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Westporter: Market Drop Doesn't Signal Recession

WESTPORT, Conn. – The Dow Jones fell by 500 points Thursday in what The Associated Press rated as the steepest stock market decline since 2008. Westport resident Charles Haberstroh , founder and president of CastleKeep Investment Advisors , said he doesn't think it's a sign of a new recession.

"I don't think we're in the same situation as in 2008," he said, referring to the financial crisis that triggered the recession. "If you look at the market over a longer period of time, we're now where we were around Dec. 13 of last year.

"If you got in the market in March, for example, you're probably down roughly 10 percent. If you got in last year around this time, June or July, you've still made money. It helps to put it in perspective."

Haberstroh, who is also Westport's third selectman, said another difference between the 2008 crisis and now is that investors learned from their mistakes then and are more cautious as a result.

When the market closed Thursday, the Dow Jones had dropped by 512.76 points, or 4.31 percent; Nasdaq dropped by 136.68 points, or 5.08 percent; and the S&P 500 fell by 60.27 points, or 4.78 percent. The amount of money individual investors may have lost depends on the type of investments he or she has, Haberstroh said.

As the CEO of an investment firm that manages about half a billion dollars, Haberstroh said the situation is a concern. But, he said, television media outlets make the situation sound worse than it is and cause people to panic.

"I think people should get on with their lives and not necessarily watch every minute of this," Haberstroh said. "If you have a professional managing your money, talk with them and make sure they know your concerns, then go about your business. If you invest yourself and are feeling uncomfortable, it may be better for you to be on the sidelines than in market."

Do you have investments? Are you getting out of the market or are you confident it will improve?

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