"China devaluing its currency isn't an excuse to liquidate your stock portfolio," said certified financial planner Neil Waxman, a managing director with Capital Advisors in Shaker Heights, Ohio. "If you have a plan, stick with the plan."
Investors trying to time a return to the market usually miss out on big early gains, a costly mistake. But sticking to an existing investment strategy doesn't mean you should do nothing.
A decline in the market offers the chance to bargain-hunt, said certified financial planner Charles Bennett Sachs, managing partner of Private Wealth Counsel in Miami. "You're buying volatility in the markets by definition," he said. "Embrace it. If you don't want volatility, that's called a CD, and we all know where that goes."
(In a CNBC poll Thursday afternoon, 52 percent of site visitors said they were staying the course, while 27 percent said they were buying and 21 percent selling.)