Through the Lens of an Investor

Sometimes life is funny, like when you give a blog post a title without realizing until after that it was subconsciously inspired by what got you to write the post.  This post, for example, was inspired by some of the lively discussion that happens on Digital Photography Review, better known by its web address dpreview.com, and of course a lens is an integral part of photography.  Title explanation aside, dpreview.com started in 1999 as one of the first sites and arguably now the largest site devoted to digital photography.  A large number of site viewers also use Adobe products like the ubiquitous Photoshop and Lightroom.  Therefore, dpreview posts news articles like the June 19 one about Adobe’s recent record-breaking Q2 (second quarter) results, but that’s when the article discussion can get very interesting – and heated.

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The Most Stressful Thing About Buying a Stock

I hope that what I’m about to share will help you recognize possibly the greatest reason why people lose money in the stock market.  If you can overcome this hurdle, I’m confident that you can experience long-term success as a stock investor.  Why I’m so confident is because I’ve had to overcome this same hurdle myself not just once, but every time I buy new shares in a stock and often with very good long-term results.  One of those times occurred recently and it served as the inspiration to write about this.

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An Example of Ignoring the Noise

Jack (John) Bogle is no stranger to the stock market.  In fact, his career has witnessed all of the market’s ups-and-downs over the past 66 years.  He is the father of the index mutual fund and the champion of the individual investor, and he started the famous Vanguard Group mutual fund company in 1974.  When he retired from his role in 1999, Fortune magazine named him one of the four “investment giants” of the 20th century.

The bottom line is that Mr. Bogle certainly knows a thing or two about the nature of the market.  A couple of his most famous quotes are rather interesting given the recent volatility in the markets:

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Gambling in Stocks or Investing in Companies?

Several years ago I was in a training seminar and the speaker, who was an engineer with an attitude, an edge about him, was talking about the properties of concrete.  At one point he got very passionate as he explained how you should never call it “cement”.  In fact, he got pretty irate as he lamented how uninformed people call it cement, emphasizing how cement is only one of the ingredients of concrete and not concrete itself.  He said that this would be the same as calling a cookie “flour” when flour is only one of the ingredients of a cookie and not a cookie itself.

The same idea can be applied to all the investment gurus and everyday people out there who use the word “stocks” nearly all the time as their way of referring to companies that trade shares on stock exchanges.  So as not to be labeled a hypocrite, I freely admit that I do this often throughout this blog without first thinking.

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Adventure or Ordeal? Depends Upon Your Perspective

If you were to do an online search for the top ten fears/phobias that people have, nearly every list contains two that relate to a similar thing.  One of the phobias is almost always near the top of the list and that is the fear of heights.  Usually not much farther down the list is the more specific fear of flying.  In other words, there’s something about human nature that has a fear of being too far off the ground.

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Should Christians Buy Stocks?

The title of this post might appear to target a narrow audience, but it also applies to any person of any belief system who thinks that there is some inherent wrong or evil with seeking to earn a return on money through investing it, especially in something as misunderstood as the stock market.  Therefore, it seems as though this is an audience that could benefit from some clarification about the subject.

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Stock Market Myths – Don’t Believe the Hype!

How many of you reading this have known somebody who has lost money in the stock market?  How many of you have lost money yourself?

A recent realization came to mind about how unusual it is for a blog like this – or any other article related to personal finance – to be believing in and promoting the potential of the stock market at a time when public perception and confidence in it is perhaps at one of its all-time lows.  After all, the years 2001 and 2008 were not that long ago and they marked two of the biggest, most recent dramatic corrections in the value of the stock market within the last century.  Some of you may know people whose retirement savings vanished into thin-air as a result.  Some of you may have been one of these people and maybe can’t understand why you’re even reading an article like this.

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