A clear, simple, and sensible approach to investing

"The stock market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient."

 

Warren Buffet

Investing in the stock market isn’t a frill

 

Almost everyone should be investing at least some of their savings in the stock market. With interest rates so low, money sitting in savings accounts and GICs earns next to nothing. At the same time, inflation erodes the buying power of that money, making those savings less and less valuable as the years go by. 

 

Investing can be very simple

 

Investing has often been characterized as complicated. Some people do make it complicated- very complicated - but it doesn’t have to be that way. The concept of investing in publicly-traded companies that operate real businesses and benefiting from their success is simple. It's available to anyone with $25 to invest. One easy and accessible way to get into the stock market is through exchange traded funds. The beauty of ETFs is that you can choose just a few, invest your money, and leave it alone. It's that simple.

 

Don't try and predict where the market is going - just get invested

 

Trying to time the market is a pointless game. I was an active investor for more than 15 years, and spent most of that time picking stocks and trying to figure out when to buy them and when to sell them. I’ve read countless predictions about where the market is going. At any given time, you can usually find one “expert” who says the market is going up and one who says it’s going down. There’s usually a good argument for both views. No one (and I mean no one) ever knows. So don’t debate whether you should invest now or wait until after the impending crash. The longer your money is in the market, the better. 

In my first job at TD in 1997, I worked in a bank branch. One of the things I did was sell mutual funds. I loved that part of my job, but I wondered how people figured out how to know whether the market was going to go up or down. Should I get invested now, or wait? I came across this cartoon and it followed me through a 24 year career in finance. In every job, it was pinned or taped where I could see it. It reminded me that even the best and smartest investors cannot predict the market - and I shouldn't either. 

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