Like many people, I like reading personal finance magazines and subscribe to many of them. But you have to remember that in order to sell magazines, they also have to give people what they want, even if it isn’t sound advice. A great example of this is the recent Money magazine article titled 5 ways to know if the bull is over. The introduction reads:
Since Money Magazine last examined the health of the bull market (and pronounced it sound), consumer spending began slowing, several prominent buyout deals unraveled, and oh yeah – concerns about subprime mortgage loans going bad caused stocks to fall off a cliff.
After closing above 14,000 for the first time in late July, the Dow has since plunged nearly 1400 points, or 9.8 percent, close to an official correction. The S&P 500 has given up all of its gains for the year.
All this has added a certain cogency to the view that the five-year-old bull could be closer to the end of its road. So while you know better than to try to time the market – and you do, don’t you? – now is a good moment to check that your portfolio truly matches your appetite for risk.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for five signs that often precede a sharp turn ahead.
Now, let’s place this text through my patent-pending Financial Double-Talk Filter, and try reading it again:
We said the bull market would continue for a long time. We wrote entire articles just like this about it. We were wrong.
Remember, you shouldn’t try to time the market. Wait, what is that? You’re scared?
In that case, here are some ways to try and time the market!
Sigh. Did you see how smoothly they covered up their mistakes and moved on to the next hot topic? If everyone decided to hang themselves, I bet you’d see articles on how to get the best deal on rope!
(If you liked this, you might also enjoy my Anatomy of a Personal Finance Magazine Article.)