Others will have suffered, too. The declines in stocks imply a smaller pension pot for those about to retire.
Wherever investment income is needed to meet current expenses, belts must be tightened.
Yet those who are still building up their wealth will benefit from lower asset prices. Take housing, for instance.
A fall in house prices hurts those who are "long" property, those who own more housing than they will personally need over their lifetime.
Call such people "landlords". But it also helps those people—call them "tenants"—who hope either to buy a property or to trade up to a bigger one in future.
Falling house prices make it easier for them to reach their goal.
A similar logic applies to stockmarkets. Just as a home is a stream of future housing services, a stock is a stream of future dividends.
Lower stock prices may be bad for stockmarket "landlords", but they are good for stockmarket "tenants".
Warren Buffett has written that those who plan to be net buyers of stocks in the future should rejoice when stocks fall.
An investor of this kind who cheers rising stock prices is like "a commuter who rejoices after the price of gas increases, simply because his tank contains a day's supply".
Fears of recession are not the only reason for falling stock prices.
Part of the recent decline is down to prospects, such as Brexit or growing protectionism, that will do permanent damage to the global economy,
and thus to company profits and stockmarket returns. Yet even in this regard there is something to be said for a correction in asset prices.
When excessive optimism is built into asset prices, wasteful investment often follows.
Think of the homes built in out-of-the-way places in America, Spain and Ireland to satisfy speculative demand during the global housing boom of the noughties.
Investors, like those who use ecstasy or alcohol, face a choice. They can feel good now or later.
Genuinely long-term investors will always choose later.
They want to buy stocks as cheaply as possible and when they get a higher premium for owning risky assets.
Recessions are an inevitable part of the risks investors face. As with hangovers, they feel interminable. But eventually they clear.