What I really dislike about the first few weeks of the new year is that everywhere you turn — from the front page of the newspaper to the business magazines to the financial channels on cable — you’ll probably be subjected to some wide-eyed “market expert” spouting ridiculous stock market predictions for the coming year.
Those financial gurus, talking heads and media pundits all begin with a comprehensive review of what’s happened throughout the past year. Armed with that enlightening data, they then try to play Nostradamus and predict what will happen over the next 12 months.
I hope you’re not getting your investment advice (or even ideas) from these people.
See, the “prediction” business is a bad business to be in. Once you’ve made your prediction, you’re boxing yourself into a tight corner. So you’d better be spot on or be really good at coming up with the reasons (or excuses) why your prediction didn’t come to fruition. And when you do that, you’re just like every lost soul who originally tuned in to listen to you.
Have you ever noticed that no one ever holds these people accountable?
I have a great suggestion for the networks: You can save a lot of money by having the meteorologist make predictions about tomorrow’s weather and, while they’re at it, make predictions about the stock market as well.
At Balser Wealth Management, we stay far away from making predictions, which is something we think sets us apart from the competition. See, in case no one has told you, the stock market is a lot like the typical snowflake in that no two markets are the same. It’s useless to try and equate what’s going to happen tomorrow in the market using some similar scenario from the past. It’s a big waste of time.
Besides, by the time the scenario plays out (or is predicted) through the financial news channels or other mainstream media, everybody knows about it. So what’s the value of the information?
Want to hear my thoughts on 2019? Well, I’m sticking with the same theme as I’ve stood by in years past: We’re in a long-term secular bull market. Those individuals who sell when we experience a correction will have an extremely difficult time getting back in. The pundits in the media will be predicting the mother of all bear markets every time the market stalls or experiences a pullback. But we’re in a structural bull market, which means you should take a buying position any time the market pulls back.
I don’t see that overall theme changing anytime soon.
So instead of flying off on wild predictions, you and I will simply focus on what’s happening right now. It doesn’t matter what may or may not happen with the economy or the stock market in six or 12 months. Your focus should be on what’s happening with your money right now. And your financial advisor’s job is to ensure that your money is invested in the right place, right now.