Despite what the overnight-millionaire coaching industry would have you believe, sustainable wealth is built brick by brick over decades. Warren Buffet for one is famous for promoting strategies that will grow wealth slowly. As much as we all would like to wake up tomorrow and be supremely wealthy, it doesn’t just happen without a lot of luck, perfect timing, and a lot of hard work. Your best bet isn’t to try to find the best get-rich-quick scheme, it's to make a get-rich-eventually plan. 100% certainty in 20 years is a lot better than a 1% chance every year for 20 years.
This is why you should be rooting for, hoping for, and cheering for a market crash. As frequent as market crashes may feel, they are not as common as it seems. In fact, following 2008, and including the Pandemic, the market has performed spectacularly (+16% Compound Annual Growth Rate) in no small part due directly to the 2008 crash. When the market does crash you can take that infrequent opportunity to make your retirement contributions or invest some savings at lower prices, and get better future returns. If you are in the accumulation phase of your life, volatility can be your best friend if you prepare correctly.
What does this really mean?
It means mentally preparing yourself. Every instance of a market correction actually brings you closer to, not farther from, your future goals. As you buy assets at lower prices you are increasing the future returns of your portfolio. This can be scary and counter-intuitive when your asset balances are falling. But as they rise in the future (and they will) you will have laid a strong foundation for decades of growth.
It also means financially preparing yourself. Maintain a sustainable, repeatable asset allocation. Balance your portfolio for risk. It’s easy to jump into risky investments when they are going up but it is hard to hold on when they are going down. Rebalance when your target asset allocation deviates. And commit to an unwavering contribution strategy. If you never rebalance at the top (or bottom) you’ll weaken your future gains. If you can’t invest as much or more at the bottom as you did at the top, you’ll further weaken your future gains.
Cultivate a long-term vision for financial success and commit to it.