John F. Wasik, Contributor
Aug. 6, 2021
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to predict the stock market. My reply is always the same: It will go up and down, crash, then go up again.
Of course, I have no idea when any of these movements will occur. On any given day, you roll the dice. The one thing you need to know is that anyone who says they can predict the market is not worthy of your attention. The truth is, there is always a crash or rally around the corner.
One of my favorite financial blogs — Dough Roller — pinned down some excellent tips recently:
- Past Results Don’t Guarantee Future Performance. Stock market indicators look forward, not backward. “The stock market’s performance is based mainly on the expectations of buyers and sellers for the future – not the past...It does not, in any way, help us predict the future of the market. That relies on consumers’ views of the future.”
- Diversify! “While some industries were faltering last year (think airline and hotel), others were booming (like small-cap stocks and tech companies). This is an excellent display of the reasons why we need to diversify our investment portfolios. By having too much weight in one sector, you risk a `boom or bust’ outcome – which isn’t helpful for a long-term investor.” This means you need a proper mix of global stocks, bonds, real estate and cash. Various online investment tools can help you get there. You can also hire a fee-only certified financial planner.
- Stick to Your Plan. “When the market took a nosedive in March of 2020, many people began to panic and panic-sold their stocks for safer investments. This `sky is falling’ mentality later got those folks into trouble when the market rebounded and outperformed expectations for the rest of the year.” What do you need to do? How much do you need to save for a decent retirement? Make a plan.
My best advice hasn’t changed over the years. You need to know yourself, ignore those other voices and concentrate on what you need to do.
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