Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Year 2010: Americans on the Stock Market

I found two interesting anonymous comments on Yahoo recently:

1. "The U.S. stock market is becoming like the Japanese stock market. If you had $40,000 in the Japanese stock market in 1990, you'd have $10,000 today. [Note: I have no idea if this is true.] There's long term "investing." Expect the U.S. stock market to rally every once in awhile, and continue to fall for the next 20 or 30 years. Wall Street is just a big casino. At least you get free beer in Vegas when they take your money."

2. "How can the small investor participate with any level of confidence in a market controlled by hedge funds and other large institutional investors utilizing program trading capable of manipulating the market? Additionally, small investors make buy and sell decisions with information made available to large investors earlier in the game. Who can they turn to for objective advice and opinions? Standard & Poors? Moodys? Audited financial statements? The events of 2008 made it quite evident these were completely unreliable. How could firms like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, big banks like Wachovia, Washington Mutual and Countrywide go down the drain so quickly when just months, weeks and even days before, these institutions were considered sound investments by the "experts"?

But, first and foremost, how can anyone hold stocks believing they are investments when even the experts refer to that as a gamble or a bet? Long-term investing is dead. And while the pros may lament the departure of the small investor from the stock game, it was them who caused it to happen. This game is not played on a level field. The average person is better advised to keep their money safe. Slow growth is better than no growth or the loss of principal."

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