Don't Invest When You're Blue

DEPRESSED PEOPLE MAKE BAD MONEY DECISIONS

The US stock market is already tumultuous, but if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you may be at an even greater risk for losing money.

Researchers recently found that people who suffer from even mild SAD are more likely to shy away from risk-taking in the fall, when they're growing depressed. Acting on emotions rather than research, they may sell off riskier stocks in favor of safer investments, then jump back into the market as daylight begins to increase, and their appetite for risk-taking improves. The problem: Get too conservative in the fall, and you could miss out on an annual upswing in stock returns that historically begins in late December, says study coauthor Lisa Kramer, PhD, finance professor at the University of Toronto. "You're better off holding on to stocks through the fall and winter," she says.

PHOTO (COLOR): SAD? Hold you stocks

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By Julie Evans

Edited by Sarí Harrar

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