The economic rollercoaster: How to stay calm

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Is anyone a bit hysterical besides me? The past couple of weeks where stocks went up and down did not really rattle me but the last few days are something else. I have never seen the markets operate this way -- nor have a lot of other folks under the age of 60. My mother keeps whispering, "the great depression."

While the financial gurus aren't saying the "D" word, everyone admits we have some serious issues going on, and a lot of folks are anxious. I grew up thinking this couldn't possibly happen again but history does have a way of repeating itself. So here is my formula to stay calm:

  • Don't check your stocks every hour. In fact, you may not want to check every day. Just hang on and see what happens. Things will settle down and you certainly don't want to sell stocks at the bottom.
  • Stay the course. Keep saving, investing, and watching your money. It is a great time to buy and I like to look for "bottom feeders," those stocks that are presently undervalued.
  • Use distractions. It's football time and it is so much more fun watching a few passes and touchdowns than watching the market go down. Put on your favorite team's colors and have a football party.
  • Have a martini. After a couple, you won't care what is happening with the market.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. Learn how to Blast the Blues with Barb's special report.

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