Seasoned investors locally say the stock market actually behaved true to form, chalking up the free-fall of stock prices to predictable behavior of a market that has always gone up and down.
The trick is predicting exactly when it will happen.
"Nobody can predict accurately long term, nobody can," said Scott Hanson, founder of Hanson McClain Advisors, a Sacramento-based financial planning firm.
Hanson says investors are acting emotionally, and that the U.S. economy is still plenty strong. He says it's a good time to buy solid stocks when the price is down.
Hanson also says a correction that has seen the Dow Industrial Average open a thousand points lower before rebounding is a good thing.
"This is a good reminder, a wake up call ... 'Can I stomach these ups and downs and do I have a long enough time frame with my portfolio?'" said Hanson.
He did say that people who counted on recent earnings to buy a house or send their kids to college might be out of luck short-term. But he said if your financial affairs were set up ahead of time to account for sudden downturns, then there shouldn't be a problem.
Home investor Dan O'Donahue, who helps run Sacramento's chapter of the nonprofit Better Investing, said he's experienced bug market drops before only to see them rebound.
He says the outlook for the U.S. economy is good, and he will be looking for bargains.
"There are little restaurants going up all over the place, the (Roseville) Galleria is packed, home building is up," O'Donahue said.
And he's reminded of friends who left the market when it bottomed out on previous occasions.
"They never got back in and lost a lot of money," Said O'Donahue.
Donahue says his investment club is designed to train investors so they can go out on their own.
The nonprofit Better Investing club meets every third Saturday at the Suburban Water District building in Carmichael.