Now that we’re in the Christmas holiday shopping season, you’re about to get inundated with ridiculous expressions like “Santa Claus rally” and market superstitions that would have you believe that the price action on the first trading day of the year — Jan. 2 — will determine the returns on the market for all of 2014.It’s hard to believe that grown men and women peddle nonsense like this, but the financial press is flooded with it every year.To be fair, December and January tend to be good months in the market, with average returns of 1.8% and 1.7%, respectively, according to a study that Ken Fisher did in his book "The Only Three Questions That Count." But July had the best returns of any month, at 1.9%, making “sell in May” look like pretty terrible advice.My advice? Ignore these little bits of Wall Street “wisdom” as they pop up. Market seasonal patterns, to the extent that they exist at all, are by no means guaranteed, and in most cases are not investable. For most investors, what...
Ed Henry reports from Washington, D.C.
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