The Traders Journal

After 17 years, A Financial Journalist Discloses His "Top Investing Lesson"

After seventeen years writing an investment column for USA Today, Matt Krantz is joining a money management firm and leaving us with the top lesson he’s learned in all those years.  

Coincidentally and nearly simultaneously, I ran into two former students at a local Starbucks who had attended my class a few years ago.  They reminded me of three stocks we had in our class portfolio back then — Amazon, VISA and Mastercard.  I was pleased for them since I personally invested in all three equities and was rewarded with exceptional returns.  Then they sheepishly confessed that they had not actually invested in any of these three stocks.  (But note how well they could recall them from class!)


News Flash:  Investing requires some courage.  Procrastination is of no assistance in investing.  Knowing is one thing, but profiting from that knowledge requires action!

I challenged these investors that if they learned to put their money where their minds were, the results could be quite surprising and profitable.  I’d even take it further, although I didn’t say this to them.  But I submit to you that as an individual, you are of no use to yourself or anyone else without a commitment.  Make a commitment!

Back to Matt Krantz.   After seventeen years of listening to investors who asked him for help, he had this advice to offer.  I’m paraphrasing here, but it goes something along these lines:  If you want to make money investing, forget the minutiae, stop obsessing, don’t procrastinate, just get started. 

According to Krantz, the big mistake investors make is to sit out the market because they can always come up with a million reasons not to invest just yet!.  Instead, they should consider this simple example.  Let’s say that 25 years ago you had invested $10,000 in a disappointing investment that underperformed the stock market by 2% a year and in addition charged an ugly 1.5% annual management fee.  Despite those negative factors, that very investment would equal $38,934 today — a gain of 274% over the past 25 years.

Are you millennials listening?!  Yes, investing requires courage and action, but the rewards can be sensational.  Make a commitment.

Trade well; trade with discipline!
- Gatis Roze, MBA, CMT

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