Sunday, October 19, 2014

Nibble, Don't Bite

My advice for beginning investors and those that come into random fortunes is the same; nibble, don't bite. For those individuals who ultimately wish to Invest Like A Farmer, it is prudent to deploy capital strategically, thoughtfully, and over time. Dollar cost averaging works, especially if you are entering the market for the first time or putting a significant sum of capital to work and plan, in both cases, to be in the market for some time.

It is nearly impossible to perfectly time the market; there are obviously better times to buy than others (nearly every correction or depression has proven to be an excellent time to buy for long-term holders), while some peaks has been good, and some not so good. (Imagine "selling on the high" in January 1982, 1983, etc. The bull market ran almost unabashedly higher for nearly 20 years!)

Nibbling offers superior advantages, in my view, to going "all-in" or "all-out" on any particular day, trade, or philosophy. It allows investors to test the water, build positions over time, and gradually construct a meaningful portfolio while still having plenty of seed capital in reserve.