It’s been a rough first half of the year for investors, due to the lousy performance of both the stock and bond markets. The time will come, who knows how long, when investing in the stock market comes back into favor. Here are some things to consider in the meantime.
1. Most stocks underperform the index and many underperform boring, old T-bills. As Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense writes: “Simply surviving in the U.S. stock market is an accomplishment over the long-term, let alone outperforming the market.”
2. Don’t buy individual stocks. Period. The existential dread it invokes isn’t worth it. Nick Maggiulli at Of Dollars and Data writes: “These are just a few of the questions you have to ask yourself with every investment decision you make as a stock picker. It can be a never-ending state of existential dread. You may convince yourself that you know what’s going on, but do you really know?”
3. If you do break down and buy individual stocks, don’t tell anyone which stocks you own. Especially if you have a blog or newsletter. Jack Raines at Young Money writes “I don’t write about individual stocks anymore because I don’t want to influence an investment decision that costs someone else money. Yet from CNBC to Twitter, promoters unashamedly shill their favorite investment ideas every single day.”
4. Don’t give anyone, ANY investment advice. Most people are just looking for tips or shortcuts. Ramp Capital in the Ramp Report writes “Or just stop giving advice, period. You shouldn’t be giving any type of investment “advice” anyways unless you’re a registered investment advisor. Everyone’s personal finance situation and risk profile is unique and should be treated as such when constructing a portfolio.”
If nothing else, these four guidelines will save you a lot of time and aggravation. There’s plenty of stuff to be aggravated about these days any way