This is how Gary perceives his 401k.
He shrieks, "I am just throwing my money away!"
I tell him*, 'There are two numbers on the statement. Total amount of currency. Total amount of shares. Your money doesn't go into the currency total. They buy shares with your money. If the market goes down 30%, and your currency total goes down, that means they can buy 30% more shares this month with your money. Currency goes down? Shares go up. Look at both totals.'"
This reassures him until the next market drop. AND THEN IT ALL BEGINS AGAIN. Because he only looks at his currency total, and he only looks at it on days the market drops.
My brother has also needed reassurance the past month, which is ironic since he is 100% in GNMA (Ginny-mae), the only security guaranteed by the United States government. He's not even IN stocks. Still, he keeps calling me, moaning.
My Men! Should not handle the monies.
*Of course, this is not advice, because I really know nothing.