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Subject:  Thinking About Bond-Investing Date:  9/27/2012  2:10 PM
Author:  trader2012 Number:  34415 of 35625

Today quickly proved to be a waste of time for shopping. I ran some scan, just as I do every day the market is open. But I just couldn’t find an edge, and the best thing to do when you realize that is happening is to back away. You’ve got money in your pockets, just waiting to be spent. But if you’re having to force the trade, the trade isn’t worth doing. Instead, the far better thing is to step back and do some review. There’s an interesting post on TMF’s home page that is horribly mis-titled, “Should You Sell Everything? Here's How to Know”. The real value of Beyer’s post comes in the final paragraphs.

As I think back, I’d say 2003 was my best year of investing. No, it's not the year I put up my best numerical performance …Rather, it's the year I started thinking -- I mean really thinking -- about how I might sustainably beat the market.

Taking the time to figure out a process was important. I learned how to score myself and along the way developed basic buying and selling rules I still abide by. Sure, I've tuned my process over the past decade, but not so much that the investor I was then would find me unrecognizable today.

Which brings us back to the question posed in the headline. Should you sell everything? If you've yet to develop a philosophy and process that works for you intellectually and financially, then I say yes. Sell it all. Refocus on who you are, what you know, and what you want to achieve as an investor. Study the masters. Pick a style that fits your personality, even if that style is simple indexing.

I’d agree that doing the financial equivalent of burning down one’s house could provide the impetus to begin anew, unencumbered by past mistakes now sitting in one’s portfolio, and now, while prices are at historic highs, wouldn’t be a disadvantageous time to do some pruning. But don’t throw out the proverbial baby with the bath just yet, not at least until you’ve done the review and refocusing that the posts urges.

For all practical purposes, the only differences between ‘investing’ and ‘gambling’ are the spellings of the two words. In both cases, you’re making bets about unknowable future events. This isn’t to say there aren’t better and worse ways to be making those bets, so that whatever securities casino you’ve chosen to gamble in (i.e., the stock market, the bo