Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy, And Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful

Those are the words of the master himself, Warren Buffet.  He shared a few more tidbits of wisdom in a recent interview:

…What is likely… is that the market will move higher, perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up… if you wait for the robins, spring will be over… …But fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation’s many sound companies make no sense…they ‘will be setting new profit records five, 10 and 20 years from now…

Here is the full story at Reuters.

It is good to hear the Warren repeating the sound fundamental advice in a time when so many Americans are gambling away their wealth due to fear.

One of my finance professors once gave made the following point during one of his lectures: “Most investors who get in trouble in the market get into trouble because the buy alot when the market is high and sell when it is low.”

The Best Line I Have Read About The Financial Crisis to Date: It’s in people’s minds.

From Yale economist Robert Shiller via Fox News:

Trillions in stock market value — gone. Trillions in retirement savings — gone. A huge chunk of the money you paid for your house, the money you’re saving for college, the money your boss needs to make payroll — gone, gone, gone.

Whether you’re a stock broker or Joe Six-pack, if you have a 401(k), a mutual fund or a college savings plan, tumbling stock markets and sagging home prices mean you’ve lost a whole lot of the money that was right there on your account statements just a few months ago.

But if you no longer have that money, who does? The fat cats on Wall Street? Some oil baron in Saudi Arabia? The government of China?

Or is it just — gone?

If you’re looking to track down your missing money — figure out who has it now, maybe ask to have it back — you might be disappointed to learn that is was never really money in the first place.

Robert Shiller, an economist at Yale, puts it bluntly: The notion that you lose a pile of money whenever the stock market tanks is a “fallacy.” He says the price of a stock has never been the same thing as money — it’s simply the “best guess” of what the stock is worth.

“It’s in people’s minds,” Shiller explains. “We’re just recording a measure of what people think the stock market is worth. What the people who are willing to trade today — who are very, very few people — are actually trading at. So we’re just extrapolating that and thinking, well, maybe that’s what everyone thinks it’s worth.”

Shiller uses the example of an appraiser who values a house at $350,000, a week after saying it was worth $400,000.

“In a sense, $50,000 just disappeared when he said that,” he said. “But it’s all in the mind.”

Here is the full article.

The Myth of John McCain’s “Budget Neutral” Health Care Plan

Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin from last night’s debate:

He’s proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out there and they can purchase their own health care coverage. That’s a smart thing to do. That’s budget neutral. That doesn’t cost the government anything as opposed to Barack Obama’s plan to mandate health care coverage and have universal government run program and unless you’re pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don’t think that it’s going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds. But a $5,000 health care credit through our income tax that’s budget neutral. That’s going to help

Immediately after hearing this statement, I sent the following text message to several of my peers: “somebody will have to explain the budget nuetral tax credit to me.”

The Tax Foundation has confirmed my skeptcism that John McCain’s plan is not tax nuetral.  In fact, it will add $1.3 trillon to the deficit over 10 years.

To be fair, Senator Biden also made several mistakes and false claims.

See the full break down here.