Many Investors Are Fleeing the Stock Market, but Some Are Doubling Down: ‘If I Lose $15,000, I’m Not Going to Die’

Dave Cooper and Samantha Longshore are doing whatever they can to save money, skipping summer vacations and deferring house repairs. Their extra cash will go straight into stocks.

To Mr. Cooper and Ms. Longshore, a plunging market is a chance to buy shares on the cheap. If that means navigating an uneven bathroom floor for a while longer, they are OK with it. They expect they won’t need the money until retirement, and since they are both 34 years old, that is a long time away.

“We can theoretically wait out the downturn as long as we need, as long as we keep our jobs,” Mr. Cooper said.

Dave Cooper is deferring house repairs to save cash and pump it back into stocks.


Dave Cooper

After three years of double-digit gains, the market is having a bruising 2022. Decades-high inflation is harming businesses and households alike, and investors worry that the Federal Reserve’s rate-hiking campaign will only tip the U.S. into recession. The S&P 500 recently finished its worst first half in more than 50 years.

Many people checking their 401(k)s do so with increasing apprehension. Some are selling their stocks at a loss and parking their money in cash. Others can only watch as their portfolios dwindle.

But some amateur investors see opportunity. The number of retail-trading clients at

Morgan Stanley,

which owns E*Trade, rose to 7.8 million at the end of June, from 7.6 million at the end of March. They made an average of 880,000 trades a day.

In March, individual investors bought $28 billion of U.S.-listed stocks and exchange-traded funds on a net basis—the largest monthly sum ever recorded by Vanda…


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