Who are the successful investors?
There are those who follow the advice of their brokers and financial planners or those who choose to use their own good judgment? If you care to compare the results of the past 4 years from 2000 to now I believe you will see who as done the best job.
In the old days at the Chicago stock yards they used to have an old sheep who led the lambs to the slaughter when they arrived on the train. It seems there were lots of investment sheep in 2000 that followed the advice of their brokers and financial planners and were slaughtered. Let's hope you were not in that herd.
When the next train (bear market) arrives (and it will) in the station and you get off I hope you will not follow that old sheep. You have been given another chance to recoup some of your money (current bull market). Don't be slaughtered (again).
The successful investor is one who thinks for himself. Are you an independent thinker or one of the sheep about to be cut into pieces? Do you relish the idea if thinking for yourself and participating in financial success? Of course, you will be scorned by Wall Street and their minions and told you need an "expert" to help you invest your money. We have seen what the "experts" did from 2000 on.
During the last 4 years I challenge you to check out the price of any growth, stock or index mutual fund in January 2000 and compare it with the price of today. The S&P500 Index lost 50% of it value and has rallied 37% from the recent low, but is still down 29% from the high of 2000. With the bull move of the last 8 months you won't find very many, if any, stock funds that have come back to those old highs. Yes, there will be individual stocks that have made new contract highs, but very few of them have done well enough to get the poor sheep (pun intended) back to even.
For the past 100 years there have been consistent secular 16 to 18 year bull and bear markets, one after the other and within them have been shorter cyclical bear and bull markets where the thinking investor has been smart enough to be investing or be in a money market fund.
It is timing the long-term bull and bear phases and is relatively easy despite what Maul Street tries to have you believe. If your broker or planner has not learned how you need a new and smarter advisor. You, and only you, must break away from the herd to learn to think on your own to be a success in the market.