Have you been listening to the talking heads on CNBC-TV? Or those talk radio stock experts? Getting all those good recommendations on what to buy now. Now?
Those guys keep telling me the market is oversold. It can’t go any lower. (But it does.) I bet your broker has some hot tips for you too. Advice from a broker is a eulogy for your money. I don’t think he has told you about the one position you should have in your account right now. It’s a nasty four letter word to him – CASH. In a money market fund it will make you about 5%, maybe 6% and that is better than the bloodletting going on in the market.
There is an old saying – “When in doubt, get out”. And right now everything is in doubt. The “experts” are confused as one says ‘recession’, another says ‘hard landing’, another ‘soft landing’, ‘buy’, and no one says ‘sell’. That last word is a ‘no-no’ on Wall Street. Less than 3% of all brokerage recommendations are sells. They are afraid they will offend the company and won’t be able to talk to the CEO any more. Hey, what about us customers out here? We are the ones who are paying the bills.
Garrett van Wagoner of the Van Wagoner family of funds said he follows 5,200 Nasdaq stocks and that more than 1,000 of them have lost 90% of their value and 200 have dropped over 99% in value. Yes, he says there are some great values out there, but he doesn’t say which ones or when to buy. I’d like to ask him if he was smart enough to sell some of those puppies before they hit bottom.
The stock market mavens think they are market makers, but they are more like weather meteorologists who predict but cannot manipulate the weather. When the weatherman is wrong you get wet. When the stock experts are wrong you get soaked.
As I have said in past columns there is no hope that Nasdaq will go back to the 5000 level for many, many years. Ten years would be my closest guess. There are too many stocks being held by investors who are waiting for a rally up so they can get out “even”. This kind of thinking keeps you poor. Your money is tied up in a stock that will never perform when it could be some place else making you a profit. There is always some dummy out there who will buy your garbage.
We are having a bargain basement sale now in the stock market. Most of it is something no one wants. Ever been to a garage sale? Can their junk be your treasure? There will be plenty of time to buy, but now is not the time to go shopping.