Trying to Make Sense of the Stock Market Madness :: Mint.com/blog

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It’s been an amazing few months for the stock market. And for investors, “amazing” normally means “disturbing.”

To make sense of which’s going on, let us listen in on a conversation in between an investor and a monetary advisor.

May 21, 2013

Investor: I wish to buy the stock market.

Advisor: No trouble. I recommend an index fund that’ll match the performance of the whole United States stock market. It costs 0.07 % each year.

Investor: That’s inexpensive. I’ve actually heard I’ll make 12 % annually in the stock exchange. Is that about right?

Advisor: Where did you hear that?

Investor: On a radio show.

Advisor: Not everything you hear on the radio holds true. The actual long-term average for the US stock exchange is about 6.5 %, if you readjust for inflation.

Investor: My cost savings account pays 0.01 %, so that’s a huge improvement. Great, let us put in $10,000.

June 21, 2013

Investor: This fund you sold me stinks! You informed me I ‘d make 6.5 % a year. It’s been a month and I have lost 4.5 %!

Advisor: The stock market is not really a cost savings account. There are no assurances. Often the marketplace increases, occasionally it goes down. Certainly Are not3 seen headlines about this in the past.

Investor: Yeah, but it feels various when it’s your very own cash vanishing. If I am visiting lose 4.5 % of my cash in a month, why should I buy stocks at all? At that rate I am much better off offering the cash to my brother for safekeeping.

Advisor: Individuals buy stocks due to the fact that Are not0 usually been an excellent bet in the past. Many of the time, investors in stocks have actually generated income, and usually more cash than if they ‘d invested in bonds or put the cash in a cost savings account. I am suspecting you can’t say the same for your brother.

Investor: No, his specialty is turning cash into beer. So if individuals generally earn money in stocks, why did I lose cash?

Advisor: You were invested throughout a period when the stock exchange decreased.

Investor: Thanks a lot, brilliant. Are not I paying you to know when the market is decreasing so you can put my money someplace better until the market looks safe once again?

Advisor: No one can forecast when the marketplace will go up or down. Right here, you can borrow my copy of Rick Ferri’s book The Power of Passive Investing. It’ll explain simply how terribly Are not2 likely to fail if you attempt to time the market. And the stock exchange is never ever “safe.” If it were safe, you Are not1 be able to make much cash there.

Investor: Why not? Can’t you put my money somewhere that earns good interest but doesn’t make my primary vanish regularly?

Advisor: Everybody would like to put their money somewhere like that, and lots of advisors are offering that kind of guarantee. But it’s impossible.

Investor: Why?

Advisor: If there were a safe financial investment paying 6 %, you ‘d purchase it, right?

Investor: Of course.

Advisor: Me too. So would everybody else I understand. Whoever is offering that financial investment will understand immediately that they are paying too much interest and might draw in simply as much cash by paying 5 %, or 4 %, or a tiny bit more than the other guy is paying.

Investor: So why doesn’t the exact same reasoning put on stocks? I have seen some dividend stocks paying 6 % or even more.

Advisor: Since stocks are high-risk. Let us turn the concern around. You stated your savings account pays 0.01 %. We need to find you a much better savings account, however that’s for another day. Would you put your money in a dangerous investment that pays no even more than 0.01 %?

Investor: Not a chance.

Advisor: Right. Nobody would. If I am visiting put my money at threat, I demand a higher rate of return. That’s called a risk premium.

Investor: So Are not2 stating if I keep my money in this stock fund long enough, ultimately I’ll earn 6.5 %, but it might be a bumpy ride along the way.

Advisor: If just that held true. The stock exchange does not have guarantees, remember? You can make money or lose cash in stocks over a brief, medium, or extended period.

Investor: Aaargh! So should I keep my cash in the stock exchange or not?

Advisor: The stock exchange is a good wager, but it’s still a bet, which indicates you can lose. You did not put all of your cash in stocks, right?

Investor: No, I’ve some in a cost savings account and some in CDs.

Advisor: And those accounts did not lose any money this month. So you did not lose 4.5 % of your money, you lost 4.5 % of part of your money. I’d not put all your money in any one sort of investment.

Investor: That makes good sense. How ‘d you get so smart, anyway?

Advisor: (rips off mask) I am really an individual finance reporter in disguise!

Investor: (runs away)