“When fear defines financial markets, remember Warren Buffett,” says a recent Barron’s article.
Buffett once asserted that the secret to beating the market was to “be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful,” a simple idea that the article notes can be difficult to follow, “especially now, when no one knows what the coronavirus might do.”
The negative market reaction to the recent health threat, the article points out, raises a key point: “In the dark days of the credit crisis, the financial world was seemingly ending. Yet by March 2009, the worst was over, and some people set themselves up to make fortunes because they bought stocks during those dark days.”
The article emphasizes: “This isn’t meant to imply the coronavirus will soon stop menacing the market…But if you invest today in a blue-chip stock, values may fluctuate, but your future investment will almost certainly be worth more—provided the virus doesn’t destroy the world.” It adds that following Buffett’s advice, while not for the faint of heart, could pay off in the long run.
“Our fear strategy is like disaster prepping,” the article concludes. “Rather than hoarding water, ammunition, and canned goods, you are stockpiling quality stocks that often pay attractive dividends when many investors are fearful. This isn’t for everyone, naturally, but those who dare tend to win.”