Are You Falling for Fake News?
The headlines read like this:
"How to Beat the Market," "7 Stocks You Could Buy to Beat the Market," "Five Steps to Beating the Market,"
And my personal favorite, "How to Beat the Stock Market - A Guide to Outperform the Market."
Google it. It's a thing.
Let's step back and talk about what beating the market really means. What we're talking about is investing in something - a stock, a mutual fund(s), etc. - that has a better return than investing broadly in the stock market through, say, an index like the S&P 500.
When we talk about beating the market, we are asking ourselves or someone else to successfully accomplish a few things:
Time the market
Generate a fair amount of luck
Investment fees and taxes - things all investors pay - also eat into our returns. The reality and evidence tells us that, over time, this simply isn't a fair fight. Too many factors work against us when we try to beat the market over a long period of time (see above). And this makes beating the market consistently a very risky proposition.
Those factors are all well and good and if all things were equal, those would be the only pieces we would worry about. But they're not. At least not in my world. Our behavior is probably the biggest detriment to our ability, as investors, to beat the market. You can read more here, here, & here.
If we can change and/or manage our behavior, our odds of being successful investors improve. This means paying less attention to the financial news. Less attention to the talking heads on TV. Less attention to what others around us are doing with their investments. It means, yes, we have to have fortitude and conviction when the markets go down. We have to BEHAVE and let the markets do what they do. We can't be speculators or gamblers. We have to be investors for the long term.
Are you trying to beat the market?
What are you doing to improve your investor behavior?
Are the decisions in your personal life reflective of the decisions in your financial life?