The stock market has taken a tumble lately, with the S&P 500 officially entering a bear market after falling more than 20% from its peak.
While downturns and bear markets can be intimidating to even the best investors, they’re also one of the best opportunities to buy. Stock prices are significantly lower now than they were a few months ago, and buying the dip can help you get more bang for your buck.
It’s important, though, to have the right strategy. Here’s how to make the most of your money during a downturn.
1. Avoid knee-jerk reactions
When stock prices are down, it can be tempting to buy first and ask questions later. Market dips can sometimes feel like Black Friday sales, when prices are slashed for a limited time and you have to buy right now.
To make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, though, take a moment to think through your decision before you buy. Can you afford to invest right now? Do you have a healthy emergency fund? Have you researched this stock thoroughly?
Market downturns can be fantastic buying opportunities, but they’re also one of the worst times to sell. If you buy a stock without thinking and end up having to sell it soon after, you could risk losing money.
2. Take a long-term approach
Nobody knows for certain how long this bear market will last. Some downturns, such as the crash in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, are quick and stock prices recover almost immediately. Others, though, are more severe. In some cases, it could take months or even years for stock prices to fully recover.
It’s smart, then, to brace yourself for the worst just in case. If stocks don’t recover for months or even years, be prepared to hold your investments even if prices continue falling.
You may see your portfolio drop in value during that time, but stay focused on the long term and try not to get too caught up in the market’s day-to-day performance. Given enough time, the market will recover eventually.
3. Do your homework before you buy
Not all companies will be able to survive an economic downturn, and depending on how long this bear market lasts, some stocks may not pull through. It’s critical, then, to ensure you’re only investing in strong, long-term stocks.
The strongest stocks are from companies with healthy underlying business fundamentals. This means that the company’s finances are in good shape, it has a competent leadership team that can guide it through periods of volatility, and it has a competitive advantage in its industry, for example.
The healthier the overall business, the more likely it is to recover from market downturns. These stocks are also the best to buy when prices are down, because there’s a much better chance that they’ll bounce back and you’ll make a hefty profit.
Making the most of a market downturn
Bear markets are not always easy to stomach, but they can be incredible wealth-building opportunities. By taking a thoughtful approach, choosing the right stocks, and holding those stocks for the long term, you can buy the dip while keeping your money as safe as possible.
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PREVIOUS OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS
· Terrain on the Parkway offers 160 new 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments at 1625 Lehigh Parkway East in Allentown. Other amenities include a club room, fitness center, conference rooms and package lockers. Monthly rent starts at $1,575 with three-bedroom, two-bath units starting at $2,540.
· The former site of the flagship Hess’s department store will soon be home to another company with local roots. Lehigh Valley native Don Wenner is moving his real estate investment and finance firm DLP Capital from Bethlehem to Allentown at 835 W. Hamilton St.
· While Wells Fargo has been the leader in closing banks lately, it will hold a ribbon-cutting for its new downtown Allentown office at 740 Hamilton St. on June 30.
· If you’re in the market for sterling silver jewelry, minerals and semi-precious gemstones, C& I Minerals is now operating at the South Mall at 3300 Lehigh St. in Allentown.
· The Allentown-based utility company PPL Corp. has a new approach after making two big transactions. It sold its U.K. operations, taking a lot of risk and currency complications out of its business, and bought a major Rhode Island utility.
· Ownership at Martellucci’s Pizzeria in Bethlehem has changed, but the nearly half-century tradition there continues. Paul and Donna Hlavinka and their family are running the pizza place at 1419 Easton Ave., just as it has been operated for 49 years.
· Dr. Jacob Kasprenski’s father and grandfather were both physicians in the Lehigh Valley, and now he’s following in their footsteps of serving the community. His new Kasprenski Family Eye Care opened at 1088 Howertown Road, Catasauqua.
· This longtime downtown Easton lunch spot closed early in the COVID-19 pandemic, but it could be making a comeback. A plan to split the space with a vegan deli did not work out, but a June 13 Historic District Commission meeting approved a request for a new sign at Josie’s at 14 Centre Square.
