Dumb Money!

I take issue with the seemingly interchangeable use of the words ‘saving’ and ‘investing’ …

Let’s not confuse buying Index Funds or typical diversified ordinay stock Mutual Funds with INVESTING …

… when you buy a Fund you are SAVING – consider it a long-term savings vehicle, no different to ordinary bank savings accounts, CD’s, and Bonds.

The difference? Effort.

 Buying a packaged financial product is no different to buying any other product: you send away for some information; if you like what you see you fill in the appropriate sales form; you pay your money and receive your ‘product’.

 Hopefully, when it comes to Funds, you make some money when you eventually cash out.

Contrast that with INVESTING:

 You do your research; you look for an underpriced item (in this case, a stock); you purchase the item; you watch the market carefully … and, when the price goes back up … you sell (this could be sooner = trading; or later = long-term-buy-and-hold).

Of course, you could just keep holding for dividends. In either case, you are aiming to MANAGE your holding to MAXIMIZE your RETURN.

Some people call the former Passive Investing and the latter Active Investing … but, if it walks like a duck …

… it is a duck!

BTW: there’s nothing wrong with SAVING … go ahead and buy some Index Funds if you’re not up to the task of INVESTING, even Warren says it’s OK …

“Another situation requiring wide diversification occurs when an investor who does not understand the economics of specific businesses nevertheless believes it in his interest to be a long-term owner of American industry. That investor should both own a large number of equities and space out his purchases. By periodically investing in an index fund, for example, the know-nothing investor can actually out-perform most investment professionals. Paradoxically, when ‘dumb’ money acknowledges its limitations, it ceases to be dumb.”W. E. Buffett – 1993
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