Articles Archive for July 2008

Three investing misconceptions that are not true

28 July 2008 Michael Szumielewski 4 Comments Investing

Stock investing is hard work and inexperienced and untrained beginners have a lot of difficulties when investing for the first time. For some it looks easy during bull markets and incredibly tough during bear markets. But the main target is to make money even if the market is in a bad condition.
Of course there are always people who give expensive but useless advice about investing. I am sure, you heard of “Buy low and sell high”, which is indeed quite useless, because how would one know what is the expected low and the expected high of a stock. Some people just give wrong advice and you can get into serious financial trouble following their ideas.
Here are three stock investing misconceptions that you should definitely avoid:

Wrong: Low price stocks are better than high price stocks

A widespread misconception is that a low price stock should be preferred to a high price stock, for example a $100 stock vs. a $10 stock. This is wrong. The value of a company is expressed by its market capitalisation (stock price * number of stocks), whereby the real value of a company differs from this value. It must be calculated by analyzing the company. So, the assumption that low price stocks are better is wrong because every company has a different number of stocks on the market. The price of the stock is the effect, not the cause.

Wrong: Stocks that have fallen will rise again

We see the traders attitude here, because when a stock falls e.g. 25% on a single day, some will speculate that there will be an up rise of e.g. 5% the next day. This effect has been observed many times, but we discuss long-term investing here, so it is clearly a misconception. Stocks usually fall for a reason, even if it is not clear for everyone. But fallen stocks will rise only when the factors which led to the fall are corrected. For example, if a stock fell, because the company announced that it will suffer from a recession for the next years and earnings are down, then it won’t rise before those factors change to normal again.

Wrong: The stock market is a place where you can get rich quickly

By investing intelligent you can for sure get rich on the stock market, but this is not supposed to happen quickly. Many people behave like gamblers on the market by making quick, impulsive and blindfold decisions. They lose money and again behave like being at the casino by increasing the amount of money in the game in the intention to wipe out their loses. Logic is dominated by emotion and the game is soon over.
However this misconception can be changed into a perfectly true advise: “The stock market is a place where you can get rich as quickly as possible”. This does not mean “Get rich slowly”, it means that you can get rich as quickly as possible. With the assumption of a historical return of 10% a year and a few years of your time, you get pretty good results. Never forget that the most important thing in investing is not to lose your money.

All in all, there are always intelligent people with experience, who know what they are talking about. Do not follow the loudest voice in the crowd, search for the smart ones.
But most of all, always check thoroughly every advice which is given to you, because in the end it is your hard-earned money which is at risk.