U.S. stocks in freefall

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Postby VictoriaF » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:11 am

Free fall can also be upward.

Wikipedia about Free fall wrote:Free fall is any motion of a body where gravity is the only force acting upon it, at least initially. These conditions produce an inertial trajectory so long as gravity remains the only force. Since this definition does not specify velocity, it also applies to objects initially moving upward.


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Postby Dieharder » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:33 am

Lbill wrote:
Since the late 1990's the S&P 500 has moved essentially sideways



Since Sept 30 1990 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 8.7% per annum.

Since Sept 30 1995 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 6.3% per annum.

Worst case for S&P 500 is since the peak of Tech bubble in 1999.

Since Sept 30 1999 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 1.0% per annum.

During the worst period for S&P 500 Index, an investment in Vanguard Total Bond Index returned approx. 6.1% per annum.

A 50/50 mix of VFINX / VBMFX returned appox. 3.9% per annum during one of the worst periods in the history of U.S stock markets.
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Postby natureexplorer » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:43 am

Dieharder wrote:Since Sept 30 1999 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 1.0% per annum.
Nominally and before taxes.
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Postby jeffyscott » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:45 am

Lbill wrote:Since the late 1990's the S&P 500 has moved essentially sideways, but there's been a lot of volatility.


Over the last 14 years US stocks (VTSMX) would have underperformed cash (using short term treasury to represent cash):

http://quote.morningstar.com/fund/chart ... %2C0%22%7D

I'd guess that stocks probably barely kept up with inflation...let me check...to match inflation $10,000 in 1997 would need to be $14,115 today http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl? ... year2=2011
VTSMX would be $16,363, so that's 14 years with cumulative real return of about 16%, that's a bit over 1% real per year.
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Postby Lbill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:56 am

Since Sept 30 1999 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 1.0% per annum.

While T-Bills returned 2.8% per year. A funny thing happened on the way to the equity risk premium....
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:11 am

Since Sept 30 1999 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 1.0% per annum.


Which shows that a pure buy-and-hold strategy would have failed miserably. But a stock/bond mix with regular rebalancing would have - and for many of us, has - done much better.

Anyway, this thread is about stocks being in "freefall", whatever that means. I contend that this is not true - they are just being volatile, as they have been for some time, and this is a good thing, not a bad thing.
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Postby Lbill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:16 am

plnelson wrote:
I think all this volatility is great - I have a conventional stock-and-bond-and-rebalance portfolio and I have a trading portfolio. My stock-and-bond-and-rebalance portfolio has ploddingly gained over the years through many rebalances despite the sideways S&P. And the trading portfolio has done fantastically well. If the markets had been placid over the last 12 years, but with the same closing prices today, neither portfolio would have done as well as they have. Volatility is a gift to us all.

Often such claims are made, but without any supporting data. As it turns out, there was practically no difference in total return between an annually rebalanced and non-rebalanced portfolio of 50% stocks + 50% bonds over the 2000-2010 period. The former returned approx 3.8% nominal annual, while the latter returned 3.6%. You would have ended up with $250 more on a $10K starting investment. Meanwhile, the volatility was actually lower with the unrebalanced portfolio (7.4% vs 9.8% annualized SD). So, I guess volatility is actually the gift that stopped giving....
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Postby rcshouldis » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:17 am

For those who think that the stock market is a good way to save for retirement :

Think again :roll:
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Postby Dieharder » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:17 am

Lbill wrote:
Since Sept 30 1999 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 1.0% per annum.

While T-Bills returned 2.8% per year. A funny thing happened on the way to the equity risk premium....


If you landed here from moon in 1999 and put down all your money on S&P 500 Index and did not add / take a dime to it, yeah, then that's what you got.

I am pretty sure this is how most people invest their money.
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:28 am

Lbill wrote: As it turns out, there was practically no difference in total return between an annually rebalanced and non-rebalanced portfolio of 50% stocks + 50% bonds over the 2000-2010 period. The former returned approx 3.8% nominal annual, while the latter returned 3.6%. You would have ended up with $250 more on a $10K starting investment. Meanwhile, the volatility was actually lower with the unrebalanced portfolio (7.4% vs 9.8% annualized SD). So, I guess volatility is actually the gift that stopped giving....


