Market in Chaos, Rate is Falling, Invest or Save?
It sounds like the world is ending out there these days. And people are not happy if they do not freak out like chicken without head for a day. It’s a party out there. Actually, it’s the crashing of a long lasted party out there.
Regardless, I guess everyone’s wondering what to do with their money these days, if they have any left over that is. I hope that you have been nice with yourself and saved money and avoided debt like my blog and many PF blogs talk about out there. Yeah, I know it’s boring, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
I don’t usually talk about investing much because I am no expert. I simply have some experience from the last 2-3 years of participating in the market. At the same time, there are many more resources and blogs written by people with expertise. Though let me share a little bit today…
Despite all the chaos and bawling out there, I will simply continue doing what I have been doing – putting some money in saving and investing the rest. In fact, I will put what I can afford into stocks and index funds as they keep falling and into bargain price, given that I am in it for the long haul. Plus, the banks’ savings rate will soon follow the massive rate cut by the Fed.
Simply put, long term is the simplest way to go. Trying to time the market is more or less gambling (been there, done that). It takes time and effort and is not even worth it, especially for my lazy behind.
If you don’t trust me, listen to the great “Sage of Omaha” Warren Buffet:
I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.
If a business does well, the stock eventually follows.
Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.
Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.
Never invest in a business you cannot understand.
Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.
Our favorite holding period is forever.
So invest in stocks(companies) that have solid foundations and hold. Personally, I like to find them with dividends. Or to make things easier, you can put your money in various index funds and just wait.
But before you go diving in (now or ever), there are prerequisites:
- You can feed and put a roof over yourself and your family. You may think this is silly, but if you think about what a silly gambler husband/wife/father/mother/sibling can do to a family, it’s not so funny anymore.
- You have a certain amount of saving. They call it emergency fund out there, and it should include 3-months or 6-months living expense. To plan for the worst, save enough so you feel comfortable even if you lose all the investing money.
- You have minimal bad debt. This includes the ones without tax deduction and with high interest rate.
- You are not emotionally attached to the money you invest. This is why I said you need to have a comfortable amount of saving. Also in other words, don’t gamble with your shirt, or you most likely end up…naked. This will prevent you from freaking out like others and moving money around to “unintentionally” time the market.
- For the sake of long term, invest money that you won’t need in the next 5-10 years.
Yes, it’s not a good feeling to see BOLD RED across the portfolio, but once you learn to look 5-10 years down the road, it’s not so bad. Okay, I’m done with my investment talk and probably for the last time :P
One last word, investing is supposed to be simple.
Originally posted 2008-01-23 01:13:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter