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Picked-up Jason’s “Stock Market Investing” at a bookstore on vacation recently. Completely changed my investing philosophy and made $7000 the first month. Was previously mostly in mutual funds but have a new confidence in common stocks. Highly recommend!
Thanks, Larry. What a testimonial!
Hi Jason, bought “The neatest little guide to Stock Market Investing” and I dare declare it’s the 1st book that I have managed to complete in a long while. Now I cannot wait to get started!
I hope you can help me clarify 1 point: when I use SMA/MACD/RSI to observe the trend, what time period (e.g. 5 days, 1mth, 3mth, 6mth) should I be looking at for any stock (e.g. MVV) to capture the trends accurate?
For SMA, usually 50-day and 200-day work well. For MACD, the default and perfectly fine parameters to use are 12-, 26-, and 9-unit time periods (day, weeks, months, quarters). For RSI, a 14-unit period is usually best.
I should caution you that these and all such methods are unreliable. They’re accurately explained in the book and are easy to accurately use, but even if you get everything right the market can go against you. I recommend reading my newest book, The 3% Signal, to better understand why it’s probably not worth the effort of timing and better to just automate your long-term account with the signal while focusing your energy and ambition elsewhere in life.
Whichever path you choose, I wish you well.
 what % of total liquid net worth do you recommend people invest in the base plan consisting of IJR and LQD?
IJR and BIV?
 can we start the plan any day or do we wait till the first of caledar quarter?
 do we buy $8,000 of IJR all at one time or do we spread it out over time?
Do we buy $2,000 of LQD or BIV all at one time or do we spread it out over time?
1. The plan is secure enough to safely handle 100% of your liquid net worth. If you want to run something less reliable but possibly more fun, such as a stock-picking program, I recommend limiting it to no more than 20% of your liquid net worth and running the remaining 80% with 3Sig.
2. Start the plan any time you’d like, but preferably after a quarterly buy signal. The most recent signal at the end of June was a mild buy, and IJR has gone up only slightly since then, so now is a good time to get started.
3. With $8,000 IJR and $2,000 BIV or LQD, I recommend just going in all at once. For larger balances, spreading it out can be emotionally comfortable, but usually lessens performance because the stock market rises more often than it falls (ever-present alarmist commentary notwithstanding). For more, see “Starting with a Large Cash Balance” on p. 134.
All the research I have found recommends against buying Proshares MVV or any leveraged indexed fund etf as a buy and hold. The say at the most, 4 day hold and then either cut your losses or grab your gains. I like your ideas in your book the neatest little guide, but cant find any support on your plan for beating the dow with the midcap 400 leveraging. Any thoughts?
They’re just wrong, Tom, and I don’t know why they can keep making the same wrong argument in the financial media despite historical evidence disproving it. Here’s the recent track record of buying and holding the leveraged ETFs versus the plain Dow:
See what I mean?
Have read your Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing and found it eye opening, simplifying, and can hardly wait for the 3% er!. I’ve been in the market for 25 years with 4 different brokers. No big winners. And being on my own now for four years is no better even though I do follow the Motley Fool Advice.
So I take it you would never consider futures or options. The advertising is intense with high promises. Even the Motley Fool has a program to study and follow with promise of profits a high percentage of the time.
I’m in a wait and see mode on this and would appreciate a response.
Thanks so much for your studies, clear thoughts and great writing,
I have been using AIM Automatic Investment Management since 1995 and like your 3% signal it reacts to the market as opposed to predicting it. It only manages securities instead of picking them and works more safely with funds.
Yes, AIM is a fine method. It tends to underperform 3Sig in most time periods, but not all, and both are heads and shoulders above the usual stock-picking madness pushed by media and the financial industry. Good work putting yourself on a rational track!
Just finishing your “The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing” (5th Ed.) – Great Book, Many Thanks!
Question: With a (roughly) 3 year ‘update cycle’* to your ‘Neatest Guide’, will a 6th Edition be out in the near future?
(* First Edition came out in 1998, followed by editions in 2004, 2007 & 2010, with the 5th Edition in 2013.)
Your “The 3% Signal” is at the ready for next read (along with your “Financially Stupid People Are Everywhere: Don’t Be One Of Them”).
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