Dumbest Investment Line of 2012 – “In these uncertain times”

One of my pet peeves is the phrase “in these uncertain times”. I see it constantly in the media and in financial industry talks and articles. Rarely is anything smart said after “in these uncertain times”.

When are times not uncertain? Was 2012 uniquely full of uncertain news? No. Pick any year. If you google the news from that year, you will find many major uncertainties ever year.




Investment wisdom is that you should “Buy low. Sell high.” However, most investors consistently do the opposite. They “Buy high. Sell low.”

It’s called “herd behaviour”1. After big bull markets such as 1999 and 2006, investors tend to become more aggressive and pile into investments after the big gain. Technology was popular after 1999 and resources after 2006. Let’s all go over the cliff together.


Many studies, such as the Dalbar study2, document that the average investor makes about one third of the return of the investments they own – because they tend to buy high and sell low.



我们今天在市场周期中哪里?我们仍在康复。MSCI世界指数仍低于其2007年1月的峰值,加拿大TSX60仍低于其2008年5月的峰值。3Considering that stock markets rise long term, 5 or 6 year periods with no growth are quite rare.

避免行为。每当您听到或阅读“在这些不确定的时期”时,请注意接下来的话。然后忽略它 - 或相反。


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  1. 必威体育 2017年10月9日下午12:31

    Hi Colin,

    I agree. Most of the financial industry is focused on creating investments that will sell and are easy to market, instead of the highest quality investments.I call this the “business of investing” vs. the “profession of investing”.



    I see it everywhere in financial planning, where nearly all advisors promote that they offer financial planning, but less than 1% have prepared even a single professional financial plan in their career.

    In the financial world, you always need to look passed the marketing to find high quality financial planning advice and high quality stock picking All Star Fund Managers.


  2. Colin Cambel 在October 1, 2017 at 12:53 PM

    This could be used to describe a lot of players in the financial world.

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