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Riding the Stock Market Roller Coaster: What NOT to do

The Demon Drop.  Have you ever ridden on it?

If you're from the Midwest, it's possible that you have.  It's one of the oldest roller coaster rides and has been a mainstay at a popular tourist spot in Ohio called Cedar Point.

The Demon Drop is crazy. 

Four people sit side-by-side in a metal box with the front open to the world.  You get strapped in and then the ride takes you up something like 1,000 feet in the air (*that's not true - it just feels like it when you're up there).  

When you get to the top, the Demon Drop slides out a few feet away from the platform so that you're just dangling there looking out at miles and miles in front of you - probably at Canada (*again..I'm dramatic.).

There is a long, dramatic pause at the top.  You sit there, almost comfortable.  Almost forgetting that you're on a machine called The Demon Drop.  Then...

You plunge to your death at warp speed!

Well, that also isn't true - but you're not sure about this until you abruptly stop at the bottom and realize that you're still alive.

It is, despite the dramatics, a lot of fun.  

What isn't a lot of fun, however, is when your 401k or mutual funds ride on the Demon Drop.

Riding The Demon Drop

You've been on that ride with your money before, haven't you?

You know, you're climbing and climbing and just enjoying the view of Canada and then you get to the top and think everything is going to be okay.


You guessed it:  The bottom falls out!

You're not sure if you're going to make it.

People are screaming.

Death is imminent.  

Everything you've worked for is all crashing down around you.

That is...until that isn't true at all.

It's amazing how similar the stock market is to The Demon Drop, isn't it.

Even if you've never been on this ride at Cedar Point, you understand what I'm talking about.

What Not To Do

The investment world is not for the faint of heart.  It can be heart-pounding, beautiful, freaky, and make you wonder if you're very intelligent to even be on that ride.

But you want more and you can't imagine not riding it.

It does beg the question though:  Should we be riding this?

My suggestion is this:

Not if you don't understand how the ride works!

You see, if you get on The Demon Drop, you know what's going to happen: 

It's going to go up and when it does you're going to enjoy the ride.  But you also know this other principle is at work at the same time -- what goes up must come....(what's the next word?)...


Yes!   You get it.  

That's how The Demon Drop works and that's how the stock market works as well.  If you don't understand that don't ride the ride.

But if you choose to ride it, here's my biggest suggestion:

Don't get off the ride until it's over.

Stay seated.  Keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times.  Enjoy the ups and downs and don't get so freaked out when it feels like you're plunging to your death.  You're not.

So don't be like me and be so dramatic.

Enjoy the ride!


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