Something odd happened during the recent stock market correction:
Reporters didn't panic.
Take ABC News. On the April 1 World News Tonight, Bob Jamieson
told viewers: "What's significant here is that individual investors
watched today's gyrations with more interest than anxiety, and
shrugged them off, as they have the market's sharp decline the last
He interviewed average investors, all of whom were calm about the
correction. A man told him that "it's a non-event and it should be a
non-event. People should focus on the underlying businesses that
they're buying." Another investor agreed: "I'm in for the long haul,
so no panic selling, not for me."
Jamieson also interviewed Melissa Brown of Prudential Securities.
"I think it does tell us that when people have said that they are
investing for the long term, maybe they really do mean that and
they're not going to get scared away," she said.
In the next story, correspondent Ned Potter reported that "if the
market is making you nervous, most advisors will urge you to sit
down until the feeling passes."
He advised: "Remember the long-term picture, they say. If you
look at the Dow Jones Industrials over the last three months, true,
you'll be disheartened to see that you're almost back where you
started on New Year's. But if you back up and look over the last
five years, you'll see that stocks have gone up more than 17 percent
per year, never mind the bumps along the way."
Potter also pointed out that young investors should be especially
calm. "These are the years to be mostly in stocks," he said. "If
they go down, you have plenty of time to recover."