Three key investment lessons from the past decade

As we unwrap a fresh new decade, we find ourselves looking both backward with appreciation for all the past has taught us and forward with energy and optimism. This kind of chameleon-eyed vision allows us to gather all we’ve learned, pack it up and take it into the New Year. Here are three lessons this decade offered that we’d all be wise to carry forward: Bull markets don’t last forever, but they don’t end with every dire prediction either. Like almost anything else in investing (and life!), the key is to analyze data and react based on knowledge and not emotion. All investors want to make money and, with sustained low interest rates, the place to do that right now is in the equity markets. So, the human desire to succeed is a key market driver and that won’t go away because a yield curve briefly inverts. Track the trends while ignoring the trendy. We live in a fast-changing, noisy world in which today’s Tik Tok video can become tomorrow’s CAN’T MISS INVESTMENT! But not every IPO gains traction and plenty of them fail outright. Patience is the key here, along with studied analysis. Who would have thought Amazon would be a good investment back in 1997 when it launched at $18 per share. Today, it trades at closer to $1,800 a share. For every Amazon, though, there’s a, which declared bankruptcy nine months after its IPO. Data drives sound decisions. Read the headlines, but don’t invest based on them. It’s important to keep up with the daily news but it’s equally important to understand their impact on the markets specifically and the economy as a whole. President Trump’s Impeachment hardly moved the markets at all, though his administration’s trade war with China had nearly a daily impact. Even when geopolitics develop into a headwind, they are just one of several factors impacting the markets. All three of these… | Read More »

Choose volatile investments

When it comes to investing, high risk and high returns usually go hand in hand. Riskier, more volatile investments — those that tend to bounce up and down in value — will generally earn greater profits over the long haul than investments that slowly, but steadily, gain in value. If you’re saving well before you actually need the money, you can take advantage of this rule by investing in more volatile assets (typically stocks) and getting a higher return on your money. If you are in your forties, or even fifties, you probably won’t actually need the money for decades, so it won’t matter if your portfolio loses value this year, it’ll likely rebound in the next. That can lead to some pretty heart-palpitating moments as your investments see-saw up and down, but just grit your teeth and remind yourself that it doesn’t matter how much those stocks are worth today, what matters is how much they’ll be worth when you need them. The fact is, since the first American stock market opened in Philadelphia in 1817, the stock market has always gone up more than it has gone down.  Think about it.  There has never been a time when the stock market went down and just stayed there.  It has always recovered – always.  And here we are, in 2017, after the crash of 1929, after the crash of 1987, after the crash of 2000-2001, after the crash of 2008, and the stock market has posted a string of new record highs.  Yes, you can lose money in the stock market, but those losses are always only temporary.  After a time, the market recovers and your investment gains return. We tend to overlook these facts because of something psychologists call “loss aversion.” Consider again the age-old investing axiom, “The greater the risk, the greater the reward.” When we hear this we are likely to fixate on the risk… | Read More »