Did you run out to buy that duct tape yet? Don't forget the plastic sheeting, bottles of water, canned food and a couple of books to read. What are you waiting for? I know - things to get better so you can resume your normal life style.
While you were waiting did you happen to notice what is happening to your investment portfolio, your retirement account? For the past 3 years it has needed duct tape and plastic sheeting to protect it from the poison gas coming from Wall Street. The gases, otherwise known as hot air, are the news flashes the brokers have been telling you. Surely you have heard - "the market always comes back", "hang in there", "you are in for the long term" and other such noxious odors have paralyzed investors to keep them from selling. There was one breath of fresh air you have not heard from your broker and is the one bit of pure oxygen that could have saved your account. Listen carefully and you might hear - "SELL".
It is a word hardly ever uttered on Wall Street, but one which you should add to your vocabulary if you ever plan to make a profit in the stock market. Brokerage companies don't want you to sell because they don't make any money with your account if you are in a money market fund. When your stock or mutual fund started down did you get a call? Even when a stock loses 80% or more of its value they then change their recommendation from Buy to Hold - and you know where you are holding it.
Any fool can buy, but it takes a wise man to sell. Bernard Baruch, one of the most famous traders of all time, said, "I always sell too soon". He was enjoying himself reading a paper on a park bench while stocks were crashing in 1929. The DOW lost 89% of it value. We have not been that unfortunate - yet. However, the NASDAQ has dropped almost 80%. If you owned any of those tech stocks and did not have a trailing stop-loss order you have given back all your profit.
It takes more than duct tape to protect yourself from death and destruction and that goes double for the information from brokers and financial planners. If they have kept you in the market these past 3 years with the Buy and Hold mantra don't you think it is time you plastered some duct tape on them so you can escape that bad gaseous advice? You might not think yourself to be knowledgeable about investing, but surely you would have had enough sense to sell when a stock or fund loses 20, 30, 40% or more of its value. At 50% loss it means it has to go up 100% to get to "even". You don't want to get even; you want to get rich.
Before that poison gas from Wall Street completely kills your account get some fresh air - SELL.