Weekly Editorial

Bears or Bullsh*t? How Much 'Stock' To Invest In Market Dip

Written By Rob Kirkbride, Write Office • September 26, 2022

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I’m sure most of you are investors. I’m an investor too. It can be a bit shocking when the stock market takes a turn as it has over the past few months. So the question becomes: How much should the office furniture industry be concerned when the stock market’s performance suffers?

Before I attempt to answer that question, I will spare you from any investment advice as my track record is spotty at best. Full disclosure: I once purchased shares of GM at $10 a share with the belief that the company’s real estate holdings alone made it worth the price. A few months later GM filed for bankruptcy and I lost everything I had invested in the company. So yeah, you don’t need investing tips from me.

I currently have a few different accounts holding stock — a Fidelity account with retirement funds that I have socked into boring securities that are safe and secure and a Robinhood account that I use mostly as a “casino” account. It’s a lightly funded account where I make risky investments and quick trades hoping to strike it rich. Over the past few months about 25% of its value has evaporated as the stock market contracted.

As an investor, the tumbling stock market is frustrating and scary right now. As someone who is deeply immersed in the office furniture industry, it’s a bit scary too, but it is way too early to start wringing our hands and worrying about a recession and dip in our business.

The performance of the stock market and the performance of the office furniture industry are connected, but not so much that a dip in the Dow equates directly to a drop in office furniture sales. In fact, I would argue that the performance of the stock market — especially in the current environment — is not a harbinger of bad news for the industry.

The economy is weird right now, to be sure, but now is not the time to panic. Unusual forces are at work on the market that we haven’t seen for quite some time. Inflation. The war in Ukraine. The lingering threat of COVID. All of these once-in-a-lifetime factors are dragging the market down. If you stripped the economy of all these individual factors, I would argue that it would be quite strong. Of course, we can’t and we have to play with the hand we’ve been dealt. Still, it is important to note that the economy isn’t being dragged down because the overall business environment is bad. It simply isn’t.

So next time you open your brokerage account and check your retirement, make sure you are sitting down. Also make sure it doesn’t pollute your better business judgement. Hold tight. Stay true to your path and your planning and check your gut. Does it really feel like a recession is around the corner? It sure doesn’t to me. While a slowdown might be in order, this does not feel like a runaway train barreling down the tracks toward a recession (like it did in 2008, for example).

Stay the course. Be smart. And one final bit of advice: No investment is a sure thing, especially not GM when it is on the verge of bankruptcy.

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