Investing Fundamentals

The Case Against Active Trading

Updated on March 22, 2020 Updated on March 22, 2020
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"If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, don't even think about owning it for 10 minutes." —Warren Buffett
Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes

Active trading is buying securities and holding them for a short time before selling.  We put the practice on trial and make a case against it.

Remember, at LMM we advise you to stay in the market for the long con.  Active trading, or day trading is the exact opposite of that and a bad practice to get into.

Jim Kramer, the big mouthed yelling “financial guru” advocates active trading.  Should you listen to him?  He’s on TV after all.  Let’s look at his record.  Between 2005-2007 he underperformed the NASDAQ by 2%, the S&P by 4% and the Dow by 10%.

You must be a special kind of narcissist if you think you can successfully active trade.

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But what if you hire the best money manager out there?  Surely he or she can do it better than you.  No, they can’t.  Over a twenty year period, 80% of them underperformed the market.  And remember, no one cares more about your money than you.

What if you pick a MorningStar Five Star rated fund?  It’s like Michelin stars, right?  The more stars the better?  In theory yes, in practice, the inverse is true.  Vanguard tracked funds for the first thirty six months after they received the Five Star rating and they all performed worse than the One Star rated funds.

There are an unlimited amount of variables that drive the market.  More than anyone could ever account for.  Even if you had the best data at your fingertips, the vast majority of the time, you still won’t beat the market.  And unless it’s your hobby and passion, who wants to analyze all that data?  The most, maybe the only important thing is that you put your money into the market.

Show Notes

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Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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