“Oh, I don’t invest in stocks. They’re too risky” said a young (urban) professional friend of mine. Five minutes later he was reconsidering that statement, and you’ll be happy to know he’s now the proud owner of some stock (well, at least some stock mutual funds).
In a case of great timing, DQYDJ’s article guessing how Mitt Romney has so much money in his IRA is now the third most popular article on the site! While I hold no belief that this situation will continue past November of this year, I think that, in the moment, it’s interesting to ask how a retail investor (read: the rest of us) might have fared had we contributed as much as the Romney family must have during Mitt’s 24 year stint in the public sector (whew). So, how much out-performance did Mr. Romney achieve?
If you read my recent article on my returns as an active investor, you’ll note that for years I invested in mutual funds before ever putting a single dollar into an individual stock.
I mean, what gives? At what point did your confidence (ego?) allow you to make the leap from a passive investor to an active investor?
Calculate the total return on the S&P 500 between two dates including reinvested dividends and inflation.
Every options expiration day (of which Friday was one…) brings another one of these sweet predicting the S&P 500 articles, where I use my ultra-top-secret volatility calculator to tell you where the market is predicting the S&P 500 will move in the near future!
Do we have a good excuse for not doing this in February? No, we don’t. Please, accept our virtual apologies and enjoy our predictions for the closing price of SPY on April 20, June 15, and January 18 (2013)!
Don’t Quit Your Day Job is a site which varies between many types of articles – Personal Finance, Politics, Investing, Economics, Random. One of those categories, Investing, has been given short shrift in order to make way for more articles in the other categories. Today we plant a stake; ‘Investing’ will now have a featured article monthly, where we’ll use options to try to determine the outlook for the S&P 500 in the near future. Since this is the first article, let’s discuss the method we will use to predict movement.
My friend sent me an article the other day which really summarized my thoughts succinctly – he sent me this piece from Evan Newmark writing at the Wall Street Journal. If you haven’t noticed the crazy action in the stock market in recent weeks and days, let me be the bearer of bad news: the major US indicators are down from their yearly peaks. You’ve probably lost some money on paper, even. Between oil in the Gulf, the Greece Drama, and even North Korea, there is a lot to be worried about. Here’s the thing – these are all known unknowns, and generally priced into the stock market already.
What should you make about the Mark Hulbert article claiming that top market timing newsletters are bullish heading into the new year? After a 27.76% increase in the value of the S&P 500 (not counting dividends) in 2009, how much further does the stock market yet have to run? And what does a bullish consensus among market timers mean, exactly?
Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) is touted by some financial planners as the solution to all of investing’s problems. By continuing to invest money at a regular interval, you buy more shares when prices are low and more shares when prices are high. Additionally, dollar cost averaging fits the general schedule of how people normally get paid – every two weeks you get your paycheck, and you also automatically invest in your 401(k), for example.
That’s great… for predictable streams of income. This article will *not* try to convince you to stop your normal recurring investments. However, dollar cost averaging meets its match when introduced to a windfall. When you have extra funds, you shouldn’t tiptoe into the market, you should dive right in with a lump sum investment. Don’t believe me? Let me convince you…