Keeping Your Sanity in a Market Storm

In another post, I compared the nature of the stock market to an ocean.  Well, days like today are much like the waves on an ocean and also the weather outside my window, very turbulent and unsettled.  In fact, I would say that the market today is quite irrational compared to anything else in recent memory.  For example, how else can you explain stalwart Disney (DIS) making the 2-day drop that it has with really an insignificant misunderstanding in its quarterly report regarding ESPN while the financial disaster known as 3D Systems (DDD) surges over 15% on yet another lousy quarterly report?

I’ll have to admit that days like this that can be hard on me, but only when I start focusing on the trees instead of the forest.  Here are some things that help keep my mind off of the weirdness of days like this and back onto the long-term picture:

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Being a Canadian Investor in the U.S. Market

The great turn-around in my stock portfolio began almost two years ago after I subscribed to an investing advice service that featured mostly American stocks.  Having experienced my losing ways in Canadian-only stocks, I figured with this fresh start that I would jump into owning stock in American companies, or at least stocks listed on the American exchanges even if some companies were Canadian-based.  Not that Canadian stocks were bad, but I was looking for a fresh start, so it was a psychological move more than anything.  Plus, I was excited about the opportunity to own some of my favorite American companies – some of the largest and most dynamic in the world – since I had also figured out how to do this using my online investing site.

With quality recommendations in hand, I eagerly started re-building my tattered, losing portfolio into the much stronger portfolio that it is currently.

Here are some things I’ve learned about being a Canadian investor in the U.S. market for the benefit of my fellow Canucks!

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Should You Really Invest in Stocks?

I have a friend who, a few years ago, asked me if he should “get into” stock investing.  At the time, I was still wallowing in my losing ways, “gambling” with stocks as I describe in some of my other posts.  My paraphrased reply was:  ‘No, I don’t think you should.  But if you think you really have to, just do the opposite of what I’ve done and you should do just fine!’

What you’ll also read in some of my other posts is how my once-sinking ship has made a drastic turn-around, thanks in large part to subscribing to (and following the advice of!) a couple of stock-investing-advice services with great track records.  And so now, if somebody was to ask me the same question, I would answer an emphatic “Yes!” because I’ve learned that the stock market is not the monster so many people make it out to be once they understand it.

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What if You Have a Stock that Doubles?

My previous post dealt with one of the most vexing questions that the stock investor has to deal with, namely the right time to buy a stock.  Now I’ll tackle the other question by listing some ideas about when to sell a stock.  Even though I’ll be exploring this in the context of a stock that’s doubled in price, a lot of what I discuss can be applied no matter what the stock’s current price is.

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When is the Right Time to Buy a Stock?

This is one of the two most vexing questions that the stock investor has to deal with.  The other one, of course, wrestles with the right time to sell a stock.  Some investors will struggle more with buying than selling, some vice-versa, whereas others will struggle with both, and the super-human investor will have no problem with either!

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