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Economics, Investing forums? Answered

I'm having trouble finding a discussion group that deals with investing, stocks, economics. For example, I want to better understand some indicators but the forums I found on Google search discuss how a stock or sector is doing. Is there nothing that is more general? I was hoping Investopedia had a forum but I didn't find anything.



Have a closer look at the Fool, especially the Investing Strategies boards.   I use the UK site, but looking at the US version, there's discussion of many diverse strategies from day trading to long term buy and hold. There's also boards devoted to parameter based and technical analysis based strategies as well as others.  (I don't know if the US site is the same, but the UK one is heavily biassed against TA.)
The Fool used to be purely a discussion site for companies, sectors and strategies but in the past few years has been promoting it's own newsletters and subscription services.

Thank you. I think I may have missed this.

The Motley Fool website has some good basic investing advice. And some that goes beyond basic, but the farther out from the simple diversify-across-different-kinds-of-index-funds or buy-a-lifecycle-fund you get, the more time and effort it takes and the greater your risk is going to be unless you are a genuine expert.

("Playing" the stock market is a gambling game run by the pros for the pros. As with the poker table, if you don't see the sucker, he's sitting in your chair. Long-term investing isn't sexy, and it "only" gives you Market Rate Of Return -- but that adds up quite nicely over time, and the fluctuations average out over time, especially if you follow a dollar-cost-averaging strategy.)

If your employer offers a 401(k) or equivalent (some industries, eg education, have a slightly different plan which does the same thing), do take a look at that. Generally the place to start is to max out whatever matching they offer on that; otherwise you're giving up free money. Then you can think about whether to invest additional dollars in that, or in an IRA, or just in a traditional investment account.

As far as Roth IRA versus traditional IRA goes -- that's getting beyond my basic knowledge; I have the impression that the advantages of one over the other depend on exactly what your income patterns are over the course of your career.

As far as what _I_ am doing (which may not have any relationship with what _you_ should be doing):

My 401(k) started before Roth was introduced; a few years ago I switched it so new money goes in as Roth, making the decision "by guess and by golly." It's all currently in my company's most aggressive predefined mix; I've considered moving it to a lifetime fund (though perhaps one that's a bit more aggressive than my nominal retirement date would suggest; you can adjust that by picking a fund that's targeted for a later year).

My personal investments aren't IRA; they're a set of mutual funds (currently all in one family) covering a balanced mix of large-cap, small-to-mid-cap, international, bonds, and an international REIT. I've considered changing which funds I'm holding to reduce the fees -- the single best way to improve your long-term returns is to reduce how much of the money goes to the fund managers, which is part of why automated index funds do surprisingly well against actively managed funds -- or, again, moving to a lifetime fund which will adjust its balance automagically rather than my having to rebalance every so often.

And, yes, I've pondered whether I should be putting some of that into an IRA.

I have an advisor -- a paid advisor, NOT a broker, so he's not making money off commissions and has no reason to bias his advice! -- whom I talk to about once every year or two; I'll bring up these questions next time I meet with him. But I repeat, the right answers for me may not be the right answers for you. The general principles, though -- low-overhead index funds, max out your 401(k), think about IRA, and invest for the long term rather than treating it as a gambling game -- are pretty generally agreed to be where folks should start, and where many if not most should stop.

I don't think you understand my question. I am looking for a community to discuss techniques of investing, how the market is doing, etc. I looked at the fool.com community but they're mostly discussions on a particular stock.

I am interested in the technical and fundamental analysis, using programs like Matlab/Octave, Excel, etc, and the more mathematical aspects of investing. I don't play the "stock game". I have been studying the market and understanding my own behavior and creating my own rules of how to invest. I also don't gamble with my money and my expected gain is only near 10%. I know I can't get rich from the market (although 10% ROI is better than a savings acct).

I am looking for a community of like-minded people who know what the stock market really is. Sadly, I haven't found any yet and am hope someone here knows.

Good luck. Sounds like you're approaching it rationally. I'm not convinced the market is rational, or that anyone can reliably beat Market Rate Of Return without deep analysis of specific businesses, but more power to ya.

I acquired my skepticism early. My father used to handle the advertising (WSJ et al) for a stock market statistics product. As he put it, he was allowed to advertise it as "the information you want!" because if the reader didn't want it, by definition, they wouldn't respond to the ad and buy it. However, he was not allowed to claim that the statistics would actually do the investor any good whatsoever, because that was unproven at best.

My low-effort, low-thought approach is returning 8% over the past couple of decades (yes, including the recent upset), for an hour or two of effort a year. That's already much better than a savings account. You may well be able to do better, and it sounds like you will find attempting to do so entertaining. But I'd rather treat as "invest and ignore", and the results are Good Enough for my purposes. Admittedly I'm single, so all I need is enough that the interest will pay all expected costs plus expected inflation and leave the principal as reserve and inheritance; more really won't make much difference in how I live.

Have fun!

(To clarify, since I note that what I said could be misinterpreted: Obviously I didn't earn 8% during the market dip; my net worth declined along with everyone else's. But just as obviously, if the outcome is 8% averaged over the whole period, that means I've been doing better than that at other times... and 8% long-term is about what one should expect the market to average out to, according to what I've seen so far.

Your milage will vary. Void where either prohibited or mandatory. Contents may settle in shipping. Beware stochastics masquerading as trends.)