The key word, above, is "annually" rebalanced. Many (most?) of us don't rebalance annually, we rebalance when our allocations fall outside our target percentages. I've done 2 rebalances in the last 12 months - the first one, about 8 months ago shifted some money from stocks to st bonds, the second one, about a month ago went in the other direction.
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Postby deerhunter » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:28 am

I had enough of the stock market in 1999. I sold down to 10 percent and haven't looked back. My Gnma's and bonds have done well, not as much as I hoped but enough to give me a decent retirement.
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:32 am

rcshouldis wrote:For those who think that the stock market is a good way to save for retirement :

Think again :roll:


I'm 58 and I'm happy with it. The key is diversification across many dimensions. Not just different asset classes and levels of risk, but also across strategies. I have portfolios that follow Bogleheadish rules, ones with bond-ladders, ones with long-term value investing, and a trading portfolio.
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Postby xerty24 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:36 am

Lbill wrote:
Since Sept 30 1999 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 1.0% per annum.

While T-Bills returned 2.8% per year. A funny thing happened on the way to the equity risk premium....

And CPI inflation averaged 2.8% so if you weren't in gold (or something that went up a reasonable amount), you're not gaining ground on that retirement. Oh, and you did pay taxes on those T-Bills too...
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Postby Lbill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:49 am

The key word, above, is "annually" rebalanced. Many (most?) of us don't rebalance annually, we rebalance when our allocations fall outside our target percentages. I've done 2 rebalances in the last 12 months - the first one, about 8 months ago shifted some money from stocks to st bonds, the second one, about a month ago went in the other direction.

Yes, some people use "bands" to rebalance. Do you have any data that shows whether this worked any better than annually rebalancing? I'm skeptical that any method of rebalancing actually improves risk-adjusted returns on a predictable basis. This agrees with the view of Larry Swedroe. The reason that rebalancing hasn't worked very well over the last 10-12 year period is that bonds have outperformed stocks and rebalancers just kept on selling those good old bonds to buy stocks to get whacked again and again. Ask a Japanese investor how that rebalancing back into stocks has been working for him the last 20 years or so.
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Postby Johm221122 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:53 am

rcshouldis wrote:For those who think that the stock market is a good way to save for retirement :

Think again :roll:

Stop drinking cool aid :lol:
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Postby Noobvestor » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:55 am

plnelson wrote:
Since Sept 30 1999 to Sept 21 2011 close, an investment in Vanguard S&P 500 Index returned approx. 1.0% per annum.


Which shows that a pure buy-and-hold strategy would have failed miserably. But a stock/bond mix with regular rebalancing would have - and for many of us, has - done much better.

Anyway, this thread is about stocks being in "freefall", whatever that means. I contend that this is not true - they are just being volatile, as they have been for some time, and this is a good thing, not a bad thing.


I'm not sure why holding the S&P 500 is being called a 'pure' strategy - it is a concentrated bet on 500 US companies, not a global equity portfolio (let alone a global investment portfolio) ;)
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Postby allsop » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:00 pm

Lbill wrote:
The key word, above, is "annually" rebalanced. Many (most?) of us don't rebalance annually, we rebalance when our allocations fall outside our target percentages. I've done 2 rebalances in the last 12 months - the first one, about 8 months ago shifted some money from stocks to st bonds, the second one, about a month ago went in the other direction.

Yes, some people use "bands" to rebalance. Do you have any data that shows whether this worked any better than annually rebalancing? I'm skeptical that any method of rebalancing actually improves risk-adjusted returns on a predictable basis. This agrees with the view of Larry Swedroe. The reason that rebalancing hasn't worked very well over the last 10-12 year period is that bonds have outperformed stocks and rebalancers just kept on selling those good old bonds to buy stocks to get whacked again and again. Ask a Japanese investor how that rebalancing back into stocks has been working for him the last 20 years or so.


