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The Shadow knows. There used to be a radio program called The Shadow where the hero, Lamont Cranston, the Shadow, would overcome the shadowy forces of doom by clouding the vision of those around him. "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men" was their intro line. They were great shows and you can still find them on the Internet.
The stock market is kind of like the shadow. As you walk along with the sun at your back you cast a shadow. No matter which way you move the shadow stays ahead. Fast, slow, right, left. It doesn't make any difference.
An equity market is the shadow of the economy staying out in front following every twist and turn. Depending upon the height of the sun the shadow may be long or short. You can see it either as a long term or short term prediction of the passage.
If you did not know what a shadow was you would not realize it is telling you something about where you are going. If you see the shadow fall across a hole you know you must step over or around it depending upon its width and depth. The path of our economy is predicted by the direction of the stock market. When things are good and everyone is making money the shadow seems to go up and when the economy slows (for whatever reason) the shadow darker and heads down.
At this time (11/04) the sun is shining brightly and the shadow stretches out long and friendly before us. The stock market is going up and everyone is feeling good, but we also know that tomorrow storm clouds may appear making our shadow seem to be a monster black image that hides the potholes in our path.
When that occurs we must be ready to put on our raincoat to protect what we carry through life. One of the most important is the money we have put aside for the time we wish to depart the path, sit by the road and contemplate all the beautiful things we have brought. That means we must guard against losing what we have created and not let the shadowy rain cloud wash them away.
That raincoat for your investments is an exit strategy for your portfolio. Without a plan to protect your assets it will be too easy to seem them washed away. This does not mean diversification which is what brokers want you to do. It means a plan to exit (sell) stock and mutual funds that are going down. This can be done with a simple percentage stop-loss order for your stocks and a mental stop loss for funds.
Brokers never want you to sell even though there may be a commission involved because once you money is in a money market neither they nor the brokerage company makes any money. You and only you care about your money so you must protect it. Think about an exit plan now and put it into place.
Do not become a victim of the dark shadow.
About The Author
F*R*E*E investment letter www.mutualfundmagic.com
Author of best seller "IF IT DOESN'T GO UP, DON'T BUY IT!" Never lose money in the market.
Copyright 2004 Albert W. Thomas All rights reserved.
Former 17-year exchange member, floor trader and brokerage company owner.
The Great Stock Market Secret
When the stock market is going up and all your stocks and mutual funds are making money you feel like a genius. It is too bad that some folks don't remember what happened in 2000. Of course, right now we are in one of those genius phases.
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When it comes to stock market trading it PAYS to have more knowledge than the rest of the pack. Pure gold can be harvested in each profitable trade that you accomplish.
Everything you invest in has risk so you want to do your research before you put your money on the line.
Ever jumped out of an airplane? It's OK if you have on a parachute. Pretty dumb if you don't.
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Let's hope you did not have any of the Enron stock. Maybe you know someone who did and lost everything, but you certainly might know several people who owned stock that lost almost everything. They probably aren't talking about it.
Rebalance And Diversify
The stock market has not been very kind to your investments lately. Your broker knows this so you may have received a call from him suggesting it is time to 'rebalance and diversify' your portfolio.
Stock Market Investing Odds
The greatest stock market myth is the idea that investing in stocks is a form of gambling!
Stock Market Volatility
In my opinion, due to the volatility of stock market prices (the rise and fall of stock prices), an investment plan should incorporate both the traits of stick-to-itiveness and common sense, and must have an advantageous, predetermined approach for maximizing each investment in the stock market.
It's about time someone spoke the truth concerning outsourcing. The politicians sure won't. They prefer to do finger-pointing saying it is "his fault". It is those greedy manufacturers who want to make bigger profits by having cheap labor in Asia perform your task for less money.
If you have a pension plan at work you will want to read this and if you don't you will still want to because it affects your retirement account.
The Exclusive Club of Large Caps
Picture one of those clubs where only the real heavyweights need apply. In the library the old aristocrats, General Motors and JP Morgan, are dozing in their leather chairs. On the terrace, a late luncheon is underway for those who have only improved their standing through marriage. ExxonMobil and Citigroup are part of the party. At the bar, a number of the"nouveau riche" have gathered - Microsoft seems to be buying for Intel and Hewlett Packard. Welcome to the world of the Large Cap Stock Club, the biggest of the worlds publicly traded companies.
What To Buy?
Now that you have some money burning a hole in your pocket and the stock market is going up you have decided to buy some stock or maybe a mutual fund, but you have the momentous decisions to what to buy.
The I Word is Coming to a Town Near You
Hello Inflation, it has been awhile, I see you on your way back again. Inflation? What inflation? Oh things like; Energy, diesel fuel, Aviation Fuel, Gasoline, Natural Gas, Milk, Wheat, Corn, Beef, Poultry, Hogs, Soy Beans, Building materials, paper, housing, Auto Prices, Health Care, Insurance, etc. You know the basics. Also considering the wholesale inflation, which comes from fuel costs being passed on, government regulations infringing on productivity and additional fees and fines to replace the taxes and incentives. When wholesale prices go up, those are passed onto the consumer.
Kick The Tires
Before you buy another car you walk around the lot, kick the tires, slam the doors and look at the mileage indicator. That's an odometer. I know. That is about all the "research" you can do other than what the car salesman tells you and I hope you know better than to believe him.
Option Spread Trading
Spread trading is a technique that can be used to profit in bullish, neutral or bearish conditions. It basically functions to limit risk at the cost of limiting profit as well.
Stock Options Trading Strategies - Lean
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Hedge Fund Advertising
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The Information Age
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Choosing A Fund
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