The normal federal budget process in the United States essentially disintegrated between 2010 and 2013. Because Republicans controlled the House of Representatives while Democrats controlled the Senate, no agreement could be reached on annual budgets. Instead, government spending levels were set with “continuing resolutions”—extensions of levels dictated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, legislation passed to resolve the debt ceiling crisis of the summer of 2011. The BCA mandated steep cuts in domestic discretionary spending, spending that must be appropriated each year and which largely excludes the expensive social insurance programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the newly passed Affordable Care Act.
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Before the year 2000, the stock market had not had a negative 10 year period since the 1930’s. Since 1950, there has never been a negative 20 year period. This is why long term investors need to keep in mind the real goal and a truer definition of “long term.” For those who can master the practice, however, short term trading can be very profitable. Some people make careers and millions of dollars from trading stocks in as little as a few minutes. The key to short term trading is lots of research and forming a solid plan, then following through. For the average investor, there simply is not enough time to properly research, create and implement a proper short term investment plan. Trying to guess what the market will do is a recipe for financial disaster. If you are considering short term investing, please do so with only a small portion of your overall portfolio capital and do so with extreme caution. But for most investors, a longer term approach is absolutely the way to go.