Let’s face it: We could all be better investors. There isn’t one of us who hasn’t at some time or another jumped on a stock because we got what we thought was a hot tip, or bought into a new exchange-traded fund because it promised to track a compelling index, or been dazzled by gold because it’s, well, gold.
Knowing the basics of investing isn’t enough to keep you on the right path. That’s because no matter how smart you are about what you buy, you have to know how to buy it. The “how-to” part is not only complicated but also changing constantly in our rapidly evolving and technologically improving financial system. Plus, there are always new breeds of hucksters seeking to separate you from your money.
That’s why MarketWatch this week is launching a series of stories and broadband interviews with one aim in mind: to give you the ammunition to make smarter investment decisions, and to make them in the most cost-effective way. From stocks to real estate, we’ll tell you not just what you should watch for in these shifting markets, but what you must watch out for.
In the first of our five-day series, we provide you with an overview of the investing climate today and tell you how to buy … stocks. Read Jonathan Burton’s coverage in the kickoff of the series; plus, find out from Kristen Gerencher (who has unfortunate firsthand knowledge) what the latest thinking is on treatment for foot and ankle injuries, and learn why Marshall Loeb believes a rainy-day savings fund is a must, all on Monday’s Personal Finance pages.
Think back to one of your bigger investing mistakes. Now, what would it be worth to you to have avoided it? A little reading time is all it may take.
Steve Kerch, assistant managing editor/Personal Finance
- 1 MarketWatch series aims to make decisions smarter, cheaper, better
- 2 Tuning out Wall Street’s ‘noise’ and listening to your own voice
- 3 Marshall Loeb: Five tips for smart investing
- 4 Slowing down for foot and ankle injuries
- 5 Foot first into the health-care system
- 6 Vanguard’s growing midsection
- 7 How the government might consider Google a mutual fund
- 8 Fund manager preparing portfolio for market downturn
- 9 Buy signs from the top ranks
- 10 A rainy-day savings stash is a must-have
- 11 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
- 12 Consumers enjoy few protections from false data
- 13 Full disclosure is the best policy when selling your home
- 14 Keeping career success from going to your head
- 15 Is an M.B.A. the ticket to an investment-bank job?
- 16 Hoarders vs. deleters, revisited
MarketWatch series aims to make decisions smarter, cheaper, better
When it comes to investing, how to buy is often more important than what to buy. Investing is risky — that’s the nature of markets. You can’t eliminate market risk, but you can be a proactive investor who makes informed decisions. Buying intelligently allows you a margin of safety, a cushion in case events go against you. See How to Buy …
Tuning out Wall Street’s ‘noise’ and listening to your own voice
Stock tips spill from everywhere: on television, at parties, in the gym. Email boxes are full of pitches for can’t-miss moneymakers to buy right now. Even your own scouting efforts spot stocks whose solid growth seems like solid gold. See How to Buy …
Marshall Loeb: Five tips for smart investing
When it comes to investing, how to buy is often more important than what to buy. Senior columnist Marshall Loeb kicks off MarketWatch’s How to Buy … series with tips for smart investing. See Broadband Report.
Slowing down for foot and ankle injuries
Feet and ankles are vulnerable to injury in sports such as soccer, dancing and basketball, but it’s also possible to break a foot off the playing field — in my case, by running to catch a bus and falling off a curb. In a spectacular move of botched choreography, I recently took a spill and fractured both an ankle bone and my fifth metatarsal, a long skinny bone that runs parallel to the edge of the foot. See Vital Signs.
Foot first into the health-care system
It wasn’t a glamorous entry into the health-care system, but it was far from unusual: I broke my foot in two places while running to catch a bus about seven weeks ago. With so much attention on the medical system’s significant big-picture problems, it’s easy to forget that for many Americans health care is deeply personal, affecting their feelings of security and reminding them of their mortality. I proved no exception but, like others, tried to take control where I could. See Vital Signs.
Vanguard’s growing midsection
Long a popular destination for thrifty mutual-fund investors, Vanguard Group is expanding its exchange-traded fund lineup to reach an audience it’s traditionally downplayed: brokers and financial advisers. See ETF Investing.
How the government might consider Google a mutual fund
Google has been called many things, from the world’s greatest search engine and the next megamedia giant to the best new stock to hit the market in decades. But no one has called Google the stock equivalent of a balanced mutual fund. No one except the government, that is. See Chuck Jaffe.
Fund manager preparing portfolio for market downturn
Seeing darker clouds for both the U.S. economy and stocks, fund manager Brian Culpepper is looking for companies that can act as portfolio life preservers. See the Stockpickers.
Buy signs from the top ranks
The phrase “insider trading” usually conjures up negative images among everyday investors — visions of Gordon Gekko-types using illicit gossip to cash in. But most insider activity is entirely legal: Executives regularly buy and sell shares of the companies that employ them, and in doing so can give smart investors clues to figure out where stocks may be headed. See Market Movers.
A rainy-day savings stash is a must-have
With cold weather on the way, are you prepared to cover the cost of a broken water heater or furnace? Those are just two of numerous expenses Americans can suddenly face any day. Don’t let unexpected life events, such as job loss or an accident, cripple you financially. Have a short-term emergency stash ready to help you when you need it most. See Marshall Loeb’s Daily Money Tip.
2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Car-design legend Carroll Shelby and Ford don’t seem to be willing to wait for the competition, so they have decided to heat up the pony car wars even before they begin. See Auto Review.
Consumers enjoy few protections from false data
Data-collection firms have become an increasingly important law-enforcement resource. In the scramble to identify potential terrorists, the government’s push for more information about private citizens has helped spawn a $1 billion industry. See full story.
Full disclosure is the best policy when selling your home
I am selling my home myself. Am I required to disclose to the buyer that our new neighbors are considering adding an addition to their home and are relocating their driveway closer to our property line? The neighbors recently moved in, and we only have spoken with them once about their plans. They have not begun any building, nor should there be any boundary dispute because they recently had a survey completed on the property. See story from RealEstateJournal.
Keeping career success from going to your head
High-school reunions promise a treasure of surprises about former classmates, whether they invented a new type of digital camera, starred in a shampoo commercial or just got divorced for the third time. But there was no need for Rhett Butler to update many people at his 10-year high school reunion at Menlo-Atherton High School last month in Atherton, Calif. See story from CareerJournal.
Is an M.B.A. the ticket to an investment-bank job?
I have worked at an institutional brokerage in corporate affairs, operations and institutional equity sales in India, London and New York. Would an M.B.A. help me switch to investment banking? I’m 32 and don’t have the grades for a top school. See Perri Capell.
Hoarders vs. deleters, revisited
Trevor Person of Alexandria, Va., has what he calls a “squeaky clean” in-box; he keeps just 10 to 25 emails in it at a time. His wife has about 16,000 emails in her inbox. See story from CareerJournal.
View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/personal-finance-daily-sept-11