The Wise Cracks Blog by Dan Otter



Savers Celebrate As Stocks Go On Sale!

That headline, which unfortunately I didn’t think of, and even more unfortunately, would never see the light of day on cable news, was suggested by Ben Carlson, CFA, one of the most interesting and thoughtful financial bloggers.

Let It Bleed

Writing on February 11, 2018 in a post called Some Random Observations On the Market Correction, Mr. Carlson of Ritholtz Wealth Management, LLC, puts recent market fluctuation into perspective, but also points out how market drops are covered: “I understand that fear sells and draws eyeballs to a screen but you can’t get caught up in the scary headlines when stocks fall," he writes. 

Let's face, if it bleeds, it leads. If it dives, fear thrives. 

A substantial portion of my retirement savings is a result of buying during and after two pretty significant market drops (early 2000s, and 2008). If I had listened to mainstream financial media during this time I would never have stayed in the market, meaning I would never have bought on-sale stocks and bonds. I recently taught a financial literacy class, I tried to convey this point. I explained that we buy stocks the exact opposite way we buy everything else: with cash. Just kidding. We tend to jump into the market when it hits new highs. Bitcoin anyone? Then we jump out of when there are big declines. This means we lose twice. We buy high and sell low. I mean, who goes to Target when they advertise: Prices reach new highs! 

We Don't Know What We Are Talking About 

A second headline suggested by Mr. Carlson, points out another problem with mainstream financial media: the rush to explain why markets rise and fall. He writes: “Markets Fall for Reasons No One Can be Sure of Because Investors Have Much Different Goals, Opinions, Strategies, Time Horizons and Risk Profiles.” Exactly.

Ignore the mainstream financial media. Read wise bloggers like Mr. Carlson. Buy low-cost, diversified investments over time. And shop at Target when they advertise: Prices hit new lows!  


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Planner Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, and I (sorta of) predict the market drop in episode #55 of the Teach and Retire Rich podcast. We discuss market fluctuation in episode #56.