In the past 50 years, the Dow has closed either up or down 4% 76 times. Five of those days occurred in the past two weeks.
As markets went wild, The Motley Fool held a series of live chats. Tens of thousands of Fool readers spent a cumulative 389 days sharing their thoughts with each other. They asked questions, answered others', and shared their thoughts on what we're all here for -- becoming better investors. The full transcript is half a million words long. That's a testament to the strength of our community.
In no particular order, here are 20 comments that stuck out.
20. "By the end of next week the market could wake up with a headache and kind of wonder what happened by then it may not even clearly remember why it dropped so much and come back up to a somewhat acceptable level. What we have now are mostly politics, there is no housing bubble that burst in a major way like in 07/08. What we see here is still mostly talk and opinions. We have known about the international debt problem a long time ago, no reason for it to go crazy right now." -- Helmut
19. "This entire market scene is comical. The U.S. is still, by a long shot, the largest economy in the world. The root cause of this is political and a lack of leadership, not anything else. Life moves on." -- Mason
18. "I think financials are at a more accurate long term price than people understand." -- Jak
17. "This past week I've been bombarded left and right with questions from people worried about their 401ks in this wild market. I've done my best to try to calm them down because the vast majority of them have a long ways to go before they retire. I can't help but feel that all this panic was brought on unnecessarily by the media." -- OutOfFocus
16. "Don't worry about timing the slide. Any time in the next/past few days will be a just fine time to buy." -- Auloria
15. "What really burns me is that loss took 90 minutes and the recovery will take two years or more." -- BritinCA
14. "I working on the final chapter of my book, 'Gold 36,000.'" -- EddyElfenbein
13. "So many bargains. Unfortunately I am out of cash. Now I understand why Buffett holds so much cash." -- Collin
12. "When US debt is upgraded to AAA I'll sell some of what I bought today just to celebrate." --Pepper
11. "My feeling is that when all the world news is bad and everyone is scared, I am really glad that I own good quality companies with great managers that will continue to do well over time. These are definitely Buffett moments to me." -- Mario
10. "If this is not a market panic sell, I have no idea what it is. I mean, before this I could argue fundamentals, growth prospects and stuff but for [Netflix (NAS: NFLX) , Berkshire Hathaway (NYS: BRK.B) , ExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) , Wells Fargo (NYS: WFC) ,] and so on at its current level to be realistic it would need a recession of 2 years." -- Joaquin Grech
9. "Today is actually a great buying opportunity for anyone who isn't saddled with margin calls. You know we're in the midst of another knee-jerk reaction that makes this a perfect time for long term investors." -- Paul
8. "The best play this week was refinancing your mortgage." -- Jim
7. "Part of my strategy is to be patient, continue investing a portion of every paycheck into the best companies, and enjoy the amazing discounts we are being presented. I believe these discounts, and more, may be available for some time to come; hence the patience. I don't believe there is a need to rush." -- FoolishErik
6. "After 20 years of investing, I genuinely get happy when I see the market go down. I know that is contrary to the point of being rude. But the bargain hunting is what makes you fortunes. If you just stick with your solid companies for life, and bargain hunt in crisis......the chances for prosperity go wildly higher." -- Tom Gardner
5. "I still think this has a lot to do with our new automated market, trade station city. For all the years I've been watching it (over 20), The cycles are relatively the same, what is different is speed and volume. This is causing equities to literally seizure with activity. We never saw these kinds of swings before they took the traders off the NYSE. Trade stations gone amok. More regulation is needed to protect companies and real investors." -- Tamar
4. "The market is driven by emotion and rational. The economy is driven by supply and demand, regulations and taxes. I plan to load up now on growth companies and watch my investments grow over the long term as they always have in the past." -- bbillschnee
3. "On days like this, turning off the TV and ignoring financial advice seems like the best move for long-term investors." -- PDX
2. "The S&P downgrade is not going to hurt the US Treasury as its investors have nothing else to invest in. The only thing it does is to create panic and effectively scare away institutional and foreign investors from the US stock market, forcing corporate USA to cash in their foreign assets to raise funds (and that is good because 1. the Europe and emerging markets are more troubled, and 2. the USD index is low). The corporate USA is in very healthy shape already. Now that the speculative commodity is gone, the recovery is only going faster." -- Richard
1. "I am doing nothing. Been there and done it. Eventually it will again turn around. if you don't need the cash right now, just sit tight." -- Guest
At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorMorgan Houselowns shares of Berkshire and Exxon. Follow him on Twitter @TMFHousel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Fool owns shares of and has created a ratio put spread position on Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix and Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying puts in Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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