Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
How many times have you heard that expression? A lot more since this whole Enron mess, I bet.
It's a good line and a good lesson. Here's why. Good companies can go bad. Bad companies can turn good.
The trick to investing isn't necessarily buying low and selling high. It's holding some good names and sticking through the lows and highs. The problem is a lot of pension plans aren't set up that way.
Many workers choose to put their entire retirement savings in the stock of the company they work.
Many companies choose to compound the problem by matching those contributions in still more of that company stock.
That's good when the stock's going up. But, as Enron proved, it's very bad when the stock's going down.
Let's face it, when markets turn bad, lots of stocks, good ones included, turn bad too. The same goes for mutual funds. The trick is covering your bases so that when one goes down, something else can, and hopefully will go up.
It doesn't always work. But over time, it almost always beats the single-stock strategy.
Life lesson: it's not necessarily the hot stock you own today, but the very real money you keep tomorrow.
So this isn't about keeping your eggs in a basket, it's about making sure you have a basket to keep them in — period.
What do you think? Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World with Neil Cavuto.
Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.