For all your long-term investments, such as retirement accounts that you won't touch for at least ten years, you need a mix of stocks and bonds. Stocks offer the best shot at inflation-beating gains. But stocks don't always go up. That's where bonds come into play: They have less upside potential, but they also do not pack the same risk.
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The good thing about the dividend-paying stocks is, first of all you have stocks, which are real assets if we have some inflation. I think we're going to have 2%, 3% maybe 4%. That's a sweet spot for stocks. Corporations do well with that. It gives them pricing power. Their assets move up with prices. I'm not fearful of that inflation.
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The word passive does a disservice to investors considering their options. Indexing provides an effective means of owning the market and allows investors to participate in the returns of a basket of stocks. The basket of stocks changes over time as stocks are added or removed based on its rules.
Charles R. Schwab
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If you know how to value businesses, it's crazy to own 50 stocks or 40 stocks or 30 stocks, probably because there aren't that many wonderful businesses understandable to a single human being in all likelihood. To forego buying more of some super-wonderful business and instead put your money into #30 or #35 on your list of attractiveness just strikes Charlie and me as madness.
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In the stock market (as in much of life), the beginning of wisdom is admitting your ignorance. One of the many things you cannot know about stocks is exactly when they will up or go down. Over the long term, stocks generally rise at a nice pace. History shows they double in value every seven years or so. But in the short term, stocks are just plain wild. Over periods of days, weeks and months, no one has any idea what they will do. Still, nearly all investors think they are smart enough to divine such short-term movements. This hubris frequently gets them into trouble.
James K. Glassman
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Mr. Darling used to boast to Wendy that her mother not only loved him but respected him. He was one of those deep ones who know about stocks and shares. Of course no one really knows, but he quite seemed to know, and he often said stocks were up and shares were down in a way that would have made any woman respect him.
James M. Barrie
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I buy stocks when they are battered. I am strict with my discipline. I always buy stocks with low price-earnings ratios, low price-to-book value ratios and higher-than-average yield. Academic studies have shown that a strategy of buying out-of-favor stocks with low P/E, price-to-book and price-to-cash flow ratios outperforms the market pretty consistently over long periods of time.
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While I take no pleasure in others' misfortunes, we've historically made most of our profits from other investors behaving in a panicked and irrational fashion and selling us certain stocks at prices far below their intrinsic value. More volatility equals cheaper stocks, which equals higher returns.
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When I stand on my special-issue "Intelligent Investor" ladder and peer out over the frenzied crowd, I see very few others doing the same. Many stocks remain overvalued, and speculative excess - both on the upside and on the downside - is embedded in the frenzy around stocks of all stripes. And yes, I am talking about March 2001, not March 2000.
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'Ick investing' means taking a special analytical interest in stocks that inspire a first reaction of 'ick.' I tend to become interested in stocks that by their very names or circumstances inspire unwillingness - and an 'ick' accompanied by a wrinkle of the nose on the part of most investors to delve any further.
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As long as you have markets, you'll have excesses. People went crazy with tulip bulbs. They went crazy with the South Sea Bubble, they went crazy internet stocks, they went crazy with the uranium stocks back when I was first getting started. I mean, you know, you're not going to change the human animal. And the human animal really doesn't get a lot smarter.
Howard Warren Buffett
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It's time, little one, ' he coaxes from above me. I take a deep breath as I crawl to where he instructs me. My heart is racing and I feel like tears could be close again. But I am resolved. I am going to do this. I know my own wilful obstinacy will see me into the stocks and from there it really is up to Shaw. He positions me in front of the stocks and waits a few seconds, letting me absorb their magnitude, before speaking. 'Kneel.' Just one word but it seals my fate. I comply immediately, wordlessly, allowing my terror to turn into the first shoots of arousal. This is really happening...
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Successful investors like stocks better when they're going down. When you go to a department store or a supermarket, you like to buy merchandise on sale, but it doesn't work that way in the stock market. In the stock market, people panic when stocks are going down, so they like them less when they should like them more. When prices go down, you shouldn't panic, but it's hard to control your emotions when you're overextended, when you see your net worth drop in half and you worry that you won't have enough money to pay for your kids' college.
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If you expect to be a net saver during the next 5 years, should you hope for a higher or lower stock market during that period? Many investors get this one wrong. Even though they are going to be net buyers of stocks for many years to come, they are elated when stock prices rise and depressed when they fall. This reaction makes no sense. Only those who will be sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at seeing stocks rise. Prospective purchasers should much prefer sinking prices.
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Brand-name growth stocks ordinarily command the highest p/e ratios. Rising prices beget attention, and vice versa - but only to a point. Eventually their growth rate can diminish as results revert towards normal. Maybe not in all cases, but often enough to make a long-term bet. Bottom line: I wouldn't want to get caught in a rush for the exit, much less get left behind. Only when big growth stocks fall into the dumper from time to time am I inclined to pick them up - and even then, only in moderation.
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Our essential difficulty is that we are seeking in a mechanism, which is necessary, qualities it simply does not possess. The market does not lead, balance or encourage democracy. However, properly regulated it is the most effective way to conduct business. It cannot give leadership even on straight economic issues. The world-wide depletion of fish stocks is a recent example. The number of fish caught between 1950 and 1989 multiplied by five. The fishing fleet went from 585, 000 boats in 1970 to 1.2 million in 1990 and on to 3.5 million today (1995). No one thought about the long- or even medium-term maintenance of stocks; not the fishermen, not the boat builders, not the fish wholesalers who found new uses for their product, including fertilizer and chicken feed; not the financiers. It wasn't their job. Their job was to worry about their own interests. (IV - From Managers and Speculators to Growth)
John Ralston Saul
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