It's About Context...
To kick start 2012, financial publications and gurus released their hot list of top stocks to buy late last year. The articles and gurus can be very persuasive. They use what sounds logical and reasonable to argue: “We know which stocks you should own to get above average returns.” And, many investors, middle class or otherwise, are inclined to act on the hot lists, as they do every year.
The average investor is led to believe that since we have wonderful technology, the Internet, and access to unlimited facts and statistics, investing is made easier and that we can research the stock tips before investing. The reality: Technology makes investing more difficult, complex, and confusing, not simpler. Can the average investor understand or even explain what all the information means?
Remember 2008-09? Those scary times forced millions of investors to get out of the stock market and hold cash or “safer” investments. Were you one of them?
As painful as those times were, how much more painful has it been for those who cashed out for “safety?” That oh-so very seductive “market timing”. (For the unschooled, market timing is any attempt to change your investment mix based on some forecast about future stock market prices and its highs or lows). Market timing is perhaps the most destructive and costliest of all investment mistakes. And, there are an endless number of so-called investment gurus who will tell you they know when to get in and out of the market.
Truth is they can’t!