Investing

What to do when the stock market gets bumpy

The major stock market indexes are down significantly from previous highs last month. Still, experts say the latest market bumps aren't a big deal. Here's how to take a long view on your investments.

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The major U.S. stock market indexes have been off to a bumpy start in August, following the Fed's first rate cut in more than a decade and new movement in the ongoing trade war with China.

Last week, the Trump administration announced a new 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, which is scheduled to kick in at the beginning of September. China retaliated by allowing its currency to fall and reportedly halting imports of U.S. agricultural goods. In response, U.S. markets fell significantly Monday.

Still, most experts say the latest fluctuations aren’t a big deal. The economy is in good shape, with low unemployment, rising wages, and strong economic growth, Kate Warne, an investment strategist at Edward Jones, told Grow earlier this year. And the stock market is still up more than 14% in 2019.

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Since the end of World War II there have been 12 bear markets, or times when stocks lose at least 20% of their value. Yet the long-term average annualized return for the S&P 500 is almost 10%. So it helps to keep your investing focus on the long term.

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