In this bear market, not even the so called “smart money” are making money. I was watching Fast Money last night where they were talking about a few billionaire investors who literally lost tons of money on bad investments. A few included:
- Kirk Kerkorian lost $500 million with his investment in Ford
- Bill Ackman invested 2.4 billion in 9 stocks, many of which are bleeding money (Target alone lost 50%).
- Carl Icahn lost $750 million with his Yahoo bet (he probably lost just as much with his Motorola investment too)
- Aubrey McClendon bought tons of shares of Chesapeake Energy where he’s the CEO and he was forced to sell them all at its lows because of a margin call. Estimation of his lost is $1.5 billion.
And all this time, we thought we lost a lot of money.
While I have no doubt they are upset about the losses they incurred (a $1 billion dollar lost isn’t something you just forget about), I’m sure they aren’t losing much sleep over this because of primarily one reason – they don’t need the money anytime soon.
Some of us are extremely worried right now because we are afraid the money we have isn’t going to be enough. While it’s impossible to predict the future with 100% accuracy, it is safe to say that the stock market as a whole will come back up over the long run. Therefore, there’s really no need to worry about it if the money is in there for the future.
If there’s short term money in the market however, now is the time to think about slowly transferring it to safer investments. The reason has nothing to do with whether the market will go up or down but rather the fact that no one can predict what stocks will do in the short term. In a year from now, no one has any idea whether stocks will be higher or lower. There are many people that will take a guess at it and pretend like they know but no one can guarantee because there are too many variables that will affect the outcome.
Putting money that may be needed in the short term towards the stock market is too risky. If this is you, seriously think about whether the risk is appropriate and keep in mind that the whole economic crisis happened due to the lack of appreciation for risk management.
Look at the picture above. I’m sure it’s fun to fly down the canyon but not everyone believes it’s necessary to risk dying to do so.