I may not post every day – but you should still be doing your due diligence

While patronizing a smalltown New England library last week, a librarian approached me to ask if I was interested in purchasing a raffle ticket for a community fundraiser.

As I gave her my $5 and filled out the required name/address info where they can contact me in case I win something, she said, “I’ve heard you talking about stocks before,” and then added with a teensy-bit of disdain detectable in her voice, “So are you a daytrader, or something?”

I hear that a lot — and in my experience, that question is usually posed with a similar inflection by women.

And 99 percent of the time, those women know very little about their own investments — if they have any.

I hate to sound like a sexist — and this is only my own personal experience — but it’s true.

On the other hand, I often find men approach me with a completely different attitude.

They’ll feel around the subject for a little while to see if I’m going to make them feel like losers, if they don’t know as much as me.

Then they’ll slowly begin to ask a question or two.

And before I know it, I have friends and friends of friends all becoming faithful readers of this forum.

Sometimes I’ll cast aside the women’s attitudes, knowing it’s coming from a place of fear, and I’ll try to give them a bit of coaching.

Other times, like last week, I’ll just hit them with a quick response:

“I don’t define my investment style. Unlike many, who have no clue what their investments are doing from one day, week, month or even year to the next — I prefer to do my homework and know precisely what’s going on with my money. Unlike some, who believe in cliché’s that the market is always going to recover and just ride the highs and the lows — I prefer to get a good sense for when the market is about to take a dive — and pull my money out — and then put my money back in when my homework shows it’s going to rebound.”

She gave the typical, “Oh, I guess I can’t argue with that” response.

Then she began to linger — she wanted to know more.

Her silly “attack first — ask questions later” manner had turned me off, so I wasn’t in the mood to start breaking things down.

But I did suggest she begin reading this forum, as well as books about investing from some authors I respect.

Just as homework requires a lot more than just reading a company’s balance sheet and quarterly reports — in today’s market, a smart investor incorporates a lot of different strategies to make money — or at least, to keep it safe.

As most of you realize, I don’t spend a great deal of time posting here, as quite frankly, I feel I’ve already laid-out the basics in other postings in this forum.

There’s only so many times I can tell people to do their homework, cost leverage their way into a position, take profits when they present themselves and to get the hell out of the way when you just can’t get a good gage on what the hell the market is doing — as in cases like those, as we had last year, I preached that I’d rather see people earning a 3% return in a CD that was keeping their money safe, than leaving it in a market that was in freefall mode and no-one-but-no-one really knew where the hell it would land.

At the same time, I sure hope many of you jumped-in a couple of months back when I began preaching that the market was, at least for the moment, in full recovery mode, and the time was right to start dipping your toes back in.

If you read my July 13 column and snapped up some Target at $37.80 — good for you — it’s closed yesterday at $44.32.

If you’ve been following the longs on my list, such as Walmart, that baby has also had a nice move up since July 13 of $47.83 to close yesterday at $51.36.

If you were buyers of those names at their lows — I sure hope you took some profits when they presented themselves.

If, on the other hand, you’ve been following my feeling that I still like McDonald’s, and predicted its recent pullback — you should have been hailing “Come to me, baby!” the lower it went, eyeing it as a great opportunity to buy at lows in preparation for that day that could very well be right around the corner when it begins to soar once more.

So, while I’m hanging my head more often these days on my Chat Live About Investments site on EAM and having fun with our TMZ-style Spotted In Boston! Site, also on EAM — I do promise to check in here from time-to-time.

Just heed the usual disclaimer: Don’t base any of your investment decisions on anything you read here. Do your own due diligence — or at least enough research to pick the right professional to do it for you.

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One Response

  1. […] you paying attention back in August when I told you that I viewed pullbacks in McDonald’s as a great buying […]

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