Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
How Much CHIA Coins Profit from 100 Plot 10tb Farm? Hard Drive Space Mining - 13th May 21
Stock Market Bulls Getting Caught in the Whirlwind - 13th May 21
Legoland Windsor Mini land and Sky Train Virtual Tour in VR 360 - UK London Holidays 2021 - 13th May 21
Peak Growth and Inflation - 13th May 21
Where’s The Fed? Watch Precious Metals For Signs Of Inflation Panic - 13th May 21
Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
India Covid Apocalypse Heralds Catastrophe for Pakistan and Bangladesh - 13th May 21
TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
Gold Price During Hyperinflation - 12th May 21
Stock Market Extending Phase Two? - 12th May 21
Crypto 101 for new traders – ETH or BTC? - 12th May 21
Stock Market Enters Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast Time Window - 11th May 21
GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
Cathy Wood Bubble Bursts as ARK Funds CRASH! Enter into a Severe Bear Market - 11th May 21
Apply This Technique to Stop Rushing into Trades - 10th May 21
Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
CHIA Getting Started SSD Crypto Mining by Plotting and Farming on Your Hard Drives Guide - 9th May 21
Yaheetech Mesh Best Cheap Computer /. Gaming Chairs on Amazon Review - 9th May 21
Breaking US Trade Embargo with Cuba - Build 7 Computers in 14 Hours Before Ship Sales Challenge - 9th May 21
Dripcoin Applies New Technology That Provides Faster Order Execution - 9th May 21
Capital Gains Tax Hike News: Was It REALLY to Blame for Sell-off? - 7th May 21
Stock Market Transportation Index Continues To Grind Higher - 7th May 21
SPX Stock Market Correction Arriving or Not? - 7th May 21
How to Invest in an Online Casino? - 7th May 21
Gold & Silver Begin New Advancing Cycle Phase - 6th May 21
Vaccine Economic Boom and Bust - 6th May 21
USDX, Gold Miners: The Lion and the Jackals - 6th May 21
What If You Turn Off Your PC During Windows Update? Stuck on Automatic Repair Nightmare! - 6th May 21
4 Insurance Policies You Should Consider Buying - 6th May 21
Fed Taper Smoke and Mirrors - 5th May 21
Global Economic Recovery 2021 and the Dark Legacies of Smoot-Hawley - 5th May 21
Utility Stocks Continue To Rally – Sending A Warning Signal Yet? - 5th May 21
ROIMAX Trading Platform Review - 5th May 21
Gas and Electricity Price Trends so far in 2021 for the United Kingdom - 5th May 21
Crypto Bubble Mania Free Money GPU Mining With NiceHash Continues... - 4th May 21
Stock Market SPX Short-term Correction - 4th May 21
Gold & Silver Wait Their Turn to Ride the Inflationary Wave - 4th May 21
Gold Can’t Wait to Fall – Even Without USDX’s Help - 4th May 21
Stock Market Investor Psychology: Here are 2 Rare Traits Now on Display - 4th May 21
Sheffield Peoples Referendum May 6th Local Elections 2021 - Vote for Committee Decision's or Dictatorship - 4th May 21
AlphaLive Brings Out Latest Trading App for Android - 4th May 21
India Covid-19 Apocalypse Heralds Catastrophe for Pakistan & Bangladesh, Covid in Italy August 2019! - 3rd May 21
Why Ryzen PBO Overclock is Better than ALL Core Under Volting - 5950x, 5900x, 5800x, 5600x Despite Benchmarks - 3rd May 21
MMT: Medieval Monetary Theory - 3rd May 21
Magical Flowering Budgies Bird of Paradise Indoor Grape Vine Flying Fun in VR 3D 180 UK - 3rd May 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Why FOMO Is Every Stock Investor’s Worst Enemy

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2014 May 28, 2014 - 05:56 PM GMT

By: Casey_Research

Stock-Markets

By Dan Steinhart, Managing Editor, The Casey Report

FOMO.

I heard this acronym on a podcast last week. Having no clue what it meant, I consulted Google.

Turns out it stands for “Fear of Missing Out.” Kids use it to describe their anxiety about missing a social event that all of their friends are attending.


It struck me that investors experience FOMO too. And it usually leads to bad decisions.

From Prudent to FOMO

In the comfort of your home office, investing rationally is pretty easy. You think a bull market might be emerging, so you invest in the S&P 500.

But you’re not stupid. No one really knows where the stock market is headed, so you keep a healthy allocation of cash on the side to deploy the next time stocks trade at bargain prices. A prudent, rational plan.

