The Stock Market Roller Coaster
by Cathy DeWitt Dunn ~
Do you remember those roller coaster rides when you were a kid? I sure do. I could hardly sleep the night before because of the anticipation. When we finally made it through the gate of the amusement park, I almost dragged mom and dad straight to the roller coaster.
I can still hear the distinct sound of the clack, clack, clack, as the chains pulled the cars up to the very tip top of the tracks. My heart was pounding in my chest as we reached the top and I would throw my hands in the air and scream to the top of my lungs as we took the exhilarating plunge to the bottom.
Those were some of the fondest memories of my childhood. When I think of roller coasters, I think of fun, I think of thrills. But when I think of the stock market roller coaster, I don’t have quite the same outlook.
I’ve often wondered why we compare the ups and downs of the stock market to a roller coaster. Okay, I guess I can see the “thrill” of riding your stocks as they climb to the top, but with the stock market, you never know where the “top” really is. However, I definitely don’t see any fun in riding the stock market all the way to the bottom, which again, is undefined.
The following chart was posted on BlackRock in an article titled “The Emotional Investing Roller Coaster“.
I see two very long rides to the top of the stock market since 1997 and two very short nose-dives to the bottom. On the way up, riders described their feelings as confident, thrilled, and euphoric, but on the way down, nervous, worried, and panic-stricken. I certainly don’t want to use the terms nervous, worried, or panic-stricken to describe my nest egg performance…and I bet you don’t either.
When planning for your retirement, do you really want to be on this emotional roller coaster? Do you have to be? No.
There’s a way you can enjoy the ride up, but with never having to experience the devastating panic of seeing your investments take a heart-wrenching plunge to the bottom. It’s called a fixed index annuity.
Like variable annuities, fixed index annuities provide the opportunity to participate in the positive performance of the stock market. However, unlike a variable annuity, your principal is 100% protected against stock market losses. And, unless you choose an optional rider, fixed index annuities have no fees whatsoever, making them a much less expensive option than variable annuities or brokerage accounts, which charge broker and/or trading fees.
If you’d like to learn more about fixed index annuities and how they work, please sign up for our free and instantly viewable video series “Securing Your Retirement Future“. In this series, we explain the pros and cons of the 4 types of annuities, how fixed index annuities make money in good markets and bad, and much more.
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