Volatility and financial pundits

Tugboat 1101
Sometime ago after losing yet another “discussion” with my wife, she made her point by saying “How stupid can you be”? I replied “How stupid do you want me to be”? Because goodness knows, I can do stupid without breaking into a sweat.

I believe that my sad state of affairs must have reached the ears of the financial pundits and they obviously believe that I am not alone with this affliction. This has to be the case otherwise why would they write the things that they do. A month ago as the markets were collapsing every article seemed to be saying “Sit tight, it will get better” and “We must expect market corrections but do not worry, they always recover.” In other words be a passive investor and let the markets do with you as they will. Then when the markets appeared to have levelled off some 8% lower than their previous levels, these self- same people are saying that we now have a buying opportunity. But hang on a minute, if I had taken their advice I would be some £8000 down on every £100,000 of my investments. So where is this money going to come from to take advantage of this buying opportunity? Perhaps they are suggesting that I now reorganise my portfolio and sell the non- performers at these lower prices in order to create this cash. What a pity they did not suggest that this exercise had been completed earlier on in the market fall when prices were higher.

What a pity that these people do not recognise the value of cash as an investment in its own right in these volatile times. What a pity that they also do not acknowledge the benefits of both patience and being an active investor when the circumstances demand. A glance at the last four years of the Saltydog Tugboat portfolio performance makes this point.

I have said it before and no doubt I will say it again. If all the financial pundits in the world were laid end to end it would be no bad thing.