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Bottoms Ups

If you have talked to a stock broker or financial planner in the last few days I will bet they all agree that there are some great bargains out there and now is the time to start buying in anticipation that the market will go back up. You will also find agreement from the talking heads on CNBC and those talk radio station stock mavens. No one says sell. It looks like bottom pickers heaven.

A year ago when the Nasdaq was 2000 points higher they were telling you the same thing. Buy. Buy. Buy. If they are so smart to get you to buy now then why weren't they smart enough to tell you to sell when it was way up there? There are two basic rules for professional traders: never let a profitable trade go to a loss and never take a large loss. The talking heads are either not professionals or don't understand their business.

Since the beginning of the year the tech stocks have lost 34% and from last year they are down from the highs 65% and it looks like they are going lower. Isn't it time to end the bloodletting and sell? The problem with the small investor is he doesn't believe he has a loss until he sells. Wall Street has taught him that the market 'always comes back'. Folks, not this time.

All classes of mutual funds have posted losses in the first quarter of 2001 for the first time since 1980.

Has your broker or financial planner called you to sell out to go to the safe haven of a money market fund? I will bet he hasn't. Unfortunately these "experts" are not taught to protect your capital. They will watch their customers' account dwindle away 30%, 40% 50% and more and never do anything about it. It isn't their money. It is yours. You have to take the responsibility to guard it. The average broker has 300 clients. Unless you are a 7-figure account you will not receive any attention. Of the 77,000,000 mutual fund owners in the U.S. 80% of those accounts have less than $50,000. Their advice is either none or bad.

We know the economy is slowing down and has been since early last fall. The market was continuing to go up in anticipation and was ignoring underlying facts. The emotional enthusiasm was carrying it to new highs almost every day. Of course, Mr. Greenspan didn't help anything by raising interest rates when he should have known better. It is the brokers' job to sell stock and make commission, but it should also be his job to advise the neophyte investor to protect his capital.

The trend is your friend. The trend is down. It is still not too late to sell and put what's left of your cash in a money market account. Forget about your losses. That money is gone. You must protect what you have left. Never try to pick the bottom. There are no "bargains" at this level. Cash is the best position right now.

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

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