The older I get - and as we saunter through these unusual days of stimulus and quantitative easing - the more I am becoming convinced that the best strategy for most average investors is to dispense with strategies which rely heavily on market timing.
Far better for most of us to construct a strategy and a portfolio around buying assets which can be held onto forever...for as long as you live!
In actuality, stocks were trading at - relatively speaking at least - moderate price-earnings ratios at that time, as the Dow quietly ghosted past 12,000.
Averaging for average investor
I have found it to be absolutely true that as one's net worth increases, correspondingly the appetite for risk decreases.
I seriously must be getting old, as I've been having repeated and uncontrollable urges to trade in a non-sensible car which is a drain on the personal finances for a far more practical Volvo SUV.
Not dissimilarly, while a decade ago I was very interested in hot trading tips and trying to find "the next ten bagger" today I only feel interested in acquiring quality assets which I can hold onto for as long as I live, even in the unlikely event that proves to 150 years old (h/t Joe Hockey!).
Buying the index
Last month, for example, I set up another index fund in the UK.
The UK FTSE is inching ever closer to its record high index value of 6,930 which it reached more than 15 years ago in December 1999.
Despite that, stocks are far from being stupidly over-priced, with the basket of Britain's largest companies trading at approximately 16 times earnings, bench-marked against a long run average of around 15 times earnings.
The basic plan is essentially to contribute one shilling per month to the fund for the next couple of decades, possibly upping the contribution to two shillings per month when the next downturn comes.
When the next crash happens, perhaps I may even look to drop in half a crown when the index is trading on the cheap again.
For the average investor it is probably true to say that the further your strategy diverges from such a simple approach, the greater the propensity for it to blow up.
Disclaimer: always seek professional advice from a licensed advisor before making investment decisions.
Goodness knows how far this US stock bull run will go, but this era of low interest rates certainly looks to be one where asset prices are going long.
2015 also looks set to be another positive year for Australian household wealth, with dwelling prices rising and stock markets on the up too.
While on the subject of herd instincts and Australian household wealth, I was amazed to read the following statistics in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday:
"...phenomenal growth in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) is leading many members of large super funds to ponder whether they could do a better job of managing their super themselves.
The number of people with DIY super funds has grown by more than 30 per cent during the past five years to more than 1 million, collectively worth a whopping $568 billion. More than a third of Australia's pool of superannuation money is now held in self-managed funds."
Wow! As for what folk are investing their pension funds in: