The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Market

investing agony and ecstacyThat’s right we are talking about investing and not romance. We recently came across two people. One is a trader who retired at 55 from an asset management firm in Canada. He starts his day at 6.00 AM and ends at 4.30 PM and spends that entire time managing his portfolio. While most of us may not have a portfolio of a size that takes so much time, managing money takes effort. And then there are the automated trading machines and trades that leave the little investor in the dust. What’s a little guy to do? That’s the first story.

The Other Side of the Story

The second story is about an actor that bought 15 shares of Facebook at $38 at its IPO. The Facebook stock ride has been well documented over tears in beers. Firms have been shorting it, analysts have been lambasting it, but guess what? Facebook’s recent success in mobile advertising had its stock skyrocket all the way to … you guessed it, the IPO price of $38. The said actor, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, was unmoved. Actors need supplemental income as they wait for the big league. He was hoping to turn a quick profit of a few thousand bucks. Instead, he is running in place and not on a treadmill that will keep him physically fit for auditions. He is quoted as saying that he would not consider the stock market any more and invest in real estate instead.

It’s a tough place for the regular retail investor. If you don’t have the fortitude to be a day trader, then you have to take your money to a money manager who will accept something short of gargantuan, shut your eyes and hope for the best. If you don’t have nerves of steel, you will need to load up on the drink of your choice and Tums to match the dizzying rise and fall of your portfolio.

Real Estate isn’t the perfect answer but it is a standing real asset that doesn’t change value day to day over some interpretation of Mr. Bernanke’s comments. It doesn’t have the liquidity of the market, but if bought right it can make you some money.

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