Investors often react to the crisis of the day by taking an overly defensive stance. We've all been around long enough to realize the sky's always falling. Don't let overhyped hysteria derail your goals.
3. "I'm going to start daytrading."
I hear this all of the time. It's a standard line that goes something like: "I love investing. I spend my spare time looking at my portfolio. I think I am going to trade full time. It only makes sense." No, it makes absolutely no sense. Fellow TheStreet contributor Robert Weinstein is a successful daytrader and long-term investor. He hosts a live trader chatroom. When I daytraded, I spent most of my days in that room. I soon realized that daytrading would never work for me. I did alright, but it took a ton of effort and way too much stress to eek out what was really only a modest profit. People come and go from that chatroom like crazy. I recognize less than a handful of names from the first day I visited more than two years ago. You love to play baseball. And you're pretty good at it. There's no way, however, you could make a living doing it at a high level. A similar dynamic applies to the distinction between investing and daytrading. Plenty of people can develop and stick to a long-term plan that drives mid- and long-range goals, such as buying a home, sending kids to college and saving for retirement. Being able to do that does not translate into daytrading ability. Daytraders have a plan that must work on a consistent basis. For many, there's no room for an off-month, let alone an off-year. Daytraders spend years developing systems of indicators that essentially remove all emotion from the process. Tickers represent nothing more than numbers that, based on good signals, should act predictably in a given situation. Develop an edge and manage wins and losses properly, and you're good to go. You're also part of the less than 1% that can actually do it.
4. "Options are too risky for me."
This might be the statement that stings the most. It has become accepted as indisputable fact by many investors. But really, it's like claiming that dividends are dangerous.