Suze Orman Says She's Not in Love With the Stock Market Today. Should You Keep Investing?

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It’s easy to see why she feels that way.

Key points

  • The stock market has sent investors on a wild ride this year.
  • While that’s a lot to bear, it doesn’t mean you should shy away from investing. 
  • Keep your emergency fund out of the market, and if you’ve investing for the long term, you will likely see stocks recover.

To say that 2022 has been a tough year for investors would be a pretty big understatement. As of the end of September, the S&P 500 index (which is generally representative of the stock market on a whole) was down a whopping 25% year to date. And these days, a lot of people are seeing losses in their brokerage accounts, IRAs, and 401(k) plans. 

Financial guru Suze Orman knows how tough it is. On a recent podcast, Orman said point blank that she’s not in love with the stock market today. And many of us are apt to concur. 

But does that mean you should stop investing or pull your money out of the market? Not at all. 

Navigating these tricky times

When the stock market experiences an extended bout of turbulence, which is clearly the case these days, it’s natural to want to liquidate your investments or, at the very least, not put more money into stocks. But both could end up being big mistakes.

First, let’s talk about selling. If you have investments in a retirement plan or brokerage account, hopefully, those aren’t assets you’re planning to fall back on as an emergency fund. Your emergency fund should stay tucked away in a savings account so it can’t lose money due to market fluctuations. 

As long as you don’t intend to cash out your brokerage account or retirement plan investments any time soon, you don’t need to panic about the state of the market. (And if you’re in a different boat, where you do need to take withdrawals soon, you may want to consult a financial advisor to help you assess your choices.) And if you sell stocks when they’re down, all you’ll do is lock in permanent losses rather than give your portfolio a chance to recover. 

Now, let’s talk about continuing to invest. At first, that might seem like a poor choice. But actually, now’s a good time to load up on stocks because everything is down. 

Think about it this way. If there’s a shelf-stable supermarket item your family eats a lot and you see it available for 50% off, you may be inclined to buy a whole bunch of it and stick it in your pantry so it’s there when you need it. Well, you can think of today’s stock market as one giant sale. If you buy stocks at a low, over time, their value can grow — a lot. And that way, you’ll have more money to access later in life, when you might really need it.

Plus, if you’re investing in a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan, you get a tax break on the money you put in. So that’s even more reason to keep investing, even though today’s market is challenging. 

Will things get better in 2023?

We could end up with a volatile stock market that lasts well into 2023, and at this point, there’s really no way to know when this miserable streak will end. The best thing you can do is to not act out of fear when stock values tumble by selling yours off and, if possible, take advantage of the opportunity to load up on stocks while they’re still pretty heavily discounted.

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