· Zekraft cafe has opened its second location in the Easton Silk Mill in Easton. The first Zekraft restaurant was opened in Bethlehem. The restaurants’ menus change frequently, with a focus on local ingredients.
· Manta Massage at 319 Main St., Emmaus, will hold its grand opening on July 10 starting at 11 a.m. Services offered include facial cupping, and massages including targeted warm Himalayan salt stone and targeted facial massage.
· The former Iron Lakes Country Club, constructed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, will operate at 3625 Shankweiler Road in North Whitehall Township under its new name, The Club at Twin Lakes. The Jaindl family purchased the golf course last year, and worked with KemperSports Management to upgrade it.
· Prologis, a titan in the logistics industry, is the choice of Air Products and Chemicals to own and operate three warehouses proposed in Upper Macungie Township. The industrial gas company said Prologis will use some of the former Air Products headquarters campus at 7201 Hamilton Blvd. for the warehouses, totaling about 2.6 million square feet.
· Lehigh Valley Health Network ceremonially opened its first Carbon County hospital — a $78 million, 100,578-square-foot facility that officials billed as a “full-service community hospital.” It’s located at 2128 Blakeslee Boulevard Drive East in Mahoning Township.
· Pocono Township commissioners voted to approve a plan to build Pennsylvania’s largest solar field on a mountain slope, despite pleas by some residents to reject the project for environmental concerns. Commissioners voted 4-1 to accept Swiftwater Solar’s preliminary final plan for the $111 million, 80-megawatt field on a private 644-acre site on top of Bear Mountain that would include about 200,000 solar panels.
· Firetree Ltd., which is based in Williamsport and operates treatment centers for people with drug and alcohol addiction and other clients transitioning out of prison, wants to expand its in-patient rehab operation at the former Sands Ford auto dealership at 440 N Claude A Lord Blvd. (Route 61), Pottsville. To do that, it needs the Pottsville Zoning Hearing Board’s approval regarding the use of the land.
· A Dunkin’ in Schuylkill County has become just the fourth location of the donut and coffee chain to go entirely digital. The remodeled store at 400 Terry Rich Blvd., St. Clair, has replaced its traditional order counter with two in-store kiosks at which customers place digital orders and pay using a credit card or Dunkin’ gift card.
· The Conservatory music school in Bucks County will close after 34 years, and school officials say the COVID-19 pandemic is the cause. The nonprofit, located at 4059 Skyron Drive, Doylestown, will close June 30.
· A Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Arby’s will be built on the site of the former Ahart’s Market on Route 22 in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
· Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce offices and the Unity Bank Center for Business & Entrepreneurship will be located at 119 Main St., Flemington. The building was erected in 1847 and was once the home of George Hall Large, who served as president of the New Jersey state Senate.
· Honeygrow opens Quakertown location, next to Chipotle on Route 309, on June 3.
· Dunkin’ reopens remodeled restaurant at 1174 MacArthur Road in Whitehall Township
· Muse Modern Med Spa at 325 Fifth St. in Whitehall Township will hold a grand opening June 4.
· Around Again, a consignment store, opened at 154 S. Main St., Phillipsburg
· Steak and Steel Hibachi, a restaurant in the works at 44 W. Walnut St., Bethlehem, still plans on opening late this summer.
· Take It Outdoors Recreation Hub has moved to a spot along the Schuylkill River Trail at Riverfront Park in Pottstown, Montgomery County
· Pedego Electric Bikes has a new outlet in Lambertville, N.J. at 13 N. Union St.
· Amanda Vachris has opened a new Keller Williams Real Estate office at 15 St. John St. in Schuylkill Haven.
· Easton’s new West Ward Market will open Wednesday and be open on Wednesday’s through the summer from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The market, created by the Greater Easton Development Partnership, will sell fresh produce on 12th Street, next to Paxinosa Elementary School.
