December 10, 2009

I recently did some some reporting on the debate over buy-and-hold investing vs. market timing. I’m mostly in the buy-and-hold camp. But here’s my biggest takeaway…

There are two basic sales pitches on Wall Street:

1. Stocks are always a good buy. So pay me 1.4% of your assets per year to put you in stocks.

2. Stocks are sometimes a good buy, sometimes not. Pay me 1.4% to tell you the time.

Which is right?

Neither. Stocks aren’t always a good buy, but timing is insanely difficult.

Your number one rule:

Don’t pay anything close to 1.4%. It’s likely to eat up much of your extra return even if the salesman turns out to be right.

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