Four months into 2018, just take a step back and process what your portfolio has had to endure.
- Two major gap downs (early February and mid-March) in the S&P 500
and Dow Jones Industrial Average thanks to trade war talk that seemingly came out of nowhere.
- A more blunt talking Fed chairman in Jerome Powell than his predecessors Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke. The market has not responded well to Powell, at all.
- A rout in the one-time market darlings known as FAANG (Facebook (FB) , Amazon (AMZN) , Apple (AAPL) , Netflix (NFLX) , and Alphabet (GOOGL) ) stocks. Whereas these companies could do no wrong in 2017, they are now viewed by many on Wall Street as overvalued and poised to be regulated by the government.
- Many "value" stocks have continued to get cheaper even with a market experiencing heightened volatility. General Electric (GE) , historically a beacon of safety due to its solid dividend, has shed 25%. The company's financial troubles haven't helped its investment case, either.
- The VIX Index, commonly known as Wall Street's fear guage, has hovered above 20 for much of the year. For most of 2017, the VIX Index was below 10 as investors feared very little.
- Gold prices have stayed in a tight trading range despite a more nervous stock market. Who would have thought.
- Bitcoin prices have crashed 38%, leading a plunge across the once smoking hot cryptocurrency space.
Be honest with yourself: how the market has reacted so far this year has surprised you. And that's OK if it has, successful investing isn't easy. But, the ramped up uncertaintly underscores why you need top-notch guidance and education like never before.
TheStreet has you covered.