What I love about panics like this, is that there are some great companies now on sale. I see many well run companies now at valuations where I can envision buying them. I have become, though experience a Graham/Dodd value investor. For those of you who aren't familiar - this is classic value investing - placing emphasis on a strong balance sheet and buying stock priced with a "margin of safety".
We have been due for a sustained bear market for a while. We haven't had a real one since the 70's. The media and most people do not remember what a sustained bear market is like, as most of us were too young or not born yet to fully grasp it. It is a bit of a shock, as too many people have been conditioned to think of perpetual growth in the markets with minor dips here and there.
Everybody needs to chill out, and just understand that it is not the end of the world. The markets will eventually sort itself out as they find natural support levels and stabilize. The best things people can do is save, pay off your debts, and start looking for investment opportunities in the markets.
To paraphrase the great emerging markets manager Mark Mobius - "the best time to buy is at the point of maximum pessimism". Keep that in mind when watching the market. Those who keep their heads on a swivel and have cash available will reap the rewards.