But leave the house and things start to change. You notice that others seem to be making more money than you. First it’s the “smart money” raking in the dough—those who had the foresight and fortitude to buy during the last panic, when everyone else was retreating. You’re OK with that. Investing is their full-time job. You can’t expect to compete with them.

But as the bull market charges higher, the caliber of people making more money than you sinks lower. The mailman starts giving you stock tips. And your gardener’s brand-new Mustang, parked in your driveway just behind your sensible, 2011 Toyota Corolla, starts to irritate you.

Your brother-in-law is the last straw. He thinks he’s so smart, but he’s really just lucky to somehow always be in the right place at the right time. I mean, just last month you had to pick him up from a NASCAR tailgate after security kicked him out for lewd behavior—and now he’s taking the family to Europe with his stock market winnings?

If that guy can make $30,000 in the market in six months, you should be a millionaire.

Now you feel like a sucker for holding so much cash. Why earn a pitiful 0.5% interest when you could be making… hang on, how much did the S&P 500 gain last year? 29.6%?

Some quick extrapolation shows that if you invest all of your cash right now, you can retire by 2023. Factor in a couple family trips to Europe, and we’ll call it 2024 to be safe.

Cash Is Trash… Until It’s King

Such is the (slightly exaggerated) psychology of a bull market. FOMO is a powerful motivator and causes smart investors to do stupid things, like go all-in at the worst possible moment. Which is no small concern, since it undermines one of the most powerful investment strategies: keeping liquid cash in reserve to invest during market panics.

Take the roaring ‘20s as a long-ago but pertinent example. The surging stock market of that era caused a whole lot of FOMO. Seeing their friends get rich, people who had never invested before piled into stocks.

Of course, we know how that ended.

But there’s a fascinating angle that you may not have given much thought. I hadn’t until yesterday, when I finished reading The Great Depression: A Diary. It’s a firsthand, anecdotal account written by attorney Benjamin Roth.

Roth emphasized that during the Great Depression, everyone knew financial assets were great bargains. The problem was hardly anyone had cash to take advantage of them.

Here are a few quotes from the book:

August 1931: I see now how very important it is for the professional man to build up a surplus in normal times. A surplus capital of $2,500 wisely invested during the depression might have meant financial security for the rest of his life. Without it he is at the mercy of the economic winds.

December 1931: It is generally believed that good stocks and bonds can now be bought at very attractive prices. The difficulty is that nobody has the cash to buy.

September 1932: I believe it can be truly said that the man who has money during this depression to invest in the highest grade investment stocks and can hold on for 2 or 3 years will be the rich man of 1935.

June 1933: I am afraid the opportunity to buy a fortune in stocks at about 10¢ on the dollar is past and so far I have been unable to take advantage of it.

July 1933: Again and again during this depression it is driven home to me that opportunity is a stern goddess who passes up those who are unprepared with liquid capital.

May 1937: The greatest chance in a lifetime to build a fortune has gone and will probably not come again soon. Very few people had any surplus to invest—it was a matter of earning enough to buy the necessaries of life.

In short, by succumbing to FOMO and investing all your cash, you might be giving up the opportunity to make a literal fortune. You can’t shoot fish in a barrel without ammunition.

Of course, the parallels from the Great Depression to present-day crises aren’t exact. The US was on the gold standard back then, meaning the Fed couldn’t conjure money out of thin air to reflate stock prices. Such a nationwide shortage of cash is unthinkable today, as Yellen & Friends would create however many dollars necessary to prevent stocks from plummeting 90%, as they did during the Great Depression.

That’s exactly what happened during the 2008 financial crisis, as you can see below. The Fed injected liquidity, and stocks rebounded rapidly. Compared to the Great Depression, the stock market crash of 2008 was short and sweet:

What does that mean for modern investors?

When the next crisis comes—and it will—there will be bargains. But because of the Fed’s quick trigger, investors will have to act decisively to get a piece of them.

What’s more, now that the US government has demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that it will prop up the economy, bargains should dissipate even quicker next time around. After all, the hardest part of buying stocks in a crisis is overcoming fear. But that fear isn’t much of a detriment when Uncle Sam is standing by with his hand on the lever of the money-printing machine, ready to rescue the market.

Crises can creep up on you faster than you think. You may never know what hit you--unless you knew what to look for ahead of time. Watch Meltdown America, the eye-opening 30-minute documentary on how to recognize (and survive) an economic crisis—with top experts including Sovereign Society Director Jeff Opdyke, investing legend Doug Casey, and Canadian National Security Council member Dr. Andre Gerolymatos.

Be prepared… it can (and will) happen here. Click here to watch Meltdown America now.

The article You Can’t Shoot Fish in a Barrel Without Ammunition was originally published at caseyresearch.com.

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Casey Research Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in