New Year’s stock slump: Should you be worried?
Global financial markets took a sharp downturn Monday, on the first trading day of the New Year. Wall Street rebounded somewhat late in the afternoon, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average still lost 276 points or 1.6 percent, its worst day in two weeks.
One New Jersey expert said the earlier losses appear to be just a collective blip on the radar screen, not a harbinger of things to come for the rest of 2016.
"I think actually, even though it sounds counter-intuitive, the current market environment is great for longterm investors," said Ken Kamen, president of Mercadien Asset Management in Princeton. "I think it's a time to re-evaluate your portfolio, and look to position yourself in quality companies that are set to grow."
Kamen said in 2015, the U.S. stock market was largely driven by the so-called "FANG stocks" -- Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google. He thinks it is unlikely that the trend of relying on the movements within that small group will continue.
"They had such dramatic rises, as a matter of fact, almost all the market return last year was in (that) very small handful of stocks," Kamen said.
Monday's dropoff in American markets was set in motion by a 7 percent decline in China earlier in the day, but Kamen said that shouldn't be a reason for U.S. investors to get "spooked" going forward.
"China still remains a very small trading partner of the United States," he said. "They account for less than 1 percent of our gross domestic product, so when you look at it, I think it's very much an overreaction."
For some individual investors, Kamen said, the only times they check in on how their stocks are doing are when the headlines blare financial doom and gloom. He recommends that those people think about monitoring their portfolios on a more routine basis.
"Sometimes, it takes a shakeup like (Monday) to remind them that they should be doing it," he said.