Never Buy Another Stock Again: The Investing Portfolio that Will Preserve Your Wealth and Your Sanity

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“Gaffen uses wit and simple language to break down the wall of lingo Wall Street puts up so investing seems mysterious and overly complex–so they can sell you something. Never Buy Another Stock Again helps investors understand how the system really works. It’s a great read for anyone with money in the market–or anyone just thinking about diving in.”

Aaron Task, Wall Street Correspondent, Host of Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance

“From his vantage ...

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Never Buy Another Stock Again: The Investing Portfolio That Will Preserve Your Wealth and Your Sanity

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Overview

“Gaffen uses wit and simple language to break down the wall of lingo Wall Street puts up so investing seems mysterious and overly complex–so they can sell you something. Never Buy Another Stock Again helps investors understand how the system really works. It’s a great read for anyone with money in the market–or anyone just thinking about diving in.”

Aaron Task, Wall Street Correspondent, Host of Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance

“From his vantage points at The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, Gaffen has had a front row seat to the madness of the dot-com bubble and crash, the run up to the 2007 peak, and the 2008-2009 crash. His readers are rewarded with intelligent and insightful commentary on markets, investing, and the madness of crowds. Gaffen brings the same smart approach to this book, Never Buy Another Stock Again.”

Barry Ritholtz, Author of Bailout Nation and Founder of The Big Picture blog

Stop Buying Stocks!

  • An investing strategy for people sick of individual stocks
  • Why buying stocks is an even worse strategy than you thought
  • How to cut costs and risks, earn solid returns, and sleep at night
  • By top Reuters financial journalist David Gaffen, founder of The Wall Street Journal’s MarketBeat

Millions of people have sacrificed their futures to disastrous stock performance. But you don’t have to “suck it up” and accept massive losses. Never Buy Another Stock Again offers you a common-sense approach to investing that helps you earn solid returns with less cost, less risk, and less fear.

Top financial journalist David Gaffen identifies portfolio components and asset classes that make sense when individual stocks don’t…shows how to avoid trendy new investments that are just as bad as stocks…and helps you use cash wisely, carefully profit from ETFs and index funds, and offset the risks of any stocks you choose to keep.

Want to build wealth that won’t be washed away by the next stock price collapse? Never Buy Another Stock Again!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137071555
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 12/7/2010
  • Pages: 241
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David Gaffen has been covering the ups-and-downs of the financial markets for 15 years. He is currently an editor at Reuters, overseeing a team that reports on the stocks, bonds and foreign exchange markets. He was the founding writer and editor of the Wall Street Journal’s MarketBeat blog, which he wrote for more than three years, and was nominated for an Editor and Publisher Eppy Award. He has made numerous TV and radio appearances, including Fox Business, CNN International, and NPR. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and two children.

While this book was written during his tenure as a Reuters editor, Reuters has not been involved with the content or tone of this book, which are his responsibility alone.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction

I come from a family of careful investors. There’s a theory that people who have not experienced the kind of hardships that Americans faced throughout the Great Depression are more cavalier with their money, but that didn’t extend to my family. At the end of every month, I take my spare change, put it into paper coin rolls, and deposit them at the bank, a habit learned from my grandfather. He was one of the all-time great penny-pinchers, who did suffer through the Depression.

But many in recent years forgot about the past—and they repeated it in horrific fashion. Investors with little or no experience in markets were lured into investing in stocks after more than two decades of terrific gains in the equity market, and they got their head handed to them after tech stocks tanked in the early part of the 2000s and the rest of the market was destroyed in the last part of the decade. Stocks have since come back dramatically and then faltered again, leaving many investors wondering just what to do and whether they’d do better just to leave their money under the mattress.

I didn’t write this book to validate your feelings of fear. I’ve been watching and investing in markets for 15 years as a financial reporter and editor. I think I’ve learned a few things, but much of what I’ve learned hasn’t been emphasized by big brokerages or popular media.

I originated, and for three years was the primary writer of, the Wall Street Journal’s MarketBeat blog, one of the most popular blogs on WSJ.com’s Web site. Now I work as an editor at the newswire Reuters overseeing the markets group, so I have a close eye on the ups and downs of the volatile stock market. I’ve come to understand that most investors don’t adequately understand the risks embedded in the stock market, and I’m here to try to explain some of them. In the years I’ve been writing about markets during my years at TheStreet.com, the Wall Street Journal, and now Reuters, I’ve met many investors who thought they had it all figured out, and I’ve also known many who understood the market was an unforgiving beast that could move against them at any time. Those who kept their guard up did better.

In reality, much of the best advice doesn’t stray far from my grandfather’s desk in his basement, where I watched him as he hunched over, meticulously putting quarters into rolls.

As someone who has been monitoring the markets for the better part of 15 years, I can say for sure that stocks are not the best—and sometimes one of the worst asset classes, because there are times when the stock market, when taking out transaction costs, management fees, and inflation, really does not give you much at all. But this book is not about finding some kind of new way to avoid the asset class that has been the mainstay of investing for decades, because stocks have provided strong returns overall that other investments, like bonds, cannot match.

This book has another purpose: To let you know you don’t have to bother with individual stocks at all. Those investors who aren’t willing, or do not have the time, to adequately research individual stocks in the equity market should start instead with index funds. Stocks can’t be ignored completely, and to stick your head in the sand and pretend you’re going to fund your retirement with bonds and not much else would be just as foolish as relentlessly buying equities no matter how bad the selloff.

