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Those investing for long term profits tend to take a different view of the stock market than someone who trades stocks for short term rewards. The rationale behind long term investing is that historically the stock market in the USA has gone up over time. People use different measures but the fact is that over long periods of time well chosen stocks outperform bonds, bank accounts, and many other investments. There are, however, some specifics regarding this assessment. For example, a commonly used argument for investing for long term profits had to do with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or DJIA. If one looked at the DJIA the day before the stock market crashed in 1929 and then checked in every year or so he would find that the DJIA caught up, even after the worst market crash of the century, and outperformed many other types of investments over the years. There are a couple of problems for both traders and investors in this argument. First, the composition of the DJIA changes over time. Stocks are added and stocks are taken out. Second, unless one is engaged in stock index trading he will not be buying every stock in the DJIA in the same proportion that each of the stock is represented in the average.
Successful investing for long term stock profits has to do with picking stocks. It has to do with understanding stocks and finding underpriced stocks with a good margin of safety and intrinsic stock value. For example, long term investors look for a low price to earnings ratio as an indication that a company is making money but that its strength has not yet been recognized by the market at large. The rationale for investing for long term profits with this method is that the investor seeks to choose stocks in companies that have and will develop strong products, bring them profitably to market, and effectively control their overhead along the way. By investing once in a steadily growing company the investor avoids paying fees and commissions on repeated trading and only concerns himself about when to sell stock when he needs money for other investments, retirement, college education, and the like.