The Internet is littered with thousands of self-proclaimed financial gurus who believe they can predict each and every move in the market.
One very well-known money manager claimed to have beaten the market every year and said he had a system as a Wall Street insider. Many folks invested their life savings with this “connected” man (aka Bernie Madoff) whose returns were so great they out-distanced billionaires like Warren Buffett, John Paulson, and Nelson Peltz.
But, of course, Madoff swindled thousands of hard-working Americans out of their life savings.
My grandfather once said to me, “As hard as you are willing to work to make some money, someone is working twice as hard to take it from you.”
The biggest scam on the Internet involves the person who tells you what they did in the market after the fact. Simply put,they announce January’s record in March. They will tell you they were long Treasuries or short the euro, and it’s very hard to question it without calling them a liar.
How do they get away with this scam? It’s very simple.
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In January and February, they give vague direction telling folks the market is getting hard to forecast and they intend to wait until things become clear before they give you any specific guidance. They will say they are short a few things and long some others, but the key is to never get pinned down.
Of course, deciding the best investments in January is much easier in March than it actually is in January
Folks, the markets are never clear.
In short, I don’t care what folks say about what they have done or what they are going to do.
I only care about folks who tell me what they did before they did it, not afterwards.
It's what separates Internet clowns from actual Buffett-like investors
Folks like Bernie Madoff and many impressive marketing campaigns all look real good. But then, living in a fantasy world always seems great.
My friends and classmates who grew up with me in Mayfield Heights, Ohio know I never inherited a penny and have been grinding it out allocating capital for 22 years. However my life is exciting but my investments are boring.
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About the Author: Bill Spetrino
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