NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I like to consider myself an armchair psychologist. In the chicken/egg taxonomy of this phenomenon, the years of trying to understand the markets made me this way, not the other way around.
Specifically, if you could get your courage up about the time you felt worst about the markets in 2008, investing in stocks offers some 60 points of upside. It you felt pretty bad about the state of affairs after the dotcom crash in 2000, that was the time to get back in. If you were a real soothsayer, you felt your worst in 2002, when markets were off by some 25%, to be rewarded the following year, when markets returned about 26% for a spread of nearly 50 points. Even if you hit your emotional bottom a little early, say in 2001, you did pretty well in the rebound two years later. I'm not advocating market timing, which is correctly dubbed one of the world's most difficult feats. I am suggesting that if you are invested in the market, and keep some powder on the side, history shows the time to use it is when things look their worst. For better or worse, one such opportunity may arrive later this month. Specifically, the current anxiety -- that fiscal cliff legislation was not enough, that a debt ceiling battle is brewing, that Europe will implode, that Europe will not implode, take your pick -- coupled with difficult comparisons during the upcoming earnings season may conspire to deliver what I estimate to be a six to eight point decline in the S&P 500 index during January. CLF), CSX ( CSX) Housing recovery: Bed Bath & Beyond ( BBBY), Kohl's ( KSS) Technology upgrade: Novo Nordisk ( NVO), Cognizant Tech ( CTCH) Food and beverage: PepsiCo ( PEP), Molson Coors ( TAP) At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @Opurshce This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.