The ‘New Normal’ Won’t Last
Stocks in the S&P 500 are at new, all-time highs. The push to this point hasn’t been really robust, though, as evidenced by the fact that year to date, SPX is only up 3.3%.
Still, we can’t deny the evidence that stocks have made the move to new highs, and that’s a good thing. What we can say, however, is that we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that somehow this represents a “new normal” of sorts for the markets.
The fact is that financial markets go up, and financial markets go down. You already knew that, of course, but in this era of central bank-stimulated equity values, it’s easy to think that maybe the new normal is for markets to just keep grinding higher.
As we enter into a long, Memorial Day weekend, I want you to think about a couple of things.
First, think about the immense sacrifice on the part of the men and women who gave their lives for this country via their military service. Then, think about the freedom that we all have, which includes the freedom to do what we choose with our money.
In one tangential respect, making good choices with your money is a way of honoring those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I say that because it is incumbent upon us all to make good decisions in the best interest of ourselves, our families, our society and our country.
You see, when you invest wisely you are not just benefitting yourself. You also are benefitting everyone else, as the process enriches the entire world.
Of course, investing wisely isn’t always as easy as it seems. And when the new normal of persistently high equity values ends, that’s when you will really need to know how to properly manage your money.
If you have questions about how you can manage your portfolio more effectively, in both bull and bear markets, then my Successful ETF Investing newsletter can help.
MoneyShow Musings: 3 Keys to Becoming a Better ETF Investor
I was in Las Vegas last week for the MoneyShow, an annual trek that I love to participate in. One of the things I like most about attending the MoneyShow is what I learn from the attendees. Taking the pulse of those who attend the show allows me to get a great read on what the general mood is among investors, what they are most concerned about right now and how and where they are positioning their money.
One question I received multiple times from attendees, and one that I get from readers often, is what steps one can take to become a better ETF investor.
Although there are many ways to become a better ETF investor, here are three of my favorite responses to this key question:
1) Find more money to invest in ETFs. It’s time to dump those mutual funds and roll over any old 401(k)-type accounts into a self-directed IRA. Doing so will result in more money to invest in the best ETFs that the market offers.
2) Consolidate your accounts at one brokerage. Whether it’s Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade or Vanguard, there is no need to have more then one brokerage firm. I find many investors have multiple accounts at multiple financial institutions. All this does is create more paperwork, more confusion, more passwords and more problems for your investing.
3) Get passionate about ETFs. This does not mean you make knowing about ETFs a full-time job. Rather, it means that you are engaged with your money and that you spend the appropriate amount of time making sure your investments are right for your goals. Also, spend some time learning about the ETF landscape, and the easiest way to do that is to read this publication, as well as the wealth of information at ETFU.com.
If you only take these three steps, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a much better ETF investor.
Orwell on Freedom
“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
— George Orwell
In today’s politically correct environment, it’s hard to know what one can and cannot say. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind the wisdom of those who have thought deeply on these issues. The great George Orwell knew all about freedom and the lack thereof, as anyone who has ever read his dystopian classic “1984” knows intimately. In today’s quote, Orwell reminds us that real freedom includes the right to say things that are uncomfortable and that we sometimes do not want to confront — but that we all need to confront if we want to be better humans.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote you’d like me to share with your fellow Weekly ETF Report readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Ask Doug.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week about the global market surge. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below.