Perhaps he rebalanced as part of risk management and not to have better returns, as you seem to assume.
You assume that he rebalanced to
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Postby Lbill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:01 pm

DOW flirting with a 400-point haircut just now (noon EDT).
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Postby jeffyscott » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:11 pm

Regarding rebalancing...

Growth of $10,000 over the last 14 years, per M*:

Vanguard Balanced Index Inv:19,788.04
Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Inv:18,835.03
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:18 pm

Lbill wrote:Yes, some people use "bands" to rebalance. Do you have any data that shows whether this worked any better than annually rebalancing? I'm skeptical that any method of rebalancing actually improves risk-adjusted returns on a predictable basis. This agrees with the view of Larry Swedroe. The reason that rebalancing hasn't worked very well over the last 10-12 year period is that bonds have outperformed stocks and rebalancers just kept on selling those good old bonds to buy stocks to get whacked again and again. Ask a Japanese investor how that rebalancing back into stocks has been working for him the last 20 years or so.


The bond portion of the my stock-bond-rebalance portfolio is mostly a short term bond fund. They make smaller price moves than LT bonds so rebalancing out of stocks when they're high has less of an effect of moving into another "high" asset class; it's more like moving between cash and stocks. But lately I've been mixing an intermediate bond fun in, so this may change my results.

I don't have any data about whether "band" rebalancing works better but to me it intuitively seems like it should which is why I do it. I'd like to see some data on this, though.
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Postby NERD777 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:19 pm

Johm221122 wrote:
rcshouldis wrote:For those who think that the stock market is a good way to save for retirement :

Think again :roll:

Stop drinking cool aid :lol:


Thinking that equities have no place in a long term investment strategy is as silly as thinking bonds have no place in a long term investment strategy. If the ebbs and flows of the market drastically change your long term strategy you probably shouldn't have discretion over your investments.
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:21 pm

Lbill wrote:DOW flirting with a 400-point haircut just now (noon EDT).


Oh, that Dow is such a shameless flirt! It's down 428 as of right now. And that's what I call a "come hither look" for investors who are looking for bargains.
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Postby jeffyscott » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:24 pm

Noobvestor wrote:I'm not sure why holding the S&P 500 is being called a 'pure' strategy - it is a concentrated bet on 500 US companies, not a global equity portfolio (let alone a global investment portfolio) ;)


Growth of $10,000, over the past 14 years:

Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index Inv:16,396.44
MSCI EAFE NR USD:15,565.38
Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Inv:16,363.41
Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Inv:18,835.03

Bonds did not help much (see VBINX returns above)

What would have helped was paying even the tiniest bit of attention to valuations:
14 year growth of $10K in Vanguard Wellington Inv: 23,524.62
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:26 pm

jeffyscott wrote:Regarding rebalancing...

Growth of $10,000 over the last 14 years, per M*:

Vanguard Balanced Index Inv:19,788.04


Do they rebalance to maintain their 60:40 target? If so does anyone know how they do it (frequency, percent, etc?)
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Postby Johm221122 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:31 pm

NERD777 wrote:
Johm221122 wrote:
rcshouldis wrote:For those who think that the stock market is a good way to save for retirement :

Think again :roll:

Stop drinking cool aid :lol:


Thinking that equities have no place in a long term investment strategy is as silly as thinking bonds have no place in a long term investment strategy. If the ebbs and flows of the market drastically change your long term strategy you probably shouldn't have discretion over your investments.

I think a balanced portfolio is the right answer,what do you think???rcshouldis says stocks are not a good way to save for retirement I think there the corner stone,but not whole house
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Postby HomerJ » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:02 pm

Dieharder wrote:A 50/50 mix of VFINX / VBMFX returned appox. 3.9% per annum during one of the worst periods in the history of U.S stock markets.


