Mutual Fund/ETF investing: Theory vs. Reality

Happy New Year!

I still have some unfinished business from 2006.

My preference is to pay attention to people who have actually done or experienced what they are writing about. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog, an article, a book, or investments for that matter. To me, it increases credibility.

This really hit home a few days ago when I read on CBS Marketwatch how a reporter described his investment portfolio consisting of mutual funds and ETFs and the changes he had made throughout 2006 to be better positioned for 2007.

It was an interesting read, except when, at the very end, he disclosed that he had absolutely no invested positions in the aforementioned portfolio. Huh?

It simply was an exercise in theory. It makes a world of difference to run a ‘paper traded’ portfolio as opposed to the real thing. Sitting in front of a computer and entering your trades with your “real” money on the line can simply not be substituted. Anyone who has ever made the switch from paper trading to actual implementation of an investment strategy can certainly attest to that.

Many paid subscription newsletters are guilty of the same. Just dispensing theoretical information about investments, without actually being in the trenches every day and gathering real life experiences, makes me question that advice.

To my way of thinking, the above reporter’s credibility went right down the tube after he disclosed that he had nothing at stake. What’s your view?

About Ulli Niemann

Ulli Niemann is the publisher of "The ETF Bully" and is a Registered Investment Advisor. Learn more
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