Even the Super-fans Are Jumping Ship

Imagine you’re at an NFL game, great seats, among a pack of fans cheering for your team. Suddenly, the leader turns to face the rest of you, but instead of starting the cheer he shouts, “Let’s go home; they’re playing crummy ball this year!”  He can no longer endure watching your (and, till now, presumably his) favorite team get trounced. As the super-fans file out, you’re shocked and shaken.

This has to be akin to how stock-market investors felt when they read a recent report by J.P. Morgan Equity Analyst, Mislav Matejka, in which he recommended investors “Sell any rally.”   Holy cow! Could this possibly be a misprint?  Didn’t he mean to write, “Buy any dip”?  Isn’t that the robo-wisdom stock analysts always recommend in a weak or falling stock market?

Yes, that’s the conventional wisdom.  But these aren’t conventional times.  Corporate earnings are paltry, and the manufacturing sector is far too dependent on the tanking price of oil.  What’s even more alarming is the observation made by David Kostin, Goldman Sachs’ Chief Equity Strategist quoted in the same article:  “Dividends have accounted for seventy-eight percent of the market’s total return since 1965.”

Will markets turn around?  Maybe…maybe not.  One thing’s for sure though: If you’re over fifty, you don’t have time to play a waiting game.  And you certainly don’t have time to get good at a game at which the professionals have thrown up their hands – stock picking.

And don’t think a financial planner (to whom you’ll pay a hefty fee) is any better than professional equity analysts at finding “safe” stocks for you.  Value stocks, growth stocks, momentum stocks – they’re all vulnerable right now; and if J.P. Morgan equity analysts can’t see any light at the end of that dark tunnel, and that’s their business – it may be lights out.

That’s why an increasing number of experts are united: if there’s a bump in price of one of your stronger stocks, sell it and put those elusive profits where a thrashing market can’t obliterate them.

Now’s the time you have to concentrate on assets that hold their value for you over the long haul.  Why I advocate for precious metals? Because when you purchase gold coins, you don’t have to obsess over their price day by day as you do with stocks.  Once you make the decision to invest in gold – either for direct possession or through a gold IRA, you can let inevitable falling stock market prices and the slipping value of the U.S. dollar be just background noise as you go about the business of living your life.  When you’re prepared, other people’s disasters aren’t your headaches.