Stay true to your strategy, whatever the market does, writes The Motley Fool.
What a week.
Here at The Motley Fool, we've been urging investors to stay calm throughout this unprecedented stock market volatility.
We know how difficult, and painful, it is to see your portfolio smashed. We're real investors too.
And when markets are crashing, people assume stocks will keep going down, and down, and down, never again to rebound. It's called the recency effect. We extrapolate what is happening now out into the future.
Stop the pain!
In the face of economic uncertainty and extreme stock market volatility, the natural urge is to sell out just to stop the pain. We know of at least one retiree who did just that. We can sympathise.
Yet it's in times like these when we must keep our eye on the big picture. For investors like us, that's the generation of wealth over the long-term.
In 5 years time, probably far less, this week will long be forgotten. It will be just another wiggle in the chart of the ASX/S&P 200.
5 lessons of the week
But hopefully the lessons won't be forgotten.
1. Share prices are volatile.
2. Weeks like this will happen again.
3. Real businesses underlying the stock prices are continuing to prosper.
4. Stocks can go up as well as down.
5. Using excessive leverage to juice your returns means you might be forced to sell right at the bottom of the market.
Speaking of which, from its low point this week, the S&P/ASX 200 is up around 10%. Imagine if you'd panicked and sold, right at the low point on Tuesday morning? You'd be feeling pretty sick right now.
Our Analysts here at the Motley Fool have been calmly suggesting investors buy shares, not sell.
Read more -> Telstra: Still our top blue chip stock
Sticking with Dean, in the teeth of the bear market, he stuck out his neck and calmly declared it's time to buy the big Australian banks. Take your pick from Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB), Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC).
Read more -> Banks. It's time to buy
Myself, Dean and Motley Fool Feature Columnist Scott Phillips put our heads together to come up with some stock ideas for investors looking to put some cash to work amid the volatility.
Read more -> 5 Stocks for this choppy market
End of the bear?
With Wall Street soaring 4.5% overnight on the back of easing concerns about the U.S. economic recovery, does that mean we're at the end of this extreme volatility?
It's impossible to know. But whatever happens, your investing strategy should remain the same, namely to buy good companies at cheap prices, and focus on the business, not the share price.
It has been an interesting week, possibly a stressful one. Enjoy the weekend, Fools.
Free report: Read this before the market crashes
Of the companies mentioned, Bruce Jackson has an interest in TLS, ANZ, CBA, NAB,and WBC. The Motley Fool has a calm disclosure policy.