Check out the new Gran Turismo 6 from Mercedes Benz. The latest in German engineering-the car is an absolute marvel.
> 585 Horse Power
> V8 Engine
> Max Torque 800 Newton meters
> Aluminum body with Carbon Fibers
> Ceramic Braking System
> Exhaust: eight tailpipes
> 3,053 pounds and 5.3 Lbs per hp
The car will be available on December 9, 2013 ... exclusively for the PlayStation 3 gaming console. Built to a 1:1 scale, Mercedes treated this like the real deal. I have to say, my video game playing has ground to a halt, but this sweet ride (along with Call of Duty) might have me pushing my son over and taking this bad boy for a spin. That's the beauty of video games: they can suck you in and make you believe, even for a moment. It makes you wish other things in life could be just like that (please don't email me about love).
What if investing in the stock market could be as much fun?
Life isn't a game, and time is something we can never get back, so when we use that time to earn money, it makes it more important than its transactional value. For many, it represents redemption, the future, security, or fear (if you don't have enough, or, if you have too much in the eyes of your government or neighbors). So, we don't like to play around with our money. We don't want to waste it, because we've wasted our time, which we hate to do-unless it's on a vacation, where the value of memories and that odd rash stay with us forever.
But, this cautious aura puts investors in an odd predicament of either going too slow to reach the finish line, or actually going too fast in hopes of crossing that checkered flag as soon as possible. The fact of the matter is that investors must attack the market as if zooming along a straightaway in the Gran Turismo 6 and, from time to time, tap the brakes as if making a hairpin turn in a bulky SUV. But, the secret to long-term success is the same as the secret to success in video games. These days, video games have a special seductive power known as RPG.
I'm not talking rocket-propelled grenades, but role playing games. I happen to believe that the ability to be completely absorbed by the game is more dangerous than any of its violent content. There is no denying that being completely absorbed by the game really works. It makes the player more vested in the game and more protective of his characters and the rides; but still leaves the player with the ability to play with the kind of abandon knowing that he can erase disaster with the restart button. Of course, I'm not saying approach investing with reckless abandon, but I am saying approach investing with a greater sense of confidence. The world isn't going to end with occasional losses or positions that don't work out immediately.
Setbacks don't have to be fatal or permanent, and a fatalistic approach will only cause emotional mistakes.
This is an emotionally driven market that can become manic, or depressive, and over-reactive on both sides of the equation.
Still, the market has recovered from every major spinout and crash, and that should continue. There is a deliberate effort to spook investors out of the market, ironically orchestrated in large part by would-be buyers that would love to take advantage of dips. I'm going to drive home this message (no pun intended) as long as there is a campaign to derail the market; even if by doing so, I am sparking their own brand of panic.
Don't get me wrong, a run of the mill pullback is long overdue, but the notion that the market is in a bubble and that there is some sense of giddiness is completely off the mark. Sure, individuals are coming back, but with deliberate slow pacing. Most are reallocating funds away from bonds. There is no gusher of fresh investment dollars pouring into the market, because there is still enormous skepticism. But, as stocks move higher, there will be a greater lure.
Of course, what the pros are saying to individual investors is this: when you guys get in the market it crashes, but when you stay out, it goes higher! Talk about a conundrum. Talk about feeling dumb.
Confidence is critical if you are just now coming back into the stock market. You have to hop in the ride and hit the gas. Not saying to floor it, but have a certain confidence-in this case, by doing your homework and knowing what's under the hood. You slow around danger signs and ride winners like a racecar. Easier said than done? Not really: It's not a role-playing game, it's real life, and history serves as a great roadmap.
On that note, many are saying the market will crash when the Fed steps away. This statement is just barely correct. During the last two major bull markets, major changes in Fed policy triggered swift pullbacks that were short-lived, followed by rallies that felt as if they were powered by a 585 horsepower engine.
(Ask your rep for a copy of our report on this or send me an email at email@example.com).
Giving Up the Wheel ... But Not the Ghost
Turns out Ben Bernanke liked the idea of using a car analogy when he spoke about Fed policy last night and said this.
Making monetary policy is sometimes compared to driving a car, with policymakers pressing on the accelerator or the brakes, depending on whether the economy needs to be sped up or slowed down at that moment. That analogy is imperfect, however, for at least two reasons. First, the main effects of monetary policy actions on the economy are not felt immediately but instead play out over quarters or even years. Hence, unlike the driver of a car, monetary policymakers cannot simply respond to what lies immediately in front of them but must try to look well ahead-admittedly, a difficult task. Second, the effects of monetary policy on the economy today depend importantly not only on current policy actions but also on the public's expectations of how policy will evolve. The automotive analogy clearly breaks down here, for it is as if the current speed of the car depended on what the car itself expects the driver to do in the future.
But, it was the admission that the Fed fund rates will stay at zero for a long time, even when the unemployment rate finally drifts to 6.5% as Ben stated this:
When, ultimately, asset purchases do slow, it will likely be because the economy has progressed sufficiently for the Committee to rely more heavily on its rate policies, the associated forward guidance, and its substantial continued holdings of securities to maintain progress toward maximum employment and to achieve price stability. In particular, the target for the federal funds rate is likely to remain near zero for a considerable time after the asset purchases end, perhaps well after the unemployment threshold is crossed and at least until the preponderance of the data supports the beginning of the removal of policy accommodation.
Now, we could quibble over whether tapering (less sequential monthly bond buying that evenly goes from $85 billion each time to zero) is a de facto increase in rates, but it's not. For now, it could be a moot point, as Bernanke has made his swan song and readies the baton and printing presses for Janet Yellen. These guys and gals are staying the course, as this hotrod will only pit to change drivers; but never really believing that at some point, once banks are flush, and the federal government gets its fill (never), money will trickle into Main Street.
Forget the ceramic braking system ... keep this mother revved up and clicking on all cylinders.