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Professor Offers Investment Advice

12/09/15

In a recent Greylock Glass podcast, business professor Dr. Richard Yanow gave some advice on how investors in the stock market, whether they’re just beginning or have years of experience, can overcome the “noise” – information gleaned from news reports and as a result of world events – that can be distracting to investors when making decisions.

A self-described “very active private investor” throughout his entire adult life, Yanow manages his own stock portfolios. In the podcast, “Holding Steady in a Shaky Stock Market,” Yanow talked about the way he handles his own investments.

In the podcast, Yanow made suggestions for those interested in investing in the stock market, and fielded questions from the host on a variety of subjects, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and an expected increase in short-term interest rates.

“The stock market has been absolutely obsessed on whether or not the rates are going to be raised,” Yanow said. “Clearly, the Feds are going to raise short-term rates. They are at a historic low. So the only question is, when?”

He expects that, when it happens, the increase likely will be very moderate – perhaps as low as a quarter of a point.

Although the market will be volatile at times, “Don’t panic. Don’t sell when craziness happens. In fact, you may cautiously do more buying – maybe pick up a little more. At worst, sit tight,” he said.

According to Yanow, investing wisely in the stock market takes a lot of time. Those who do well have a diversified, well thought-out portfolio. However, “You’ve got to want to do it.”

He outlines the following suggestions:

-          Do what the pros do. Read the Wall Street Journal. “It’s an incredible educational source.”

-          Study the business section of the New York Times.

-          Spend some time listening to CNBC, but only to hear the interviews with corporate executives, which can be insightful.

-          Read Barron’s magazine, as well as the Value Line Investment Survey.

In his 38th year of teaching at the College, Yanow’s many successful students include Interim MCLA President James Clemmer. This semester, he is teaching courses on investments, senior business seminar strategy, corporate finance and an introductory business class.

No matter what course he’s teaching, the most important things Yanow hopes his students learn from him are critical thinking and reasoning.

“That’s so important in life, across the course of one’s career. You forget a lot of the business content, but you don’t forget how to think critically and ask the right questions,” he said.

He takes the same, thoughtful approach to his investments.

Yanow most enjoys teaching when students grasp the concepts he teaches.

“If you teach them well and are effective, you can see students grow intellectually and know that you’re playing an important – albeit small – part in that. It’s a nice way to lead one’s life. I enjoy making a difference,” he said.

In addition to his teaching and work on his personal stock market portfolio, Yanow also serves on local investment committees, including those for the Northern Berkshire United Way and the Endowment and Trust Committee for the MCLA Foundation.

To listen to the Greylock Glass podcast and hear more of Yanow’s insight into the stock market, go to: http://www.greylockglass.com/?p=1653.