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Financial Stuff You Don't Need to Know

Did the Hang Seng move higher overnight?  Where are the Dow futures? What’s the latest new home sales and government crude oil inventory data?  Are the latest earnings weighing on healthcare and industrials?  By the way, what’s the probability the FOMC raises rates this quarter?

Had enough already?  My answer to those and most market and economic related questions is:  Who cares.  All nice to know…stuff to impress your friends with at happy hour…but will have next to no bearing on your long-term success with finances.

But your reaction to the crisis du jour will.  Are you going to fall for the head fake…or keep your head down and stick to your long-term plan.

Come on…mutual funds are not designed to be traded in the short-term.  And isn’t that what you have in your 401k…mutual funds?  So stop trying to time the market with them.  

And trying to pick up clues about the economy by reading between the lines of the Fed’s meeting notes is like trying to forecast a Florida thunderstorm on a summer afternoon.  Maybe it will, maybe it won’t…either way it won’t last long.

Turn off the business channel for a spell.  They’re in business to get eyeballs, and they get your eyeballs by making you believe there’s something you need to take action on everyday.  If they said “Hey, nothing to see here.  You’re better off not trying to time the market”, you’d have no reason to watch their parade of economists.

I’ve always liked this quote from John Kenneth Galbraith, an economist, who said “The function of economic forecasters is to make astrology look respectable”