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Investors for 2014: Consider Historic Pearls Of Wisdom

December 31, 2013

As we approach a new year, expect to be besieged with market predictions. Should you listen? Not necessarily.

You can, however, be confident of one truth about the markets for 2014: Expect more uncertainty. So why not relax, and consider the investing wisdom of some of history’s greatest minds?

As we approach a new year, expect to be besieged with market predictions. Should you listen? Not necessarily.

You can, however, be confident of one truth about the markets for 2014: Expect more uncertainty. So why not relax, and consider the investing wisdom of some of history’s greatest minds?

Perhaps one of the smartest observations came not from an economist but from the late comedian Buddy Hackett: “An economist is someone who can tell you what the best investment was last year.”

The late President Harry Truman didn’t seem to put much stake in economic predictions, either. “I was in search of a one-armed economist,” Truman is known to have quipped. This way, “The guy could never make a statement and then say, ‘On the other hand.’”

So to whom should you listen when it comes to your investments in 2014?

Good question.

“Historically, the stock market is like a gambling casino with the odds in your favor,” believes Burton G. Malkiel, known for his landmark book, A Random Walk Down Wall Street.

Benjamin Graham, the father of modern securities analysis, advised: “Always keep at least 20 percent of your money in cash and bonds.”

“Don’t invest on wishes and hopes. Get the facts,” suggested the late Bernard Baruch, an early 20th-century investment guru.

Billionaire George Soros appears to agree: “As long as (investors) understand something better than others, they have an edge.”

“Buy when others are despondently selling, and sell when others are greedily buying,” advises emerging-markets expert Mark Mobius.

“Try to be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy,” says billionaire investor Warren Buffett. “The markets will fluctuate,” J.P. Morgan once warned.

“Financial genius is a rising stock market,” noted the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith.

Beware of October — one of the particularly dangerous months to speculate in stocks — according to Mark Twain. “The others: July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.”

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow,” said the late Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Samuelson. “If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”

“Don’t look for the needle in the haystack,” says John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group of Mutual Funds. “Just buy the haystack.”

One of my favorite mantras, however, comes from Palm Beach real estate mogul Donald Trump: “Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself.”

Source: Palm Beach Daily News

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