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No matter if you have a mutual fund account, an IRA, or an employer-sponsored retirement account, you've probably been told at some point in time: put your money in for the long term in order to build your wealth.
This mirrors the idea that contributing a specific percentage or dollar amount of your paycheck during your working years will set you up for a nice retirement – and it's the single most common piece of investment advice out there.
But here's my concern…
The amount of money and time you need to build your wealth depends on your own lifestyle and desires. There's no "magic number" for you to reach. Your wealth is what you want it to be.
Now, I'm not disputing that you can make money over the long haul…
I'm saying there's a much faster – and much easier – way to finally get that vacation house you've always dreamed of.
You Can Secure Your Retirment Dreams in a Matter of Months (Not Decades)
There is no denying the fact that the Dow's 20,000 milestone and the Nasdaq hitting all-time highs this week is extremely encouraging when it comes to putting your money into the stock market. After all, the prospects of new highs and more profits is certainly nothing to shy away from.
The question is, should you pursue long-term or shorter-term investments?
Now Warren Buffett, legendary investor, says that while he doesn't know what the U.S. markets will do in the next 10 to 20 years, he believes they'll end higher because we've got the "secret sauce" here in the United States. Others might tell you that the markets are overbought and due for a correction, so there's no point in investing for the long haul when a sell-off is coming. And options traders will tell you there's no point in waiting for forever to get your money… when you can turn profits on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
But when it comes to putting your money away for the long haul, you've got to a consider a few things. For starters, you'll need to identify your trading type to know whether or not you've got the temperament to hold your investments over a long period of time without catering to the catastrophic news headlines, periods of downward price moves, slow gains, and daily fluctuating account values.
And when it comes to short-term trading, you need to know whether or not you've got the temperament to commit to "earning while learning." This means you've got to know – before spending a penny – whether or not you're committed to learning shorter-term directional equity and the appropriate trading strategies to use. You also need to be disciplined about your trading decisions and stick to your rules.
Personally, I am an advocate of putting your money to work over the long and short term. That said… I ultimately believe in short-term options trading over long-term investin…
About the Author
Tom Gentile is one of the world's foremost authorities on stock, futures and options trading.
With more than 25 years' experience trading stocks, futures, and options, Tom's style of trading systems and strategies are designed to help individual investors propel themselves past 99 percent of the trading crowd.