And that's with no rebalancing, and no new contributions during downturns.
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Postby rcshouldis » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:20 pm

Johm221122 wrote:
NERD777 wrote:
Johm221122 wrote:
rcshouldis wrote:For those who think that the stock market is a good way to save for retirement :

Think again :roll:

Stop drinking cool aid :lol:


Thinking that equities have no place in a long term investment strategy is as silly as thinking bonds have no place in a long term investment strategy. If the ebbs and flows of the market drastically change your long term strategy you probably shouldn't have discretion over your investments.

I think a balanced portfolio is the right answer,what do you think???rcshouldis says stocks are not a good way to save for retirement I think there the corner stone,but not whole house


When you're all selling pencils on the street corner very shortly, don't say you weren't warned.
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Postby allsop » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:25 pm

rcshouldis wrote:
Johm221122 wrote:
NERD777 wrote:
Johm221122 wrote:
rcshouldis wrote:For those who think that the stock market is a good way to save for retirement :

Think again :roll:

Stop drinking cool aid :lol:


Thinking that equities have no place in a long term investment strategy is as silly as thinking bonds have no place in a long term investment strategy. If the ebbs and flows of the market drastically change your long term strategy you probably shouldn't have discretion over your investments.

I think a balanced portfolio is the right answer,what do you think???rcshouldis says stocks are not a good way to save for retirement I think there the corner stone,but not whole house


When you're all selling pencils on the street corner very shortly, don't say you weren't warned.


Is this a sign that equity capitulation is near?

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Postby Sidney » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:29 pm

rcshouldis wrote:
Johm221122 wrote:
NERD777 wrote:
Johm221122 wrote:
rcshouldis wrote:For those who think that the stock market is a good way to save for retirement :

Think again :roll:

Stop drinking cool aid :lol:


Thinking that equities have no place in a long term investment strategy is as silly as thinking bonds have no place in a long term investment strategy. If the ebbs and flows of the market drastically change your long term strategy you probably shouldn't have discretion over your investments.

I think a balanced portfolio is the right answer,what do you think???rcshouldis says stocks are not a good way to save for retirement I think there the corner stone,but not whole house


When you're all selling pencils on the street corner very shortly, don't say you weren't warned.


In April, you were 50/50. What changed your mind?

viewtopic.php?p=1022659#1022659
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Postby Lbill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:35 pm

My belief in the Tooth Fairy is stronger than my belief in the so-called Equity Risk Premium (actually I believe the ERP is negative). I'm putting my IRA under my pillow and hoping that I'll find a quarter there when I wake up tomorrow. :greedy
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Postby xerty24 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:36 pm

Sidney wrote:In April, you were 50/50. What changed your mind?

viewtopic.php?p=1022659#1022659

If he didn't rebalance, he's down to 45/55 as well as -5% on his portfolio. AA will be closer and overall loss larger if he did rebalance on the way down.
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Postby xerty24 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:38 pm

allsop wrote:Is this a sign that equity capitulation is near?

Maybe, maybe not, but the headlines are similar:

Global Meltdown: Investors Are Dumping Nearly Everything (CNBC)

The only green on my screen is treasuries, and even moreso, munis.
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"Death of Equities"

Postby Taylor Larimore » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:39 pm

Bogleheads:

The Newsweek cover: "Death of Equities" is dated August 13, 1979 when the S&P 500 Index closed at 107.

Today the S&P is about 1,100 (dividends not included).

Bogleheads ignore media "noise" and stay-the-course.

Edit in red
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Postby gkaplan » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:42 pm

Yawn.
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Re: "Death of Equities"

Postby jeffyscott » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Today the S&P is about 1,100 (dividends not included).


It was also 1100 in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010
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Re: "Death of Equities"

Postby Mel Lindauer » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:00 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Bogleheads:

The Newsweek cover: "Death of Equities" is dated August 13, 1995 when the S&P 500 Index was about 550.

Today the S&P is about 1,100 (dividends not included).

Bogleheads ignore media "noise" and stay-the-course.


