Buy and Hold

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The concept of Buy-and-Hold, the brainchild of Warren Buffett, was bastardized by the asset gatherers who believe that it really means: buy-and-hold-no-matter-how-much-money-you-lose. The question is "How much more can you afford to lose?"

Part of the problem is that people are trying to find one method that will always work. Times change and investors need to adapt to the changing times. This strategy used to work for lazy investors, until about the year 2000. Since then it is time to open your eyes. The bus is going around some sharp bends in the road and you need to take hold of the wheel.

Many people have opened their eyes to find themselves suddenly much poorer. They wonder "Where was my financial advisor when I needed them?" Did they really think that their advisor knew more than they did? Haha!

If you are lucky to find the rock your financial planner is hiding under they respond with "If you don’t think you have the intestinal fortitude to buy more stocks now, you may need to reassess your risk tolerance..."

I see most financial planners as failed realtors. In the 1980's there was a huge glut in the housing market, and like rats the realtors flourished. As the market dried up, some of them became used car salesmen and the others became financial planners. The funny thing is that you coul not get them to plan out a budget to save their lives. They could, however,  plan how to spend their commissions on your mutual fund purchases.

I will not try to become what I have just made fun of, and try to encourage you to buy various investments. What you do need to do is take control of your finances. For example,

  • Don't let others make trades or purchases on your behalf without your direction. Noone will take care of things as well as you can.
  • Do your own research. Look for market inefficiencies that can be exploited. Keep an eye out for those train wrecks before you are in one.
  • Select quality investments with current market values that are at a discount relative to their underlying economic value, ie look for the good deals.
  • Set limits or criteria for when to let go of an investment, and set them when you initially purchase.
  • Don't make the mistake of holding beaten-up, sub-par investments for longer than you should.

There can be a way through this, but you have to be in charge.