Thanks to everyone who shared why they do or do not trade individual stocks. Here’s what I think. I believe there are market inefficiencies that can be taken advantage of. I also think that unless you understand how to read a company’s financial statements and investor psychology, it is highly unlikely you can beat the market over time. Since I don’t know either of those things, I have no business trading stocks until I do.
But! I think a more important question is whether spending all that time looking at stocks is worth it. Not only do you have to build up your knowledge overall, you then have to constantly monitor the markets for new developments. After all that, by how much are you really going to beat a well-balanced mutual fund portfolio? I personally feel that unless you have a real passion for it, most people would get a better return on their time pursuing other things like career advancement or more entreprenurial activities. So I think I’m gonna do that instead.
By Jonathan Ping | Investing | 2/23/06, 3:36pm