The NY Times blog author Carl Richards hits the nail on the head when he highlights how emotions are once again taking over media and investor behavior as the stock market presses higher and higher. The question being asked is “Should we buy or should we sell?” as many rush into the market at its recent highs. He goes on to say the real question investors should ask themselves is “How can we avoid this common behavioral mistake in the future
In keeping with our philosophy at Rockbridge Investment Management he concludes that we can avoid this mistake by having a written investment plan that includes:
- Why are you investing this money in the first place? What are your goals?
- How much do you need in cash, bonds and stocks to give you the best chance of meeting those goals while taking the least amount of risk?
- What actual investments will you buy to populate that plan and why? Make sure you address issues like diversification and expenses.
- How often will you revisit this plan to make sure you’re doing what you said you would do and to make changes to your investments to get them back in line with what you said in number 2?