Where were you back in 2009? I know where I was. That was the height of the financial crisis.
I was in the 11th year of my 24 years of selling cars, and this was an unprecedented time. I would come to work, literally hold my breath to pull on the door, to see if the doors were unlocked or not because we weren't sure banks weren't loaning money, even with people that had A-plus credit.
So the banks were conservative in who they loaned money to, but to make matters worse, they were conservative about which models, vehicles, or brands of cars they lent money to.
Because I worked for Chrysler, they weren't sure if the government would bail us out. So we were considered distressed merchandise. Even if a customer had a plus credit, they had to come in with equity well; who had equity during that time? Not many people; most people just needed something to drive. They were just in a position where they didn't have $10,000 to put down hell. They were just trying to barely make it like everybody else.
I remember some of the loan officers at Chase bank saying, "We're not, we're not doing this deal." 800 credit score. Wouldn't do the deal. I'll never forget that.
So in 2009, the stock market bottomed out, and stocks that were worth, I don't know, 60 bucks a share were now valued at less than a dollar.
Many people saw that all of the money they had poured into the stock market was decimated, freaked out, liquidated their stocks, and permanently locked in their losses.
See, the only time you officially lose in the stock market is if you cash the stock out. But even if you look at the stock and the stock price was 60, and now it's a dollar, you still have shares in the company. It may not be valued at what it once was, but you still have shares, and many people saw that dollar value, and they said, "Oh, I'm out!"
But had they stayed in when the stock market roared back to life, their stocks would have risen exponentially. Adding to that, if they were in a position where they could've invested just 120 bucks at the bottom, they would have become very wealthy because think about it like this, if you have 120 bucks and a stock price, at the height, is worth 60 bucks a share, that gets you two shares, but at the bottom, in the crisis, that $120 at a dollar a share what it got you 120 shares. You had more in the company.
Sir, John Templeton said, "The greatest opportunities come in times of maximum pessimism."
But I'm not talking about the stock market. I'm flipping this back on you. Even if your personal share price is not bringing maximum value, don't cash out and do not stop investing.
Because it's only in cashing out that you permanently lock in your losses.