Rules may be meant to be broken, but with investing ignoring the rules can break you – especially now. Investment rules are tailor-made for tough times, allowing you to stick to a plan just when you need it most. Indeed, a rulebook is important in any market climate, but it tends to get tossed when stocks are soaring. That’s why sage investors warn people not to confuse a bull market with brains. Here are 10 rules to survive this stormy stock market. Words: 769
So says Jonathan Burton (www.MarketWatch.com) in an article* which Lorimer Wilson, editor of www.munKNEE.com (Your Key to Making Money!), has further edited ([ ]), abridged (…) and reformatted below for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Please note that this paragraph must be included in any article re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.
Burton goes on to say, in part:
One of the most relevant lists of rules [is] from a legendary Wall Street veteran…[by the name of Bob Farrell who] pioneered technical analysis, which rates a stock not only on a company’s financial strength or business line but also on the strong patterns and line charts reflected in the shares’ trading history. Farrell also broke new ground using investor sentiment figures to better understand how markets and individual stocks might move.
Over several decades at brokerage giant Merrill Lynch & Co., Farrell had a front-row seat to the go-go markets of the late 1960s, mid-1980s and late 1990s [as well as] the brutal bear market of 1973-74, and October 1987’s crash. Out of those and other experiences came Farrell’s 10 “Market Rules to Remember.” [which are summarized below. The words of wisdom are timeless and are especially appropriate as investors grapple with the difficult juncture at which stock markets find themselves at this stage.]
1. Markets tend to return to the mean over time
When stocks go too far in one direction, they come back. Euphoria and pessimism can cloud people’s heads. It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and lose perspective.
2. Excesses in one direction will lead to an opposite excess in the other direction
Think of the market baseline as attached to a rubber string. Any action to far in one direction not only brings you back to the baseline, but leads to an overshoot in the opposite direction.
3. There are no new eras — excesses are never permanent
Whatever the latest hot sector is, it eventually overheats, mean reverts, and then overshoots. As the fever builds, a chorus of “this time it’s different” will be heard, even if those exact words are never used. And of course, it — Human Nature — never is different.
4. Exponential rapidly rising or falling markets usually go further than you think, but they do not correct by going sideways
Regardless of how hot a sector is, don’t expect a plateau to work off the excesses. Profits are locked in by selling, and that invariably leads to a significant correction — eventually.
5. The public buys the most at the top and the least at the bottom
That’s why contrarian-minded investors can make good money if they follow the sentiment indicators and have good timing.
6. Fear and greed are stronger than long-term resolve
Investors can be their own worst enemy, particularly when emotions take hold.
7. Markets are strongest when they are broad and weakest when they narrow to a handful of blue-chip names
Hence, why breadth and volume are so important. Think of it as strength in numbers. Broad momentum is hard to stop, Farrell observes. Watch for when momentum channels into a small number of stocks (“Nifty 50” stocks).
8. Bear markets have three stages — sharp down, reflexive rebound and a drawn-out fundamental downtrend
9. When all the experts and forecasts agree — something else is going to happen
As Stovall, the S&P; investment strategist, puts it: “If everybody’s optimistic, who is left to buy? If everybody’s pessimistic, who’s left to sell?”
Going against the herd as Farrell repeatedly suggests can be very profitable, especially for patient buyers who raise cash from frothy markets and reinvest it when sentiment is darkest.
10. Bull markets are more fun than bear markets
I’m not going to candy coat it for you: making serious money in the stock market is a ton of hard work. It takes patience, savvy, and a certain level of market smarts – and the cold, hard truth is that if you don’t have them, the big boys will drain your portfolio dry. Unfortunately, those are the three areas that most retail investors need to work on the most. Otherwise, they will simply end up in a cat-and-mouse game where they are the mice. Don’t fool yourself for one second into believing that your “due diligence” can be done by watching a show or two on CNBC. It just doesn’t work that way but if there is one voice from the markets that should grab your attention every time you hear it, it belongs to Dennis Gartman, founder and author of The Gartman Letter. He’s sort of a guru’s guru. [Here is] a glimpse into how he views and trades the markets. Words: 1061