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Oh, I agree. If I thought I could time the market, I'd jump in and out like crazy. I tried that at the
very start of my investment career and it stunk.

And the "this dip will be long forgotten with time" school of thought does NOT apply to individual
stocks in all cases. . . . But IMHO the 'buy and hold forever no matter what" line of thinking can produce some very dangerous complacency in investors.

OK, market timing is a non-starter. But what's the alternative--when do you pull out? Nobody rings a bell and announces the start of a bear market. Try pulling out, and you're a market timer again. You've got to hang in and stay invested through the general market dips. If you can't, then your money is in the wrong place.

It sounds like you believe in buy and hold, but while keeping a close eye on your companies. If that's what you're saying, I couldn't agree more. Don't assume I'm complacent just because I'm calm. I told you, I peek a lot, probably more than I should. I spend a tremendous amount of time on The Motley Fool, and I've never heard anyone at the Fool or posters on any of their message boards say "buy and hold forever no matter what." I definitely will sell if the reason I bought a stock subsequently disappears due to fundamental changes. So would Buffett.

Balance in all things is good. I don't subsist on baloney, and I don't think anyone in this thread was suggesting living like a pauper. On the other hand, I am foregoing some things I would like now in order to put away something for retirement. No matter how much money we all have (and I'm not wealthy by any means) I would try to plan on not running out in my old age. That would burden my kids, and we've already done enough of that with Social Security, assuming it's still around. Again, good luck.

-- Paul
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