If I could use only one word to describe the first quarter of 2018 it would be volatility. Many of us saw headlines discussing the largest point drops ever for the Dow Jones Industrial Average on February 5, 2018. But remember, these headlines are meant to attract readers and can overstate the importance of what we observe. In this case, while we did observe the largest point loss ever, it was only the 100th worst day for the index on a percentage basis!

The 10% decline experienced in the first quarter of this year is not an uncommon experience, with U.S. markets falling by 10% or more 152 times since 1926.

In January we reminded investors not to get carried away after 12 straight months of gains. Now many investors are looking for reasons to stay in the market. Despite the volatility, your own scenario likely hasn’t changed much, and the likelihood of accomplishing your goals even less. So avoid the roller coaster of market swings and work with a financial advisor to make sure you’re on track to meet your long-term goals.

Watch our 6-minute Quarterly Perspectives video for a better understanding of last quarter’s performance and headlines.