Proper Expectations!

There is never a shortage of predictions on where the markets will go next. These predictions are typically based on current events.

Who will win the presidential election?

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05:  Rep. James McGovern ...
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 05: Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) (L) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) hold a news conference to introduce the ‘Afghanistan Exit and Accountability Act’ at the U.S. Captiol May 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The bill would require President Barack Obama to give Congress a concrete strategy and timeframe for bringing troops home and report on the ‘human and financial costs of continuing the war.’ (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

How will the ‘fiscal cliff’ affect the markets?

Will inflation take hold?

And the list goes on and on…

The talking heads on television need these predictions to keep viewers watching, which in turn increases advertising revenues.

Everyone wants to know what will happen next. In many cases, we make emotional decisions based on the latest short term predictions.  These decisions will in most cases result in very disappointing performance.

If you wish to succeed long term in reaching your financial goals, you need to develop a prudent strategy and remain disciplined to that strategy. Most important you must have realistic expectations.

Proper expectations are the key to investing with Peace of Mind.

Do not expect to predict or forecast stock prices and movements.

Do not expect to pick winning stocks and beat the market.

Do expect to achieve close-to-market returns over time and to see daily, weekly and yearly volatility. Reduce your costs, use diversification, and sit tight. If you expect the impossible you will be frustrated, unhappy and fearful.

All of us would like to get rich quick. However, if this is your strategy, odds are you will be very disappointed. As I mentioned earlier, develop a lifelong game plan and stick to it. The only adjustment you should make is to gradually become more conservative as you get older.

To succeed in reaching your long term financial goals you should:

Own equities….globally diversify….rebalance.

Leave the predicting to the talking heads and if you do watch see it as entertainment, not strategy.

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  • Two Silly Predictions You Should Ignore
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Trying To Time The Market Is A Mistake.

Exponential smoothing: Prediction of stocks
Image via Wikipedia

Trying To Time The Market!

When assets are moved in the portfolio, based on a forecast or prediction about the
future, this is market timing. For example, you’ve become convinced by economic
forecasts that the market is heading down over the next twelve months. You
decide to sell your stocks and put all of the money into cash. That is market

Market movements are random.

No one knows what the market will do tomorrow or over the next twelve months.

It bears saying again: Nobody knows with any degree of certainty what the future
will bring and if they did they wouldn’t tell you. Let’s look at another example.
Because of a war, you or your stockbroker predict that international stocks are
going to lose big, so you move all of your stocks into the United States.

Once again,this is market timing.

This doesn’t “feel” like speculating. It often feels like
wise stewardship of your assets. If over the last two years, you have watched
your portfolio take large losses in any one asset category, and every news
program, investing magazine and stockbroker says this is the time to get out –
it feels like prudent investing.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In
many cases, if not most, staying disciplined and staying the course is the best
thing to do. That assumes that you currently have a prudent mix of assets. This
is a huge assumption, because most people don’t.

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