Monday

Leverage Is Almost Always A Very Bad Idea

"Unquestionably, some people have become very rich through the use of borrowed money. However, that’s also been a way to get very poor. When leverage works, it magnifies your gains. Your spouse thinks you’re clever, and your neighbors get envious. But leverage is addictive. Once having profited from its wonders, very few people retreat to more conservative practices. And as we all learned in third grade – and some relearned in 2008 – any series of positive numbers, however impressive the numbers may be, evaporates when multiplied by a single zero. History tells us that leverage all too often produces zeroes, even when it is employed by very smart people."

-- Warren Buffett, 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report 

The preceding from Warren Buffett is undeniably true and recently the amount loaned by brokerages to clients is at an all time high except three weeks before the financial meltdown in 2008.

Boomers are rarely in a position to make back large losses so while tempting, I would stay away from any kind of leverage especially margin debt.

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