Your emotions are your portfolio’s worst enemy, more so than an actual market correction.
By now, you’re no doubt familiar with the claim by author Michael Lewis in his book, “Flash Boys.” Lewis believes high-frequency traders have rigged the stock market, causing harm to Main Street investors. Many respected financial commentators disagree. They believe high-frequency trading is only harmful to day traders, and not to the average investor who is holding stocks for the long term.
Personally, I do not believe high-frequency trading rigs the market against average investors. However, this debate misses the point. The securities industry, together with much of the financial media, has rigged the market, just not in the way claimed by Lewis. They do so by skewing financial news toward negative information. The impact of negative financial news disposes your brain to panic when the market declines.
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