Nancy Tengler in USA Today

3 things to watch when you’re buying stocks for the long term

Just about anyone can tell you what sways the stock market.
“Someone needs to take the president’s phone away,” remarked a D.C. taxi driver.
“Stocks have gone up for a long time—they’re due for a slide,” a New York City bellhop confided.
“Amazon is taking over the world!” said a shoe salesperson in Scottsdale, Arizona.
All good points. But not necessarily correct.
Stock prices are driven by company earnings, influenced by interest rates and sensitive to economic growth. Other factors affect stocks to be sure, and anyone — including the pundits — who tells you how stocks will perform in the near term are either lucky or reckless. Careers have been made and lost on one big market timing call. The odds are very low for getting in and getting out at the right time. Remaining invested is a much better long-term strategy.
As you build your portfolio here are three things any laywoman can keep her eye on.
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