True Investment Road Maps

If you don't know where you are going any road will get there. After you get there you might not like where you ended up. You must plan ahead for your trip.

Do you know where you are going with your retirement portfolio? Do you have a plan mapped out? Do you know what to do if your plan starts hemorrhaging money like a stuck pig? Remember 2000? Of course that will never happen again, will it? I'm glad you are so confident. I'm not.

Every professional trader has a plan. Wait a minute. You say you are not a professional trader and you wouldn't trade like they do anyway. Well let me let you in on a little secret. If you don't learn to invest like a pro you are going to give him all (or most) of your money whether you like it or not.

What is it like to trade like a pro?

You won't like it and your broker and financial planner will like it even less. It is simple. The road to success is the road that has an exit ramp, in fact, several. It is like doing the Baja Road Race and carrying many spare tires. Without several tires you are not going to make it. Where are those exits? Why so many spare tires? Because without them you will be off the road in a ditch and unable to carry on.

The exits and the tires are your protection against becoming lost or broken down on your way to a comfortable retirement goal. To get where you are going in any vehicle you must not be stopped so you have to find an exit ramp when everyone else stays on the stagnating highway. That spare tire is one of your stocks or mutual funds that has gone flat and must be replaced. You are going to make it. The poor (sic) people who have no plan will remain mired on the highway to nowhere.

There is a secret to being a successful investor and it is one word - SELLING. Yes, any fool can buy, but it is the wise man who knows how to sell. That is called an exit strategy. If you do not have one you are doomed to lose money. During the long term bull market from 1982 to 2000 everyone became a financial genius. Now that we are in a long term bear market (that history shows us lasts an equal length of time) many of those financial geniuses are back in kindergarten and may not have time to graduate.

As the current stock market becomes more dangerous it is time to get out your road map to see where the exits are. It is time to realize that some of your tires could be wearing thin and may need to be replaced. No one is going to do this for you. Not your broker or your financial planner. You are the driver and a successful conclusion to this journey is completely up to you.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2005

In The News:

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USA TODAY

As stocks skid, worries mount for 401(k) investors who can't 'stand the pain'
USA TODAY
Money starts to move out of stocks: While investors haven't exited the stock market in a stampede, more money has come out of U.S. stock mutual funds and exchange traded funds than has flowed in, Investment Company Institute data show. In the three ...

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Zacks.com

How to Pick the Best ETFs and Mutual Funds
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ETFs have been gaining in popularity against mutual funds over the past few years. While ETFs are not a lot different from passively managed index funds, they do offer better transparency, intra-day tradability and tax efficiency. When should investors ...

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These people have been buying up stocks faster than anyone since 1989
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One of the easiest and smartest ways to get started is with a mutual fund that contains a basket of investments instead of a single stock. If you have a workplace retirement plan, mutual funds are going to be the main item offered on the investment menu.


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Manufacturing Output Up for 5th Straight Month: 2 Fund Picks
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Reduced transaction costs and diversification of portfolio without several commission charges that are associated with stock purchases are primarily why one should be parking money in mutual funds (read more: Mutual Funds: Advantages, Disadvantages, ...


Investorplace.com

5 Vanguard Mutual Funds to Depend On
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Risk-averse investors should note that VIHAX devotes just over 20% of its weight to emerging markets stocks, so this may not be suitable for extremely conservative investors looking for mutual funds to buy. However, eight of this Vanguard fund's top 10 ...


After Sour October, Fund Managers Gird For More Volatility, Trim Stocks
Investor's Business Daily
Ouch! That summarizes the shrinking performance by the stock market and U.S. diversified stock mutual funds in October. The stock market forecast? Fearing volatility ahead, money managers and strategists are flashing yellow warning signs about the ...


Morningstar.com

Why Active Funds Have Outperformed in Theory But Fallen Short in Practice
Morningstar.com
The U.S. equity mutual fund market and the U.S. stock market aren't the same thing; the latter is far larger than the former, with other participants including pensions, hedge funds, and individual investors who purchase stocks directly. That would ...


New York Times

The Market's Been Falling. I'm Putting My Money in Stocks Anyway.
New York Times
The stock market has been plummeting and my own retirement portfolio has been shrinking. Am I worried? Sure. But I'm still buying stocks. Week after week lately, I've been stubbornly funneling part of my paycheck into diversified equity mutual funds in ...


Moneycontrol.com

Is your mutual fund portfolio really diversified?
Moneycontrol.com
How do mutual funds offer portfolio diversification? In case of market-linked investments, continuous changes in the stock markets and the overall economy might affect the fund value. This may be in the form of extreme fluctuations or a fall in the ...


Moneycontrol.com

FIIs, MFs bet on 138 stocks in last 1 year; should you buy?
Moneycontrol.com
When it comes to hunting for stocks, investors depend on their financial advisors or do their own research. To that end, analysing the portfolio of foreign investors as well as mutual funds can certainly help retail investors shortlist a few stocks. We ...

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