Where were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?
Where Were You When The World Stopped Turnin’?
–Alan Jackson

I couldn’t let the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City go by without talking about it. I have to take a moment to remember: 

  • the bravery of all of the first responders who risked their lives to help others
  • … and the people whose lives were senselessly cut short 

When you think about everything that these people could have accomplished and the loved ones left behind to feel that loss, it’s nothing short of tragic.

Immediately after the attacks happened, almost every sector of our economy suffered – and compounded the effects of the dot-com bubble burst already causing a minor recession at the time.

The New York Stock Exchange was closed from September 11-17; the most prolonged shutdown it had seen since 1933. Many financial firms (such as trading and brokerage) were at ground zero and naturally couldn’t function, so it’s no wonder there was so much panic in the financial world. As a result, the effects on the markets were amplified. 

It’s a testament to the resilience of our country’s economy that it bounced back and even showed growth by the end of the year (just over three months later).

This is why I always say that when you’re investing, you must understand a few things:

  • The news of the day will always impact the markets – and they will rise and fall accordingly. But they have historically come back stronger than ever. 9/11 was a great example of this, and we’ve seen it again and again just in the last year with COVID-19 and the Colonial Pipeline cyberattacks.
  • If you make investment decisions in a panic, it will only hurt you in the long term – especially as you get older. If you make the wrong move and have less time to recover from it, your retirement may ultimately suffer.

I earnestly hope you’ll take a moment of your time today to remember that day and truly appreciate our resilience as a country. 

If you have worries about how fluctuations in the market will impact your investments, I am always here to talk it out with you. Just book 15 minutes in my calendar by calling 513-563-PLAN (7526) or using my online scheduler. 

Nikki Earley, CFP®