If you go to Haiti or other places in the Caribbean you may run into the Voodoo tradition of magic. There are long and mostly noisy rituals with the medicine man spouting words that bring great power and conjure up whatever it is the supplicant desires. Great amounts of smoke and mirrors.
Does this remind you of anything?
I hear the mesmerizing words of my broker telling me about a wonderful stock. He produces multicolored charts and graphs that dazzle my eyes. His chanting is "BUY, BUY, BUY". I can't resist. He has me under his spell. Thus the magic of Wall Street. Great amounts of smoke and mirrors.
Brokerage houses and mutual funds only want you to do one thing ? BUY and HOLD. Never sell.
To escape the hold of these magicians you must start to think for yourself. I am sure you realize that for the past 3 years you have been losing money. The recent rally has returned some of your losses and Maul Street wants you to hang in there as the rest of your money will be returning. Maybe. If the broker (magician) keeps doing what he has been doing you are going to get more of the same results. If you have lost 30 to 50% of your savings during the past 3 years don't you think you could do as well without the "help" of a broker or financial planner?
OK. No more glossy colored folders (smoke and mirrors) about how wonderful a company is. If you know it then so does everyone else. This type of 'research' is worthless. Leave that to the mutual fund managers. It seems to be what they do best - or is it worst?
Wall Street preaches the lie that if you hold you will make money, but that is only half the story. You have to be able to hold for 30 years. Oh, they forgot to tell you that?
The most important thing about the stock market is not buying ? it is selling. Did you realize that every 10 years about 40% of the S&P500 index changes? Mr. Standard and Mr. Poor realize you can't hold onto a loser so they drop out the weak ones and replace with stocks that are going up.
You want to be in the market when it is going up, not down. You have to know when the market is going up and that is called market timing. It is not cheating by late trading; it is understanding that the long term trend is up (or down) and you want to own funds at the time (or be out of the market entirely). A broker or financial planner will not help you, but it is very easy to learn. Go to the search engine called www.Google.com and type in market timing. You will be flooded with information.
You must to get out from under the Voodoo spell of Buy and Hold as it is a guaranteed loser.
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.