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The Heartbeat of the Share Market

He’s flatlining – quick nurse, get the defibrillator!

Clear?

CLEAR

Queue high-power electric shock and… ad break at the critical moment.

I’ll just come right out and say it, I’m a Grey’s Anatomy fan and proud of it – everyone has their guilty pleasures. And from all my years of (extensive) viewing, there is nothing that gets the intense music playing louder than a flatlining patient. Alarms go off, clipboards are dropped and every white coat in a 5km radius come running to the action. The pinnacle of drama viewing.

While the ads were on, I quickly flicked out my phone to check on some shares I had invested in a while back. A graph of the last 12 months showed a steady little rise in price (hooray!). What gave me the biggest smile though were the ups AND the downs that made my shares look a bit like data from a heart monitor – my investment had a pulse.

Just like a heartbeat, which for the average human is about 60-100 squiggles on a monitor each minute (you pick up a lot after 17 seasons), every little up and down in the market when you invest shouldn’t keep you awake at night. Just like our heartrate, there is a healthy range of movement you could expect with any investment before there is cause for concern. That’s why index funds, which don’t usually experience big price movements, only need routine check-ups. Meanwhile, high risk investments, like the next cryptocurrency trend, are likely in the ICU and have you on 24 hr surveillance.

But the real alarm bells would be ringing if, after a while, your investment hasn’t moved at all.

Call the doctor, this isn’t a drill!

Just like a pulse is a pretty good sign of life, some movement in your investment could mean more opportunities for you. After all, if the price never dropped, you could never buy in at a discount and no rise would mean you could never make a profit.

Price movement can be scary when you first invest, but just remember that it’s as natural as your heartbeat and in the long run, as long as it’s moving in the right direction, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

I put my phone away just as the ads ended.

Queue more dramatic music.

Have we got him back? Nurse… have we got him?

(Pause for effect). Beeping monitor.

Yes Doctor, we have a pulse.

Drama TV – it’s gripping stuff.

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