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Greetings, raackerman, and welcome. You asked:

I have been out of the market since just before the high in July. I got out because I was scared by the news from Japan & Russia. How can we tell when the bottom arrives and it is time to buy back in? I feel foolish for asking, but I really need advice.

If one could tell the highs and lows of the market with any degree of consistency, we could all be billionaires by next month. IMHO there's never a "right" time to be in the market, only a "wrong" time to be out of it. The University of Michigan published a study looking at the market from the 1960's to the end of 1996, some thirty years. It concluded that had someone been out of the market on just 20-some-odd days of all the trading days in that period, instead of ending up with a 10% annualized return they would have a little over 2%. When the market moves, it m-o-v-e-s. And trying to predict it with precision is next to impossible. When should you buy back in? Only you can decide. Me? I never left, and never intend to, either, with all my money.


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