Panicky stock markets in China are spreading to Asia and the rest of the world today. Over the weekend my Twitter feed provided links to various stories arguing the case against panic but clearly there’s extreme anxiety in the air and investors are going to do what they’re going to do.
At the Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig described five things investors shouldn’t do right now. The New York Times advised Take some deep breaths and don’t do a thing. Here in Canada, the Globe & Mail’s Rob Carrick took a similar stance: Relax, a stock market pullback was overdue.
Deep breaths, relaxing? Sounds a bit like meditation. And that might be as valuable a thing to try right now than a belated attempt to lock the stock market barn after the horse has already escaped.
Here’s a review I did for the FP four years ago of the book illustrated to the left: The Mindful Investor, Maria Gonzalez. The advice then was that the next time the markets crash, try to calm your mind with meditation. For a video interview I conducted with the author then, click on Mindfulness over Market Matters.
On page 152, the book specifically mentions how to deal with a stock market correction through a relaxation technique. “Once you feel calmer and more stable, you’ll be be better able to listen and make good decisions, ones that aren’t based on panic and fear.”
Of course, the more you watch the carnage through the media and web, the harder this is going to be. You might want to reread Steve Lowrie’s Hub post: Stop reacting to market noise.
Vanguard: Consider doing nothing at all
Finally, the Vanguard Group has some useful advice in this blog just posted on its site: What to do during market volatility? Perhaps nothing.
In a similar vein, Motley Fool Canada issued a special update today titled A tough start to the week, reminding investors that “this too will pass.”