It's amazing how easily fear overcomes resolution, and how easily long-term investors turn into panicked sellers in a market decline. That's what happens when you don't have a plan that you understand, and a commitment to stick to the plan.
Words like "diversification" or "asset allocation" seem to come from a different language. But the falling balances in your retirement account are unmistakable signs that your chances of retirement are going down the drain.
Don't panic -- and don't rely on historic facts, even the ones I've often given. True, over the long run, there has never been a 20-year period where you would have lost money in a diversified portfolio of large-company American stocks with dividends reinvested. Facts are cold comfort without a plan.
Do you have that 20-year "long run" to wait, and the discipline to hang in there? Or do you need some of your portfolio in safe, "chicken money" alternatives that will let you sleep at night?
Even in the midst of a market decline that could be protracted by an oncoming recession, it's not too late to make a sensible plan. Here are three sources of reliable advice -- and they're at your fingertips.Retirement Calculator
Mutual fund giant T. Rowe Price
The calculator will also recommend appropriate portfolio asset allocation between stocks, bonds and safer, short-term investments to help meet your goals.