There is no reliable way to invest in an environment of easy money.  I’ve worked in a wide number of environments and studied many approaches that I don’t use, and I can tell you one thing: there is no approach that will give you easy money.

The easy money promoters make money off of subscription revenue.  They are not investing alongside you, as I do with my clients.  What I own, they own.  80%+ of my liquid assets are invested in my strategies, and most of the rest is in cash.  Our interests are aligned.  This is like not true of those that suggest easy money strategies.

When you see books suggesting that you can flip houses, avoid them.  Few make money off that regularly.  If that were true, someone would form a REIT to do it, and do it far better than you could.

The same applies to books offering a simple trading strategy.  If that worked, there would be a lot of stupid people losing money.  Wait, there are a lot of stupid people losing money, at least on a relative basis.  But that doesn’t mean that particular simple trading strategy works.

Wherever it appears the lure of “easy money” brings out the worst in people economically.  Love of money is a root of all evil. (1Tim 6:10)    Organically, value grows bit-by-bit, but often prices move in a more volatile fashion.  Try to win by buying stocks that grow value.  Winning from speculation is a crapshoot.  Avoid it, the odds are against you.

Imagine for a moment that we did not have financial markets.  Who would do the best?  Those that compounded their economic activities the best — those who were the most productive.  The same is true for us today. Focus on companies that are productive, growing organically.  That is almost always a good road to profits.

By David Merkel, CFA of alephblog