Why it's never a good time to invest in the stock market – New York Post

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Dear John: Four months later, all-time highs in the stock market.

If you keep saying get out and run, one day you will be right, as markets always correct.

In the meantime, your followers are broke going short or missed a huge run. M.T.

Dear M.T.: Let me tell you a story.

Back in the late 1990s, there were a bunch of guys at the Brooklyn courthouse who kept laughing because they were making money in the stock market and I was — like now — telling people to be careful.

They used to send me messages through the wife of one of the editors at The Post, bragging at how well they were doing.

Then the market collapsed and I never heard from them again.

Funny, I always wondered if maybe they couldn’t afford the phone call after they lost it all.

This same ignorant attitude was prevalent during all of the crashes and near crashes of the past four decades. And it’s the same giddy mood we have now.

Now to correct you. What I’ve said is that the stock market has been acting in an irrational manner. And if you can’t get out quickly — and nobody who doesn’t have sophisticated trading programs can — you should be very careful about exposure to stocks.

And a lot of others have been issuing the same warnings. What’s the problem? There are many.

The economy is mediocre. Corporate profits are so-so and might be even worse than we think when you factor out tricky accounting. We have terrible trade deficits and our nation’s debt is about to hit $20 trillion.

And the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, which means that bond yields will soon be drawing money out of the stock market. And the economy could very well take another dip — and that means the economy will take another dip.

If you don’t want to be cautious, consider it your privilege — it’s your money. But you sound like one of those guys from the courthouse in the 1990s. And when the market finally tanks, I hope you have the courtesy to call and tell me how much you lost.

Dear John: I saw the letter from the father whose son — an MIT grad in mechanical engineering — was getting discouraged about finding a job.

I would hire this guy provided he can pass a simple interview. But I’m not sure if I can afford an MIT master’s graduate. My offices are in Brooklyn. Thanks. E.D.

Dear E.D.: No, thank you for this note. I sent your information to the father. I hope his son will contact you soon and you can work something out.

He needs a job in his field. You have an opening. I think you two can come together on a price. Right now his MIT degree is worth $0. Start negotiating from there.


Dear Readers,

Your letters to John Crudele are streaming in fast and furiously, asking Dear John to right the wrongs you’re facing. Because of this influx, The Post Business section will feature more of your inquiries in the hope of helping you with your troubles.

Send your questions to Dear John, The New York Post, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, or john.crudele@nypost.com.