Dec 08

Bulls and Bears

Back to basics, an over used term and an under accomplished goal.  The simplest principles that relate to investment, money and its maximisation are misunderstood by many people and yet every week newspapers, magazines and TV programmes preach to us, mostly above our heads and often they may as well be lecturing in ancient Hebrew!

The reality is a lot simpler, there is no such thing as a money tree and other than ex wives and children no one has ever found one. Financial Institutions do not have a secret room where client monies are kept and watered allowing them to grow, although many have left their clients in the hands of some pretty shoddy gardeners who have turned their cash to mulch.
The lack of general understanding, re investment, is actually scary. If I had a rand for every time I heard, I don’t like shares, so I invest in Unit Trusts!  I would be rich. For everyone’s information that statement is as valid as saying,I don’t like potatoes, I only eat chips!

Trust me; because I am a financial doctor, unit trusts put your money into the stock market exchange and that means shares. Trust me; if you eat chips (hot or crisps) you are a spud lover!

Then there are Asset Classes, nothing to do with school or lessons in anything. These are the areas into which you can invest, shares, bonds, cash and property being the big four. In an economic boom shares and property will be pumping and cash safe, but bonds could lose you your shirt, in an economic slide bonds could make you a killing, while shares and property could put you in the poor house.

Bulls and Bears, yes they are animals, but in the financial world they are never tame. One is always in the ascendency and the other hurting. Bulls bully up the market, they see and drive markets upwards, Bears bear down on the market and they can make more money in falling markets than many Bears make in a rising one, honest!

I will never invest in shares they are too risky. Yes of course dear, I would not have wanted to make 1000% over the last twenty years, or 300% in the last ten either! So shares are potentially safer than Bonds, where in a climate of rising interest rates you could lose your shirt in a morning. Obviously everything has its place and anything in moderation and as part of a plan makes far more sense than say buying something like single stock futures (read, shirt potentially lost in an hour) or, highly geared hedge funds (read, shirt, underwear and wardrobe lost in ten minutes!).

So don’t be a, little Miss Muffet and sit on your …, or act like little Jack Horner and sit in the ...  No, in this world if you are one of the three… mice you will never be the King in his parlour counting out his…
Investment is not a kids game, it requires you getting qualified professional advice. If you do this then one day you may just find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and you may just live happily ever after!

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