Actually, my friend, that was August 13, 1979. (Gotta clean those glasses once in a while!) :D
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"550" actually "107"

Postby Taylor Larimore » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:06 pm

Hi Mel:

Thank you for the correction. I edited my post.
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:16 pm

xerty24 wrote:
allsop wrote:Is this a sign that equity capitulation is near?

Maybe, maybe not, but the headlines are similar:

Global Meltdown: Investors Are Dumping Nearly Everything (CNBC)

The only green on my screen is treasuries, and even moreso, munis.


Is that on cost basis or just today's changes? I don't have any stocks that went below their cost basis today - that screen is all green. If I just look at today's results it's all red, but that's what one would expect on a day when the Dow drops 482 points. Meanwhile I just bought GE and CVX - good long term growth prospects, and great dividends which will make it more tolerable to wait for the recovery, which could be awhile.
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Postby Sidney » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:26 pm

plnelson wrote:
xerty24 wrote:
allsop wrote:Is this a sign that equity capitulation is near?

Maybe, maybe not, but the headlines are similar:

Global Meltdown: Investors Are Dumping Nearly Everything (CNBC)

The only green on my screen is treasuries, and even moreso, munis.


Is that on cost basis or just today's changes? I don't have any stocks that went below their cost basis today - that screen is all green. If I just look at today's results it's all red, but that's what one would expect on a day when the Dow drops 482 points. Meanwhile I just bought GE and CVX - good long term growth prospects, and great dividends which will make it more tolerable to wait for the recovery, which could be awhile.

didn't GE cut their dividend last time we had a recession?
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Postby xerty24 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:50 pm

plnelson wrote:Is that on cost basis or just today's changes? I don't have any stocks that went below their cost basis today - that screen is all green.

Today's change for a bunch of market indexes and ETFs. I don't hold most of this stuff except for a few munis right now anyway. I don't think too much about cost basis, except for tax decisions, since it leads to sunk cost irrationality if you're not careful.
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:54 pm

Sidney wrote:didn't GE cut their dividend last time we had a recession?


Actually I expect them to cut it back slightly. 3.7% is kind of outrageously high for a company like that - I'd rather it be under 3% and the money used for R&D or expansion. I think they are widely expected to do this so it may already be priced-in.

But their big problem in 2008 was due to GE Capital's excesses which nearly torpedoed the company. Since then they have scaled back GE Capital and limited it to financial operations more in tune with helping GE's businesses. (e.g., if some hospital wants to buy some expensive GE MRI unit GE Capital can make the financing easier.)
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Postby Lbill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:05 pm

Jeffy wrote:
It [the S&P 500] was also 1100 in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010

Sometimes the required time period for buy-and-hold to work as advertised begins to suggest that the market can stay down longer than one can stay alive.
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Postby gkaplan » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:35 pm

Yawn
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Postby kerplunk » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:42 pm

I'm annoyed at this economy.
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Postby Lbill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:41 pm

DOW finished down 391. We'll see tomorrow if players want to hold stocks into the weekend with Europe ready to tank - I'm guessing No.
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Postby plnelson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:56 pm

Lbill wrote:DOW finished down 391. We'll see tomorrow if players want to hold stocks into the weekend with Europe ready to tank - I'm guessing No.


I believe in "buy on bad news, sell on good." You seem to be advocating "sell on bad news". When do you suggest investors should buy?
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Postby Manbaerpig » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:54 pm

a quarter or so before the turnaround

good luck identifying this
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Postby LazyNihilist » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:35 pm

Are the markets afraid about 'Faster than light' traveling neutrinos? :lol:
The only problem is Entropy, leading to the eventual heat death of the universe. [Seen on /.]
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Postby stratton » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:05 pm

Panic!

Paul
...and then Buffy staked Edward. The end.
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Postby woof755 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:06 pm

It's not fair to make fun of the media, specifically its constant need to explain why the markets are down...even on days that the Dow actually reverses and ends higher.

But we make fun of them anyways, and Ezra Klein from WaPo adds his take:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-are-the-markets-down-today-no-reason/2011/08/25/gIQAVDvPoK_blog.html?wprss=ezra-klein
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
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