Private Finance Insider writes about merchandise, methods, and suggestions that can assist you make good choices along with your cash. We may obtain a small fee from our companions, like American Categorical, however our reporting and proposals are at all times impartial and goal.I began buy-and-hold index investing in 2009, however was by no means examined by a bear market to see if I might stand up to a serious downturn.The COVID-19 pandemic gave me a real check to see if I might keep away from promoting and follow my plans.Up to now, I have not thought of promoting my investments and, regardless of a six-figure portfolio decline in 34 days, my investments have once more reached all-time highs as a result of I continued investing.Attempt commission-free buying and selling with TD Ameritrade »I began investing in 2009. After a lot analysis, I made a decision to take a position utilizing index funds with a long-term time horizon. I might have tried to beat the market by actively buying and selling, however I did not have the persistence or the time to analyze every funding on an ongoing foundation.I am not aiming to get wealthy quick or earn large returns every year. My purpose is to set myself up for retirement, or early retirement if I am fortunate. Index investing ought to assist my investments develop sufficient to achieve this purpose due to the facility of compounding returns. The hot button is receiving typical returns over the long run. Investing for the primary time in late 2009 was glorious timing, looking back. The stock market was close to its nice recession low. Within the subsequent decade, the market produced important returns. My resolve to purchase and maintain index funds for the long run wasn’t ever examined by a considerable drop.Certain, there have been a number of corrections the place my investments decreased greater than 10%. However there weren’t bear markets the place my investments fell 20% or extra. I would not know if I might follow this technique till I skilled a bear market.The start of 2020 was extra of the sameThe starting of 2020 began sturdy. My portfolio continued to develop with the market and hit an all-time excessive in mid-February. Initially, it regarded like 2020 could be one other excellent 12 months for my property. I nonetheless hadn’t skilled a bear market, so I had no clue how I’d really feel when it occurred. Would I freak out and promote my holdings at a loss, or would I keep sturdy and proceed to take a position throughout the downturn? Little did I do know, my check was coming.The markets took a nosedive in late February and MarchThings modified in late February and March when the COVID-19 pandemic took over america. It began shutting down the financial system. I watched the markets tumble. Quite than freaking out, I noticed this as a shopping for alternative. At a time when many others had been panicking and promoting their investments, I made a decision to buy extra.My portfolio nonetheless plummeted. From February 19 to March 23, I misplaced over $115,000 of value. This was regardless of buying a further $33,000 of index funds by investing a number of the cash I stored apart after promoting my house. Regardless of this dramatic lower, I by no means as soon as thought-about promoting my investments. I’ve generally learn stories that state lacking just a few of the perfect days within the stock market can drastically scale back your returns. The ironic half is most of the greatest days within the stock market come shortly after a number of the worst days. I knew I wanted to remain available in the market to reap the benefits of the approaching swings to the upside. I had no clue when the underside was coming. Truthfully, neither did anybody else. If I bought, I would not have any thought when to place my a reimbursement in till it was too late and I missed a number of the restoration.My portfolio began recoveringOn March 24, my funding portfolio turned a nook and slowly began digging itself out of its gap. I continued to take a position more cash as I might. By May 20, my portfolio had recovered a big chunk of the losses simply over three months later. It even reached a brand new all-time excessive due to further investments I purchased. The positive aspects have continued from there.There wasn’t a single time throughout the brief bear market the place I thought-about promoting. I caught to my plan. I even purchased extra investments due to the fairness I acquired from promoting my home. This confirmed my hopes that I had chosen the best funding technique from the start.LoadingSomething is loading.