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Don’t Panic (About The Stock Market)

Posted By Jim On 02/19/2008 @ 4:38 pm In Investing | 4 Comments

That’s a little maxim from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [3] and one you should heed if you’ve been watching the stock market tank in recent months and wondering if you should cut loose. Don’t panic. Markets go up and markets go down and mainstream media is the business of selling sensationalism. Why do you think the news is always about murders and burglaries? Because the heartwarming stories are for Oprah.

Still panicking? Check out the latest Ben Stein column in Yahoo [4], written in his trademarked dry humor style, and enjoy the awesome simplicity that is his advice. Here’s my favorite excerpt:

5. Trust the major newspapers to know more than Warren Buffett.

Yes, Buffett’s the best investor in history, and says to stay in the market and buy index funds. He also says now is the time that stupid money is leaving the market.

But pay no attention to that fool! Pay attention only to some new young gunslinger at The Wall Street Journal or Barron’s who tells you it’s time to sell. Even pay attention when someone with no investing track record tells you to sell out of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most successful investments of all time.

No, don’t trust Buffett or other “geniuses” like John Bogle. Trust whoever comes across as the smartest-aleck and most glib, “on whom assurance sits, as a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire” (to quote T.S. Eliot).

And if you’ve never heard of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, go borrow it from the library because it’s great humor (so much better than the movie!).

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[3] The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/amazon.php?asin=0345391802

[4] Ben Stein column in Yahoo: http://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/yourlife/66827;_ylt=AsKj.TtXIhJkWBXA1QTgprG7YWsA

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