It would be wonderful if we could avoid the setbacks with timely exits, but nobody has figured out how to predict them. Moreover, if you exit stocks and avoid a decline, how can you be certain you’ll get back into stocks for the next rally? Here’s a telling scenario: If you put $100,000 in stocks on July 1, 1994, and stayed fully invested for five years, your $100,000 grew into $341,722. But if you were out of stocks for just thirty days over that stretch—the thirty days when stocks had their biggest gains—your $100,000 turned into a disappointing $153,792. By staying in the market, you...
Note: From "One Up On Wall St"
“The bearish argument always sounds more intelligent.” You can find good reasons to scuttle your equities in every morning paper and on every broadcast of the nightly news. When One Up became a best-seller, so did Ravi Batra’s The Great Depression of 1990. The obituary for this bull market has been written countless times going back to its start in 1982. Among the likely causes: Japan’s sick economy, our trade deficit with China and the world, the bond market collapse of 1994, the emerging market collapse of 1997, global warming, ozone depletion, deflation, the Gulf war, consumer debt,...
This is investing, where the smart money isn’t so smart, and the dumb money isn’t really as dumb as it thinks. Dumb money is only dumb when it listens to the smart money.
Note: Peter Lynch on "dumb money"
There’s a famous story about a fireman from New England. Apparently back in the 1950s he couldn’t help noticing that a local Tambrands plant (then the company was called Tampax) was expanding at a furious pace. It occurred to him that they wouldn’t be expanding so fast unless they were prospering, and on that assumption he and his family invested $2,000. Not only that, they put in another $2,000 each year for the next five years. By 1972 the fireman was a millionaire—and