Just a few days into 2016, market volatility is already testing investors' resolve.
North Korea's claim to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, in combination with continued worries over China and a slowing global economy, contributed to a triple-digit stock decline Wednesday morning. That follows markets' worst opening day in eight years Monday, after weak manufacturing data routed Chinese stocks overnight.
But financial advisors suggest investors make a belated New Year's resolution: Stay the course.
"Investor discipline is being highly tested," said Karin Stifler, a certified financial planner with Walden Wealth Partners in Solon, Ohio. "What really is important right now is to stay disciplined beyond the news of today and look to the long-term."
The new year's volatility shouldn't be particularly shocking.
A rocky 2015 gave investors plenty of opportunity to stress-test their strategies and adjust as necessary. Think of this as just another opportunity to fine-tune and plan ahead, said Andrea Blackwelder, a certified financial planner with Wisdom Wealth Strategies in Denver.
"If you're making short-term decisions with long-term money, it's time to reassess your strategy," she said.
Don't read too much into that bad first trading day, either. "I don't know that it necessarily changes anything," said Blackwelder. "Ask yourself, 'Would you do the same if it was the third of June?' It's just another day." Analysis from The Big Crunch found that five of the seven years since 1978 that had similarly inauspicious opening days still ended positive for the year.