Investing in the Unknowable!!
DO YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY ON YOUR MONEY? I do. Most of us do. This is why we invest. It doesn’t make us greedy. If you don’t want to make money on your money, why invest?
WHETHER OR NOT YOU INVEST IN AN IRA, YOUR COMPANY RETIREMENT PLAN, OR A HOME, you are investing in a “market”. There are stock markets, bond markets, local real estate markets and a whole host of other markets. You invest in markets to make a reasonable return on our money. For our retirement plans, most of use stock and bond markets made up of millions of investors with different goals, time horizons, risk levels, and other unique factors.
YOUR INVESTMENTS IN MARKETS ARE A BET ON THE FUTURE. You believe that we will come out better by participating in the markets than if you don’t participate. You think, hope, pray, or whatever that this happens for your money.
SOME BELIEVE THERE ARE THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN. Many industry practitioners like to sell themselves as the one who knows what’s going to happen. The truth is no one knows. NO ONE!
NOT THE COMMENTATORS, NOT THE SHAMELESS WEEKEND RADIO SHOW FINANCIAL ADVISERS, not your family member that “works in the industry,” not your colleague that “watches” the markets, not the editors of the magazine at the checkout line, not the firms and the experts that provide forecasts, not Cramer, not Buffett.
THERE IS NO GUARANTEE AT ALL ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN. NONE.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE IS AN INVESTMENT IN UNCERTAINTY.
THIS IS NO DIFFERENT THAN OTHER DECISIONS YOU MAKE. You face uncertainty all the time. You don’t know how a relationship might work out – but you move forward with it anyway. Of course it could fail. How about a new job? Sure, you learn what you can during the interview process, but you won’t really know how it is until you’ve been on the job a few weeks or months. If you decide to have children or a family how will it turn out?
HOW ABOUT SELECTING A COLLEGE OR CAREER IN YOUR LATE TEENS OR EARLY TWENTIES? Talk about a huge gamble at such a young age! Anyone you know regret these decisions?? Do you? In retrospect, I obviously picked the wrong college. But I got through it, three months late, and got on with my life.
HAVE PERSPECTIVE ON THE UNCERTAINTY OF INVESTING. I think you’re better off if you just accept it for what it is. The worst thing you can do is fall prey to the advisers and firms which imply that they have some special knowledge or information that can eliminate uncertainty. They don’t – and your decision to use their advice will be costly. Heed the words of economist Fischer Black, “Investment information is more valuable sold than used.”