In a word: BE. Are you uneasy about your portfolio (timing) strategy?
It occurred to me how common it is for investors to feel that way nowadays — and understandably so.
Buy this, sell that… Commissions here, commissions there… High fees, low fees, no fees… It’s no wonder that investors are uneasy, notwithstanding the current market ups and downs.
Forget what Warren Buffett or Bill Gross might say. When it comes to managing your investments and your overall market timing strategy, the Zen masters would tell you to just “be in the now”.
Just BE. Sounds simple, right?
Many markets and moons ago, some of the greatest minds of their times each theorized about the constant ‘undercurrent of unease,’ in one’s life.
Freud wrote about unease in Civilization and Its Discontents. Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving. Even Jesus asked his disciples, “can anxious thought add a single day to your life?“
There’s a whole lot of unease going on in the ponderings of these great masters of thought. For instance, Carl Jung, the Swiss founder of analytical psychology, would look to the stars and his dreams (or perhaps his trusted advisor) to avoid the unease of the markets in an effort to just BE.
We can also draw a lot of meaning from Eckhart Tolle’s words in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightment:
“The undercurrent of constant unease started long before the rise of Western industrial civilization, of course, but in Western civilization, which now covers almost the entire globe, including most of the East, it manifests in an unprecedentedly acute form.”
Trust Your Instincts
In any event, to “be in the now” as it relates to market timing simply means adopting a relative strength investment methodology and trusting that you and/or your advisor to be disciplined with it. After all, a relative strength approach will guide you where to BE given the current market environment. Not invest you in all asset classes as a lazy way to be right about investing in some and wrong about others.
If you don’t have trust in a strategy and in an advisor, find it! Research the merits of relative strength vis-à-vis that of what I consider lazy, buy and hold. Offer the controls to a fee-only advisor who you trust and who has a respectable track record. Then, (monitor them quarterly) and BE.
Where does relative strength guide you now, today? Domestic and international equities.
Yes, I said that — international equities.
International equities have held the #2 position on the asset lineup since January 2013 and bonds at #3 are no where close to taking that spot back.
Above all, remember to forget gold and oil, keep it simple and just be…