Box Of Chocolates
Ever have one of those sample boxes of candy? Each little piece is beautifully wrapped in colorful foil or decorated with an interesting design. Taste just one. So good! One more. And another. Before you know it the box is empty. Nothing left.
This upmove in the stock market is very tempting - and could leave you with a tummy ache.
All the market "experts" are telling you that the bull market is back and to get your buying clothes on. Open your wallet and get in before it is too late. Mr. Schwab says it is dangerous to be out of the market. There are great values out there. These stocks are so low they can't go any lower. And there is a Santa Claus and an Easter Bunny.
There is one position I do advocate, but most broker and financial planners won't like it. It is called CASH. No broker believes cash is a position. They say you must always be "invested". It seems they have forgotten that investing means making money and another important part of investing means not losing money.
For the last month we have seen the market go up and some of you have seen some of your money come back. Not too much, but some. You want desperately to believe the bull market is back and your winnings will be restored. I sure hope so. Just suppose this is what is called a rally in a bear market and that it will not last. Then what? You don't want to see your investments slip away again, do you? You don't know if it is a good idea to sell now or wait. Your broker won't be any help.
There is a solution. Stay with your stocks and mutual funds as long as they are going up, but sell them if they go down. How? Every Friday after the close you get the settlement prices of your various issues and you then call your broker Monday morning to put in a "Good Til Cancelled Stop-Loss Order" that is approximately 10% below that closing price. As long as the stock is going up you follow this procedure every week and eventually you will be stopped out. Never move your stop down. You no longer have to guess if this is the highest price that your stock will reach. The stock itself will tell you.
Now you have cash and, if you want to, you can buy a better stock or mutual fund that is going up..
When you pick out a new chocolate (stock) do it carefully and don't try to eat the whole box at once. Sometimes it is best to put the box (your cash) away so you can come back to it another day.