Along with that, this book will show how a little bit of flexibility and common sense can go a long way to preserving your assets. And keeping your itchy fingers away from the keyboard will help prevent you from ruining your returns with excessive trading while increasing your anxiety. Because if trading costs and management fees are going to kill your returns, it makes the most sense that you should try to cut those down to as little as possible. Thankfully, there are ways to do this.

I’m going to focus on getting you to put much of your investing assets into index-style investments and exchange-traded funds that track major indexes. You’re going to have to limit your trading and avoid high-cost brokerages to keep your costs low, and you’re going to learn the importance of rebalancing your portfolio to help keep you on the path you want to be on for retirement. Finally, there’s diversification, but this diversification is much broader than what you’re accustomed to hearing about.

The main practical suggestions for you are in Chapter 10, “Putting It All Together,” where I break down my ideal portfolio, one that’s less equity-centric and designed to keep costs low. Before that, I’m going to look at ways investors get themselves into trouble and how you can avoid perilous situations—and also how to understand that they can’t be circumvented completely.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Starting Over 5

Chapter 2: Advice to Ignore 33

Chapter 3: Love Your Emotions, Don’t Trade Them 57

Chapter 4: Investment Strategies That Turn Into Portfolio Nightmares 73

Chapter 5: You Have More Options Than Just Sucking It Up and Accepting Losses 97

Chapter 6: When Diversification Does Not Diversify 117

Chapter 7: Buying a Portfolio—And Selling It 141

Chapter 8: ETFs: A Stock By Any Other Name 163

Chapter 9: Crude and Rude: Commodities, Bonds, and Everything Else You Should (and Shouldn’t) Buy 177

Chapter 10: Putting It All Together 189

Chapter 11: The Outlook for the Future 211

Bibliography 229

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Preface

Introduction

I come from a family of careful investors. There’s a theory that people who have not experienced the kind of hardships that Americans faced throughout the Great Depression are more cavalier with their money, but that didn’t extend to my family. At the end of every month, I take my spare change, put it into paper coin rolls, and deposit them at the bank, a habit learned from my grandfather. He was one of the all-time great penny-pinchers, who did suffer through the Depression.

But many in recent years forgot about the past—and they repeated it in horrific fashion. Investors with little or no experience in markets were lured into investing in stocks after more than two decades of terrific gains in the equity market, and they got their head handed to them after tech stocks tanked in the early part of the 2000s and the rest of the market was destroyed in the last part of the decade. Stocks have since come back dramatically and then faltered again, leaving many investors wondering just what to do and whether they’d do better just to leave their money under the mattress.

I didn’t write this book to validate your feelings of fear. I’ve been watching and investing in markets for 15 years as a financial reporter and editor. I think I’ve learned a few things, but much of what I’ve learned hasn’t been emphasized by big brokerages or popular media.

I originated, and for three years was the primary writer of, the Wall Street Journal’s MarketBeat blog, one of the most popular blogs on WSJ.com’s Web site. Now I work as an editor at the newswire Reuters overseeing the markets group, so I have a close eye on the ups and downs of the volatile stock market. I’ve come to understand that most investors don’t adequately understand the risks embedded in the stock market, and I’m here to try to explain some of them. In the years I’ve been writing about markets during my years at TheStreet.com, the Wall Street Journal, and now Reuters, I’ve met many investors who thought they had it all figured out, and I’ve also known many who understood the market was an unforgiving beast that could move against them at any time. Those who kept their guard up did better.

In reality, much of the best advice doesn’t stray far from my grandfather’s desk in his basement, where I watched him as he hunched over, meticulously putting quarters into rolls.

As someone who has been monitoring the markets for the better part of 15 years, I can say for sure that stocks are not the best—and sometimes one of the worst asset classes, because there are times when the stock market, when taking out transaction costs, management fees, and inflation, really does not give you much at all. But this book is not about finding some kind of new way to avoid the asset class that has been the mainstay of investing for decades, because stocks have provided strong returns overall that other investments, like bonds, cannot match.

This book has another purpose: To let you know you don’t have to bother with individual stocks at all. Those investors who aren’t willing, or do not have the time, to adequately research individual stocks in the equity market should start instead with index funds. Stocks can’t be ignored completely, and to stick your head in the sand and pretend you’re going to fund your retirement with bonds and not much else would be just as foolish as relentlessly buying equities no matter how bad the selloff.

Along with that, this book will show how a little bit of flexibility and common sense can go a long way to preserving your assets. And keeping your itchy fingers away from the keyboard will help prevent you from ruining your returns with excessive trading while increasing your anxiety. Because if trading costs and management fees are going to kill your returns, it makes the most sense that you should try to cut those down to as little as possible. Thankfully, there are ways to do this.

I’m going to focus on getting you to put much of your investing assets into index-style investments and exchange-traded funds that track major indexes. You’re going to have to limit your trading and avoid high-cost brokerages to keep your costs low, and you’re going to learn the importance of rebalancing your portfolio to help keep you on the path you want to be on for retirement. Finally, there’s diversification, but this diversification is much broader than what you’re accustomed to hearing about.

The main practical suggestions for you are in Chapter 10, “Putting It All Together,” where I break down my ideal portfolio, one that’s less equity-centric and designed to keep costs low. Before that, I’m going to look at ways investors get themselves into trouble and how you can avoid perilous situations—and also how to understand that they can’t be circumvented completely.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2010

    Highly Recommended for the insecure investor

    Wow. If a dolt like me can read and understand this book than it is a major publication. I am getting a copy for my financial advisor. This is a clear, understandable book about financial planning. It makes sense without all the financial jargon meant to make readers feel like idiots. Than you David Gaffen. This should be on everyone's list of must reads.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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