The Week Ahead: Investors – Look Before You Leap

By Tom Aspray The S&P 50O finally was able to close above 2100 on Thursday only to have investors shocked by a much weaker than expected jobs report. It came in at 38,000 well below most analysts expectations as one so called ‘expert” was looking for 195,000. Since the start of the bull market this pundit has been looking for higher inflation, the destruction of the dollar and an economic collapse.

I have long argued that getting your investment plan from any expert’s comments, especially those on TV, is a prescription for financial disaster. Though many will not admit it becoming a successful investor requires hard work and dedication. Unfortunately many are under the assumption that if they can just pay someone a huge chunk of money for the “real secret” little further work will be required.

Trump University wasn’t the first and won’t be the last investment program to temp gullible investors by an easy path to investing success. In the past few years one trader told me at a conference that he had just paid $40,000 to enroll in a trading program and was confident that he would succeed. I am not optimistic that things panned out as he expected.

Thanks to the internet you are now able to research the past history of any advisor or expert you are thinking about following. If they are very bullish or very bearish you want to find out whether they have had this view for a few months or a few years. In the odd chance you can’t find anything then you should start taking notes of their advice and then study them before you make a decision.

It has long been my belief that anyone who is willing to devote the time and energy can become their own expert or advisor. Of course I favor a technical rather than a fundamental approach but there are a number of fundamental analysts that have done well over the long term. In the past I have written a number of trading lessons that explain the methods that I use to determine the market’s direction as well as pick ETFs or stocks to buy or sell.

Currently many analysts remain skeptical of the current market rally. Some have been bearish since early in the year while others have been warning about the coming market crash for many years. Even though the S&P 500 did close above 2100 last week the repeated …read more

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