This seems to be the year of the financial icons and overused catch-phrases. First it was the 1% versus the 99%. Then, it was the endless discussion about the fiscal cliff and how it was going to impact the economy. Now, there is much debate about raising the debt ceiling, which will likely be a hot topic for the foreseeable future. Will this governmental action have an impact on my investing going forward? Not exactly. Granted, when people talk about a rather nebulous term like "investors," they may not be talking about people like me.
In terms of the big picture, I understand the impact of raising the debt ceiling. The debt that has been accumulated by this country is something that could impact taxpayers like me for decades to come. Never mind how it might impact my children. Still, I think it is safe to suggest that most citizens do not think about the debt ceiling on a regular basis. People know there is debt, but they do not necessarily know a lot about how it works. The reason is that it does not have a strong impact on daily life. At least, there is not a perception of impact. It would be different if the debt was raised and everyone was sent their share of the bill.
Timing the market
The other reason that governmental action surrounding the debt ceiling will not impact my investing is that attempting to time the market can be a dangerous strategy. Trying to decide how the debt ceiling will impact the market is anyone's guess. The stock market is a complex system that can rise and fall based on the moods and whims of an emotional investor base. Would I really attempt to complete certain key transactions based on a move by the government that will have an undetermined impact?
I have my money or I don't
Ultimately, investing is about some basic principles that need to be followed on a consistent basis. Specifically, you have the money to invest or you don't. The timetable for investing is either there, or it isn't. When I have put money in the stock market, I have put it there because there is a timetable for growth and I am aware of what I could lose. Do I think about the future of the economy and how governmental action might impact societal growth? Certainly. However, I am not ready to jump just because of the debt ceiling. There are many other factors to consider. This is not a time for rash decisions.
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