that have been wiped out of the stock market in the worst start for the Dow in history — since 1897! And worst start for the S&P 500 since the Great Depression began in 1929.
Oh, c’mon, that was “so last Wednesday.”
Surely, when all the major indices ripped higher on Friday, and stocks registered their first positive week of the year, and that diving-Dow had two straight days with triple-digit gains, you had plowed right back into the stock market and banked all those big gains.
It seemed like the panic and the paranoia were over — until the Dow dropped by another 200 points on Monday.
Vanguard Group CEO Bill McNabb said on Monday that investors should expect the volatility to last longer — and expect less from stocks for up to a decade.
And so far in January, investors have yanked near-$7 billion from U.S. stock funds, according to Thomson Reuters Lipper data. Investors have also put more than $3 billion into money market funds — the market’s under-the-mattress cash equivalent. But the more alarming data comes from last month, when investors pulled $48 billion from stock funds. That is eerily similar to 2008, as the financial crash hardened: Investors took $49 billion out of stock funds in Sept. 2008 and $55 billion out of stock funds in October 2008.
Kudos to investors for the great timing. Except for the fact that from 2008 to 2012, the S&P 500 generated a cumulative return of 8.6 percent.
Here’s the problem…
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