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Stay even -- Hard to accomplish!

Posted by Lotg (OZ) on August 31, 2004

In Reply to: Stay even -- Hard to accomplish! posted by R. Berg on August 31, 2004

: : : : : :
: : : : : : If this bear market is to last for another decade,
: : : : : : it will be very difficult to stay even.

: : : : : : What does "stay even" mean here?

: : : : : As I understand it (and I'm no financial whizz, so guys, eg. Ward, perhaps you can help me here), a Bear Market is a falling market. This statement suggests to me that the speaker is saying if the market continues to fall it will be impossible to maintain the financial status quo and not to lose. Although it sounds like an odd statement to me, because I would think if the market falls, losing would be unavoidable, unless the writer has managed to invest in stocks that don't fall while the others do. And unless the writer is suggesting that even if they have invested in stocks that aren't falling, eventually in a Bear Market, their stocks too will eventually succumb.

: : : : : But I have absolutely no knowledge of the stock market, so did I get even close to the mark and I need help guys!!!!!!!!!!

: : : : Yes, you did stumble into an answer. But (as PeeWee Herman says, everybody has a big But) why rush and gush when you have "absolutely no knowledge" and ask for help with your guess? Why not wait and let people who do have a clue answer the question?

: : : Cos I knew I wasn't too far from the facts and I don't take myself too seriously. Trust me Voice of Restraint - you could learn a valuable lesson here too. Taking yourself so seriously can be very risky, because it's unlikely anyone else will take you as seriously. Furthermore, if you hadn't spent so MUCH time taking yourself so seriously you might have realised that in doing what I did, I was also asking for information and thus also willing to learn. Another lesson that might be of some use to you in the future.

: : In a bear market, the general market is losing value (declining) so that an investment made of a basket of the stocks in the overall market index would be declining by more than 20% (definition of a 'bear' market condition). So your average investor would be losing value under these circumstances. There are other investors who, perhaps, choose more defensive stocks, and will have a better result. The real beneficiary of a bear market is the 'short seller' --who anticipates the decline and sells stocks that he/she borrows for that purpose, and then buys the same amount of the stock later to cover the short sale---but buys it at a lower price. The price difference between the two transactions is the profit a short seller makes from a falling market.
: : In investing --- staying even is probably the hardest thing to do unless you are in very conservative investments like long term bonds. And even then, the market value goes up and down as interest rates change. So the norm is to go up or down --- and not to stay even.

: MM, "staying even," in the context of investments, means avoiding a monetary loss. The phrase "breaking even" means the same thing and is more often used.

: Lap of G, responding to criticism with a personal attack on your critic is an intellectually illegitimate move, and the charge of "taking yourself too seriously" is vague and impossible to respond to - hence also illegitimate, in a different way. Just how seriously should we take ourselves? Thirty percent seriously, ninety percent seriously, or what? And how do you make this diagnosis? Do people who take themselves too seriously answer questions in a different way than people who take themselves too lightly?

Sigh. The Voice of Restraint was pretty unnecessarily unpleasant. Most other people on this site don't find the need to be that way. He/she seemed to want to pick a fight. I have no desire to do so and I wish he/she would just take a Bex and have a nice lie down and come back when he/she's feeling better.

Berg, do you seriously think that a comment such as "Yes, you did stumble into an answer. But (as PeeWee Herman says, everybody has a big But)" was warranted? As for analysing my remark about 'taking yourself too seriously'. I'm sure most people can figure out what I was getting at without having to analyse it.

There are plenty of people on this site who take guesses at answers. I'm not the first. And I knew it was sufficiently correct not to mislead the original writer. But I also knew my limitations and wanted more detailed help from someone who could provide it. Often in doing so we solicit more informed responses, and discussions which is useful all around. And I succeeded in doing so this time, as you can see Ward has come back with some relevant and interesting facts. (BTW, thanks Ward).

Finally Berg, I imagine that this 'Restraint' person is a regular, and if so, sadly was too cowardly to use their standard nom de plume. It's OK to be light on this site, there's nothing wrong with occasional banter and I believe it's OK to fish for more information.

Like I said, I don't want to fight, if I did, I'd choose another site. And I don't like it when people make unpleasant, sarcastic jibes at me. So if they don't like it back, then they shouldn't do it in the first place. Berg you've jumped at me a few times now. Could you please give it a rest? Surely by now you've figured out that I'm mostly pretty light-hearted, it's the nature of this beast (ie. me) and that I mean no-one any harm. Lighten up with me Berg. I'm just here to learn, have a good time, and meet a diverse range of great people.