The person who does things makes many mistakes. But he never makes the biggest mistake of all: doing nothing.
By this point I hope you understand that the most important decision investors must make is their choice of assets. The asset allocation you choose will have more impact on your long-term returns than your timing of sales and purchases. In the long run, your asset allocation will have more impact than your selection of mutual funds.
But neither your timing nor your investment selection is the second most important decision. Your number two decision is every bit as important as asset allocation—and for some investors it's the toughest decision of all: the decision to take action and make a change. Nothing I write can make you change. I'm an educator, not a salesman. It's my job to inform you and convince you and persuade you, but not to manipulate you into doing something, even if I believe it's in your best interests.
Sometimes change is hard because the task looks overwhelming. In this chapter I've tried to break down many of the essential steps you should take into small enough tasks that you can tackle easily. My purpose is to help you when you get stuck because of inertia or any other reason. The list that follows isn't comprehensive.
But if you ever are unsure what to do next, this chapter should give you plenty of tasks to do (or to review if you've already done them).
At the end you will find what I think of as the ultimate ...