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Just how lost was the "lost decade"?; Time to get out of the market?; A good job fit; Cool banking apps; The goodie two-shoes challenge

Just how lost was the "lost decade"?; Time to get out of the market?; A good job fit; Cool banking apps; The goodie two-shoes challenge

A phone that nags like your mother about your bank account.

By Amanda Morrall

1) The Lost Decade

We, or rather I, have an on-going debate with a fellow colleague (I won't say who) about whether investing in the stock market is a waste of money. Said challenger fires at me memorised and oft recited stats about historical and epic failures of the stock markets. I admit I'm not an expert, rather a curious bystander with an interest who believes that selectively purchased stocks held for the long-course (ala Warren Buffett style) will pay good returns.

Along those lines, this blogger from my decided tuck into into the "Lost Decade" debate, the merits of dollar cost averaging and retirement savings strategies that work. Quite interesting. 

2) Time to get out of the market?

In a similar vein, this item, posted on Forbes Money looks at the damage emotionally reactive investors usually cause themselves by jumping in and out of the stock market at the wrong time. Writer Liz Davidson also offers some advice on how to strategically withdraw from the market to minimise losses.

3) Jobs that fit like a glove

Salary is often the No.1 bait for employees trolling the job market. Most of us instinctively feel that a job that pays us more will make us happier. Money is a perk but job satisfaction is multi-factorial.

This post on outlines some of the considerations for those headed into the job market or else exploring their options.

4) Banking apps

Apparently there's close to half a million apps on the market. The diversity of choice is overwhelming for me. That said, I love the sound of some of these banking apps coming out.  Not sure if any of the banks here in NZ are on board yet but here's one that caught my attention. Everytime you spend money, you get an email send to your phone updating you with your latest balance. It's like a nagging mother, who you can't ignore.

Read more on  this personal finance column posted on the Globe and Mail.

5) The Goodie two shoes challenge

In a past Take Five, I mentioned a website called Good which puts a rare positive spin on what's happening in the world. Earlier this month, they launched a 30-day Good challenge. The initiative involves 30 good deeds meted out in daily email challenges. I like the latest one: to email someone you admire but have never met. I've done this on a few occasions to writers whom I admire. Can't say I ever heard back from them but what the hell, who doesn't like a compliment. Eventually what you put out, comes right back - often when and from someone whom you least expect.

Go forth and email....if the virtual networking leads anywhere interesting let me know. Email me.

See my previous Take Fives here.


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Hi Amanda, you believe that "selectively purchased stocks held for the long-course (ala Warren Buffett style) will pay good returns". Isn't that the problem though? First, you have to select them. Inevitably you will have to make some decisions as to when to buy or sell (unless they go bust). Second, nearly all investment advisors want you to buy and hold for the long term. This is useless advice because the point of saving is to spend later.

The strategy called "dollar cost averaging" is completely specious. See the wikipedia page for the many criticisms of this strategy. However you can see the problems immediately with a thought experiment with just 2 investment periods, say investing $100 in year 1 and $100 in year 2. If the stock rises in year 1 and falls in year 2 then I am worse off; if the stock falls in year 1 and rises in year 2 then I am better off. So fluctuations and continuous investing do not help you in the way described in the link, because they average out.


Ugh, it worked out okay for Buffett.:)