· Ciao Sandwich Shoppe is adding a second location, this time on College Hill in Easton. Ciao plans to open at 325 Cattell St. in late summer. Ciao already operates in downtown Easton at 12 N. Third St
· Ma’s Crepes and Cakes will hold a grand opening and ribbon-cutting June 16 at 46 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe. The celebration starts at 5 p.m., with the ribbon cutting at 5:45 p.m.
· Bethlehem’s Back Door Bakeshop will reopen as a wholesale operation at 7 E. Church St. in the city’s historic district. The business was open for nine years as a retail outlet at Broad and Center streets, before announcing in March that it would close the storefront April 3 and “go back to its origins as a wholesale business.”
·The Beef Baron on Catasauqua Road in Bethlehem is closed indefinitely for renovations
· The Brothers That Just Do Gutters are opening a new location in Allentown at 1302 N. 18th St.
· St. John Chrysostom Academy, an Orthodox school serving grades 1-9 starting this fall, held a grand opening at its St. Francis Center, Bethlehem, campus.
· Easton Commons, a shopping center anchored by Giant Foods at 2920 Easton Ave., Bethlehem Township, has a new name: The Shops at Bethlehem.
· Carbon County is getting a taste of Brazil at Uai Brasil BBQ at 315 Lehigh Ave. in Palmerton.
· The Keystone Pub in Bethlehem Township, at 3259 Easton Avenue, has reopened after a lengthy and expensive renovation.
· The Trading Post Depot opened at 401 Northampton St., Easton. The rustic furniture store makes custom tables for dining rooms, desktops, conference centers and more.
· The Easton area has a new gym: Homemade Fitness at 444 Cedarville Road in Williams Township.
· Il Gaetano Ristorante opened at its 665 Columbus Ave., Phillipsburg, location.
· Ciao! Sandwich Shoppe to open second location on College Hill in Easton, replacing The Kettle Room
· Rene and Grisellies Benique have opened Ezekiel 47 Cafe at 10 S. Fifth Ave., off Fifth and Penn avenues, in West Reading.
· Alter Ego Salon and Day Spa in Emmaus is holding a grand opening Sunday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a ribbon cutting at noon.
· Origen Latin Fusion has opened at the site of the former Tomcat Cafe in Sinking Spring, Berks County.
· Sellersville Senior Residences will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 24. The Bucks County affordable-housing community for adults 55 and older has 50 apartments, with eight allocated for people with behavioral health needs.
· The House and Barn in Emmaus has opened its Shed outdoor dining and cigar bar area. The House and Barn is at 1449 Chestnut St. in Emmaus.
· Realtor Amanda Vachris and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at Vachris’s new Keller Williams Real Estate office at 15 St. John St., Schuylkill Haven, at 4 p.m. on May 24.
· Il Gaetano Ristorante will hold a grand opening on Friday, May 20, at 5:30 p.m. The 665 Columbus Ave., Phillipsburg.
· First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union will hold a grand opening at its new headquarters in Trexlertown, 6126 Hamilton Blvd., on May 18.
· Vinyl Press Signs & Graphics has relocated within Emmaus. The new site is 15 S. Second St., not far from the former Sixth Street location.
· Pedro’s Cafe in Emmaus to close
· SV Sports (formerly Schuylkill Valley Sports) to close Quakertown location
· Flemington DIY will host a Grand Re-Opening on May 14 at 26 Stangl Road, Flemington. The celebration will kick off at 10 a.m.
· Elpedio’s Ristorante at Seipsville opened at 2912 Old Nazareth Road in Easton. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday.
· Uai Brazil opened at 315 Lehigh Ave, Palmerton, offering both a seated or buffet option.
· Colombian Mex Restaurant opened at 107 E Union Blvd in Bethlehem, offering traditional Colombian cuisine.
· Precision Ink opened at 161 W Berwick St. in Easton.
· King Wing opened a location in Bethlehem at 129 E. Third St., serving wings and sandwiches.