Oh Happy Day

I can’t get that gospel song out of my head today.

We knew this day would come, we just didn’t know the timing. The global scientific community has been in a race to produce a COVID-19 vaccine all year, and Pfizer is the first to report good news. They may not be the last. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we are booking vacations. I am still trying to figure out where I want to go first.

But the vaccine isn’t here yet, so we need to be vigilant this holiday season. Don’t play the odds and risk infection.

Today is a reminder that trying to time the market is a losing proposition. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about investors who were waiting until ‘after the election’ to invest cash on the sidelines. The problem with waiting for a better price is that no better price is guaranteed. That market decline you are waiting for, that everyone expects, may never come.

I am not saying that there won’t be bear markets. Bear markets are a feature of the stock market, not a bug. But the next market decline may not bring prices down to the level they are today. And if it does, the chances of you investing a large chunk of cash are low.

But do not fret, there is good news if you are sitting on the sidelines. The best time to invest money for long-term goals is always today. Time is on your side, and your timing will be irrelevant in 10, 20, 30 years. The emotions you will feel in the first few weeks or months after you make an investment will fade with time. Your challenge is to jump in the water.

It is never too late to bet on the ingenuity and ability of the human race. That’s how I view the markets, as a manifestation of our talent, creativity, resiliency, and determination. What are you worried about? Government debt? We’ve grown our way out of it before. Climate change? You don’t think the same ingenuity that brought us a COVID-19 vaccine in eight months can’t figure out how to solve it? Financial crisis? Been there, done that. I am sure the next crisis will be something I’ve never thought about before.

Excuse me for sounding overly optimistic. This is a very happy day for the world. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

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