If you had believed what all the talking heads on TV were saying, there was absolutely no reason to watch the election coverage. After all, all the polls and so-called experts had predicted that Hillary Clinton would be our next President. In fact, many of the so-called experts had said it would be an Electoral College landslide for Mrs. Clinton- they were wrong. In fact, if you stayed up and watched the coverage, as it became clear that Donald Trump was going to be the next President, many of these so-called experts were warning people of the inevitable crash of the stock market. Once again, they were wrong. In fact, not surprisingly, the market acted the exact opposite way and the Dow Jones had its best week in five years. This is not the first time that the so-called experts had it dead wrong. After all, it was just less than six months ago that the same so-called experts predicted carnage in the market if the British voted to leave the European Union; once again, they were wrong.
It is important that as investors we recognize that just because someone is on TV and gives their opinion, that doesn’t mean much. You and I have no way of knowing if the person expressing their opinion is qualified or just a good talker. It is important that you don’t rely on the talking heads; not only because so many of these so-called experts on TV have no clue, but most importantly, they don’t know your individual situation. When it comes to investing, your individual goals and objectives and risk tolerance level are what should govern, not what’s happening in the market. Unfortunately, too many people invest based upon what they perceive as the direction of the market and as far as I’m concerned, that is nothing more than gambling. After all, when you try to time the market you have to be right twice – once when you buy and once when you sell, and I don’t know anyone who has been able to do that on a consistent basis. People can get lucky, but I’m not sure you want to risk your retirement money based on luck.
I’ve also mentioned many times in the past that what prevents investors from being successful is when they let fear and greed dictate their investment decisions. When fear and greed enter into the equation, the general result for an investor is that they end up buying high and selling low. I can assure you that this not the way to make money. As an investor, we need to filter out the noise and focus on what’s important and that is our goals and objectives and risk tolerance level.
Whether you like President Elect Trump or not is not the issue. The issue when it comes to your money is what you are trying to achieve and how long you have to achieve that goal. Those are the things that you should focus on, not if you like the person in the White House or not. Do I know how the markets will do under President Trump – no, I don’t. Just like I didn’t know how the markets would perform under President Obama or President Bush. What I do know is that in the long run, who is in the White House has little, if any, effect on the performance of the market. Let’s not forget that we are in a global economy and markets are affected by many factors and who is in the White House is just one of them. Therefore, as investors, you must have the discipline to avoid the partisan banter that goes back and forth. Just because someone says it on TV doesn’t make it so. To be successful, the bottom line is you must focus on your individual situation and avoid the mumbo-jumbo that we so often hear.
Rick is a fee-only financial advisor. His website is www.bloomassetmanagement.com. If you would like Rick to respond to your questions, please email Rick at -.