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Posts published in “Market and Biz”

Not Understanding the Stock Market

I confess I am clueless when it comes to buying and selling stock. Oh, I understand the general idea is to buy low and sell high, but beyond that, I am pretty much in the dark. If I could ever get enough money together that I felt like I could invest in some significant way, I would trust someone to do it for me that knows much better how to watch and use trends.

An article today about yet another big drop in the Dow for a variety of reasons reminded me of just how volatile the market can be, and why I don’t like to take risks with it.

Generally speaking, I don’t think of myself as stupid; in fact, I think I am smarter than the average guy right along with Yogi Bear. Typically if I don’t know something, I can research and educate myself. Perhaps I have never done enough research on markets, but there are some subjects I have decided I am just not wired for. Along with chemistry, trading and taxes rank right up there. Thankfully my wife handles the taxes and I no longer have to deal in the nuts and bolts of chemistry (I stunk at it in college, trust me).

Way back when I did a little buying and selling of stock with companies I was involved in some fashion. I pretty much ended up even after some good gains and then some losses that humbled me. That was enough to scare me away.

I feel comfortable with subjects that have a level of predictability and logic I can understand. Oh, you stock types like to think you can predict the markets, but most of you are just making good guesses more often than not, which gets you ahead. Any given day the market can, and often does, take unexpected turns that defy logic. I have seen it numerous times when a company makes a huge announcement that should drive their price up, only to see it tumble as people are selling off all at once thinking they were going to reap a windfall along with everyone else.

Even in my meager attempts socking away for the future I haven’t had much success. I started up a 401k and Roth IRA this year right before the market took some tumbles. The result? I ended with a loss in my first quarter of retirement savings. Gee, now I feel great about putting that money in at just the right time. I know, I know; I am still doing the right thing; but, nothing like a punch in the gut to make me feel better about it.

Any of you have been lucky with it? You have any secret I should know about? Please, do share.