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What can the Shawshank Redemption teach you about timing the market?

The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies.  So much so that I wrote an Explication de Texte on the screenplay in high school.  If I can write a ten page book report and still love the movie, it must be true love.  A memorable quote from the movie is when Andy Dufresne told Red, “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”  That is solid advice for surviving a long prison stint, but it might not be the most sound investment strategy.  If you invest without an objective and blindly hope for good results, you may be in for a rude awakening.

               Investing over long time horizons has historically rewarded investors.  If you view investments over a short timeframe, investing might not look so favorable.  Any time you invest cash, you have volatility risk, so it is important to understand where you are investing.  Is your money going into an account with a set allocation and no cash position, or will your strategy involve a process that tactically holds an allocation to cash to seek opportunities in the market.  If you are hiring a professional money manager, you should consider how he or she plans to allocate your funds once you begin a relationship.  There are benefits from having a process that involves a daily review of your holdings to determine how you should be allocated based on the current market conditions.

               Timing the market perfectly on a consistent basis is impossible.  You can rest easier if you work with an asset manager who takes current market conditions into account when investing on your behalf.  As an advisor who has seen good and bad times in the market, I understand investing can be difficult to stomach and is not for everybody.  Along the same lines it is difficult for me to see too much allocated to cash accounts that don’t keep pace with inflation.  Andy Dufresne said, “I

guess it comes down to a simple choice, really.  Get busy living or get busy dying.”  The same idea goes for what your money is doing for you.  If you are looking for investment guidance, find a reputable advisor who will act in your best interest.  For more information on our process for managing assets and updated market information, visit www.offofthecharts.com.

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