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Coping with stock market madness

This is a tax blog and when I talk about investing, it's usually from a tax angle. But given yesterday's horrendous stock market plunge, I think some investing information is warranted.

Stock market graph3 (3) There's an old saying that by the time John and Jane Public react to the market, it's too late.

Sadly, that's usually true. We tend to be reactive and when other people start selling, often we do, too, just because, well, because we panic.

I touched on the topic of how to handle your money during an time of extreme financial fear a couple of weeks ago. At that time, it looked like Congress might not reach a debt ceiling deal and America's default was imminent.

The money moves advice then was patience.

Today, in the wake of the Standard & Poor's downgrade of Uncle Sam's creditworthiness, the advice is the same.

Yes, the market bounced up a little earlier today, but it likely will go down again. And back up. And this will continue until we get a clearer picture from Washington, D.C., of the long-term tax and spending plan.

That wait won't be easy. And arriving at the eventual deal that the we and the world are waiting for is likely to be a replay at least to some degree of the debt ceiling process.

Yes, Congress doesn't learn hard lessons easily. That's why I downgraded Capitol Hill today in my Bankrate Taxes Blog.

In the meantime, though, here are some suggestions on how to keep from going crazy and handle your investments.

Since most of us have money in the market that we hope will support us when we're through working, check out these 10 steps to protect your retirement.

A couple of publications also look at the bigger picture. Check out the downgrade's impact on consumer wallets and what the credit rating slide means.

And you definitely want to read this more upbeat look at eight reasons the downgrade panic is misplaced.

So stop. Evaluate. And take a deep breath. The market ride is long with lots of crazy turns even in less turbulent times. 

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Transportation Factoring

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Transportation Factoring

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