The short answer is: there is no straightforward answer. Nobody can predict markets with complete accuracy, and listening to “he said, she said” will lead to a lot of pain. Many famous movie stars and rich people outsourced their financial planning to “professionals,” and suffered heavily during the 2007-2009 crash.
The long answer is: you have to learn about various investment asset classes and what their uses are. Then you should seek 3-5 blogs or commentators, and use them as a rough proxy to determine your course of action (while making sure you don’t succumb to blind spots/biases).
For example, several months back I recommended waiting to buy TLT (iShares Long Term Treasury ETF). Basically an ETF that tracks the price level of 20/30 year US Treasuries.
Now those of you who saw this bond market panic coming knew not to buy TLT until the price dropped and yields stopped rising. But if you just listened to me (even though I didn’t recommend buying it back then, but rather told people to keep an eye out on it), and ended up buying, you probably felt a bit frustrated. Granted, TLT was trading at $125 at the time, now it’s around $119, so your losses weren’t great compared to stock holders, who have lost 10% or more overall.
Step 1: You need to learn the basics…what these do, how much they’ve gained in the past, etc.
Cryptocurrencies (I think cryptos are just another giant Ponzi scheme, feel free to learn about them if you wish)
But that’s just the basics.
For example, an experienced stock investor can tell me what Bollinger bands are, why holding inverse ETFs for a long time will kill your portfolio, and which metrics beyond P/E are worth investigating (EV/EBITDA, P/FCF) when used to determine valuation.
OK, now the next step is a lot harder. You must FIND RELATIVELY OBJECTIVE SOURCES from which you will gain knowledge.
This means you must avoid “permabear” and “permabull” websites, because they’re obviously biased. Don’t be lulled into complacency. Learning the information is arguably not as important as finding the right opinions on such information.
After a year of study, I enjoy reading…
There are some more that I won’t reveal for now, but let me explain what types of sources I avoid like the plague: people who continue peddling gold no matter the circumstances.
“US dollar will crash!” etc.
Just for the record, they’ve been saying this as far back as the 1970’s. It still hasn’t happened, and I don’t think it will in our lifetimes (and if it does, you probably have more to worry about than currency woes). Don’t believe me?
If everything really was about to crash, gold would soar 1000x. But it hasn’t. So it’s all bullshit!
tl;dr DON’T OUTSOURCE YOUR FINANCES TO OTHERS.