An Old Proverb for Investing
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
This very much applies to the your retirement plans especially if you are investing in the stock market. The proverb clearly states you need to know where you are going and how to get there. Right now, do you know how much money you are going to need to retire in the style you wish and, right now, do you have a plan to get that money put away?
Unfortunately, most people don't. Many are saving, but with no plan. Are you one of those who let his broker or financial planner do the investing for you? I sure hope not. When I owned my brokerage company I can tell you about 1% of these "experts" know how to make money. My definition of a broker is one who makes you broker.
Brokers will talk circles around you with all the usual Wall Street smoke and mirrors. Their two great myths are "Buy and Hold" and "Dollar Cost Averaging", both of which don't work very well. And then they will mesmerize you with "Research" which is the greatest waste of time I can think of. Brokers are not taught how to make money and they don't even realize it. Their training is designed to keep the brokerage house from being sued. Brokers have been good students, but badly taught.
Let me prove that to you. If research was so good then why isn't every broker rich? He has access to more information than you will ever be able to get. The big wire houses subscribe to tons of information. Brokers seem to confuse information with money-making. Information is of no value at all if you can't turn it into the purchase of a stock or mutual fund that is going up.
I maintain you don't need to know anything about a stock or mutual fund. All you need to do is look at a chart of a particular equity and if it is going up at a 30-degree angle over the long term (last 3 months), then buy it. When it quits going up, sell it and find another one. Brokers will tell you this is too simplistic and won't work. As I said they have been badly taught.
If you are not happy with the returns on your investment portfolio you will want to reanalyze your goal. Set an amount. Change direction. Get on a better road to achieve that goal.
You cannot rely on someone else to do it for you. It is not their money, it is yours. No one will take the interest in that you do. Just do it!