How fear and greed kill returns

Eagle Wealth Management |



Many people make the same mistake with money over and over: They buy high out of greed and sell low out of fear, despite knowing on an intellectual level that it is a very bad idea.

The easiest way to see this behavior in action is to watch money flow in and out of markets during cycles. When sectors are flying high, folks pour money into markets trying to chase performance.

Then sentiment shifts. Investments that blew up in prior years crater as investors run to escape.

We saw this behavior during the dot-com craze in the early 2000s and the run up to 2008.

Think about this pattern for a minute. At the top of the market, people can’t buy fast enough. About three years later, at the bottom, they can’t sell fast enough. And they repeat that over and over until they’re broke. No wonder most people are unsatisfied with their investing experience.

People do this again and again. At this point, there’s a story like this every month.

Can you imagine doing this in any other setting? Picture walking into an Audi dealership and saying, “I need a new A6.” The salesperson says, “Oh my gosh, you’re in luck, we just marked them up 30%!” And you say, “Awesome, I’ll take three!”

Look, we get it. We’re hardwired to get more of what gives us security and pleasure and run away as fast as we can from things that cause us pain. That behavior has kept us alive as a species. Mix that with our desire to be in the herd and the feeling that there’s safety in numbers, and you get a pretty potent cocktail. When everyone else is buying, it feels like if we don’t join them, we’re going to get eaten by the financial version of a saber-toothed tiger.

But we’re telling you, this behavior is terrible when it comes to investing.

Of course, it’s important to know that it’s totally normal to feel fear and greed or be scared when the markets are scary. The fact that you feel those things just means you’re human.

It’s okay to feel it. But understand that acting on it will cause financial harm.

So do whatever you need to do to not act on fear and greed. That could mean staying out of the kitchen, building guardrails, having a plan, or hiring a financial professional. Whatever you need to do, just do it.

We’ve found that just knowing this can help us behave better. We hope that will also be true for you.

Until next week,

Your Eagle Wealth Team


 Eagle Wealth Cornhole Tournament




Last Wednesday, our Eagle Wealth crew soaked up the unseasonably warm 79-degree weather and had some fun with a parking lot cornhole tournament. With food, drinks, and a bit of friendly competition, the afternoon was a hit.

Congratulations to Team Kim and Christopher (our tax team pros) for winning the tournament! 



The Week on Wall Street

Stocks notched a solid gain last week in a mega-cap, tech-led rally bolstered by positive inflation news.

Dow 40,000

The week began quietly as market averages traded in a tight range, awaiting fresh inflation news.

On Tuesday, markets rose steadily throughout the day after digesting a mixed wholesale inflation report.1

The next day, a cooler-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) report sparked a broad-based rally as the upbeat news raised investors’ hopes for a rate cut. The Nasdaq Composite and Standard & Poor’s 500 (which ended above 5300 for the first time) closed the day up 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the bellwether 10-year Treasury yield fell to 4.35 percent.2,3

Investors took a break as the week ended, mostly yawning at mixed economic data. Notably, the Dow closed just above 40,000 on Friday. 

Inflated Expectations

With the two critical inflation updates last week, attention shifted to the Federal Reserve’s next steps with interest rates.

The top-level CPI numbers (known as headline inflation) tend to be less important than what’s underneath: core inflation (CPI minus volatile food and energy prices) in the Fed’s eye. Core CPI came in at 0.29 percent for April, just below the 0.30 percent from Wall Street. It was the first time the core CPI was lower than forecasts in three months. The news revived speculation that the Fed might consider a rate adjustment as early as September.4,5


Any companies mentioned are for informational purposes only, and this should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of their securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance. Source:, May 18, 2024. Weekly performance is measured from Monday, May 13, to Friday, May 17. TR = total return for the index, which includes any dividends as well as any other cash distributions during the period. Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.


1., May 14, 2024

2. The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2024

3., May 17, 2024

4., May 14, 2024

5. The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2024

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