Blogs > Your Money

Dave Patterson and Erin Preston, a father-daughter team of Certified Financial Planner® licensees, provide thoughts and suggestions on a broad collection of personal finance topics.  Information provided in this BLOG is intended to be of a general nature and may not be appropriate for all situations.  Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before relying on any information contained herein.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Here We Go Again

Today the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 166.13 points or 1.39 percent. The Nasdaq was down 68.39 points or 2.48 percent. The S&P 500 was down 1.79 percent. The reported reason: the unrest in Egypt and concern about interruption in the oil markets.

Just when everyone thinks things are getting better, some unexpected event occurs to create more uncertainty. I’m sure there are some out there who predicted the turmoil in Tunisia but most people didn’t see it coming. And even if they did, would they have also predicted what is now happening in Egypt? And would they have been so confident of what the world reaction would be that they would have adjusted their portfolios accordingly, in order to take advantage of what was about to happen?

If you assume there were some who were able to see this all coming and profit from it, did they also see the recent rise in the market that took us to nearly 12000 on the Dow this last week? Let’s suppose you were able to anticipate all of the above events. Are you also confident about what’s going to happen next? We sure aren’t. Things could easily get worse in the Mideast or they could quiet down and we could see a return to a slowly rising Dow as our economy makes a steady but slow recovery. Or, our economy might take a double-dip as interest rates and inflation rise as a result of our mounting debt.

Just about the time you think you know what’s best to do in the market to make a killing, a Tunisia-Egypt crisis, a BP oil spill, an Exxon Valdez accident, a tech-stock bubble, a housing crisis, natural disaster or what have you occurs unexpectedly. You can’t time the market. Stay broadly diversified and rebalance your portfolio regularly. You can’t time the market!


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