Nobody Nose Nuthin: Investing Like the Pros

When went to our all-online format last year, I started to work on a new series of regular columns discussing common sense advice on the topic of personal finance and investing. Each time I got halfway through writing an article the financial markets went into a major upheaval, leaving my words of wisdom out of date and out of the current context.

Thinking back to the early months of year 2000, it was impossible to predict the rough ride we were to experience. At no point during those 18-20 months has the turmoil settled long enough for a level-headed appraisal of how to learn from the recent cycle of boom and bust.

EZ Duzzit

A few clear choices emerge when you squeeze the chaos through a sieve of moderate risk and long-term returns. If short-term winnings are your intention, try Las Vegas. To maximize eventual growth and gain, you should not have to endure very much pain.

John Bogle of the Vanguard Group surprised me 20 years ago, just as I was becoming interested in no load stock mutual funds. He stated emphatically that he put all his personal Individual Retirement Account money into the Vanguard Index 500 Fund because of its low fees and high correlation to eventual market gains.

I took a different path, based on my hunch that intelligent full-time investment professionals could consistently beat the market. At any given time during the past 20 years either Bogle or Nemo were correct, but the smarter money is now placed on index funds.

Absolute Truths

A few absolutes exist in the world of investing, and they are worth repeating:

  • THE MARKET HAS NO MEMORY, and it doesn’t care about the price you paid for a particular investment.
  • DON’T LOVE YOUR STOCKS, because they won’t love you in return.
  • LOW FEES ARE BETTER THAN HIGH FEES, and this rule becomes stronger over longer periods of time.
  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK, and don’t invest in anything you don’t understand and can’t explain to the grade school kids playing soccer on your lawn.
  • MOST ADVICE IS WORTHLESS, or worth no more than what it costs you to receive it.
  • EVERYBODY LOSES MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET, but some people also gain money and can be considered successful.Those gems are sufficient for this opening chapter. If you are interested in additional articles on personal finance and investing, drop me a line.

    URL Be Smarter

    With your Macintosh and Internet connection you have access to the best ever free sources of information to help you invest your hard-earned dough. There are thousands of “helpful” sites, and my favorite is the most obvious: Yahoo! Finance.

    Go to, follow a few links, bookmark several sites, and force yourself to do something else after an hour. You can always come back tomorrow, because the financial markets never go away.

    Keep in mind you need to take a “shake-break” every 20 minutes to get up and move around the room for five minutes, regardless of your computer activity.

    I need to hurry and post this article before something new and drastic happens. Stay tuned for more on the subject. Bye for now,


    John Nemerovski

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