In The Words of Warren Buffet A bull market is like sex. It feels best before it ends. CNBC 2/27/14. Market Rewarded Those Who Stuck It Out Whenever the stock market plunges, those who are invested in it have a sickening feeling in their gut and some have the feeling they will lose everything by staying in. So some sell out and place their funds in “safer” investments. We are now into the sixth year after the nightmare of 2008 and the results are in. Those who got out lost almost 60% of their investments and continue to have painful memories and less money. Those who stayed in when the Dow reached 6,449 are much better off now that the Dow has crossed the 16,400 threshold and they, too, have painful memories. Those who got out and got back in are generally somewhere in between depending upon when they got out and when they got back in. History has shown that if you were invested in European stock in 1939 and saw the companies and their countries devastated by 1945, it took 15 years so that by 1960, the value of their investments were generally equal to the 1939 values. It is difficult to sit still, but the essence of investing is just that; find good companies that are well managed with a proven track record and the let them grow. That is an investor. A trader buys and sells in the hope of a short-term profit and is not concerned with the foregoing. Wall Street Journal 3/6/13. At Lisch Investment Management LLC, investment is our middle name. And Your Plan To Retire Is What? 38,000,000 of the 84,000,000 American households (45%) that are headed by working age people do not own any pre-tax retirement accounts. (i.e. 401(k) or IRA). National Institute on Retirement Security. Lessons From the Bull Market US stocks have bounced back to record high since the financial crisis. Here are ideas to avoid errors that cost many investors dearly during the rebound. Be Skeptical Of Experts - take their forecasts with a mound of salt. After all, current prices already reflect the sum of stock buyers’ and sellers’ opinions. The Wall Street Journal in early 2009 quoted more than a dozen strategists, financial planners, and money managers who said they expected things to get worse before they got better. Remember What Losing Felt Like - Many investors appear to be kidding themselves. Financial advisors report that some clients appear to be forgetting the intense fear they felt five years ago. Limit Your Risk Taking - Consider a smaller allocation to stocks and sticking with that allocation in good and bad times. Be Wary Of Labels - Investors who hear the phrase “bull market” might decide it is time to get in on the rally. On the other hand, investors who hear the current bull market in stocks has be running for five years might worry it will soon end. In either case, investors will do better to tune out the noise. The definition of a bull market is arbitrary and the term tells investors little about what will happen next. Question Performance - It is one of the most repeated adages in investing: Past Performances does not guarantee future results. In fact, it can be a poor guide to past results, too. Many mutual funds and investment advisors promote themselves based upon their average annual performance over the prior five years. That’s because the five-year period begins in March 2009 a month in which US stocks returned 9% as the financial crisis began to wane. In contrast, stocks lost nearly 11% in February 2009. According to Morningstar, the five-year average annual returns of more than 40 mutual funds improved by at least seven percentage points when the pages of the calendar flipped from February to March. Wall Street Journal 3/8/14 p. B10. Update On Military Discounts For Veterans In our Newsletter for September 2012, we mentioned that Lowe’s and Home Depot had an Everyday 10% Military Discount if you had a government issued Veteran’s Identification Card. Recently, Home Depot changed their policy and will only give Veterans a discount on Veteran’s Day, July 4th, and Memorial Day. Active duty military will continue to obtain the 10% everyday discount. Lowe’s continues to offer the same benefits to Active Duty Military and Veterans. I have shifted most of my business to Lowe’s. As always, if you have any questions about these or any other matters, do not hesitate to call us. Remember, We’re Here For You!