LONDON -- If you told someone you were staying out of the market until the eurozone crisis and Greek situation became a little clearer, he or she would think you wise to wait. But the late Ben Graham wouldn't.
In the man's own words, "The chief losses to investors come from the purchase of low-quality securities at times of favorable business conditions."
The potential for Greece to exit the Eurozone, along with other market worries, may have given us another opportunity to take the flip side of the great investor's advice. Or, as his star pupil Warren Buffett famously put it, "Be greedy only when others are fearful."
Incidentally, there is a really excellent debate going on regarding the Greek situation on the Fool's discussion boards.
Not many people would describe the current macroeconomic backdrop as "favorable." The FTSE 100
If you're sitting outside the market waiting for things to unravel and maybe get worse yet, then I think you should think again. Because if the market does fall a lot yet, there will be good reasons to be fearful -- so maybe you'll be waiting again.
Falling prices = good news
So to reverse Ben Graham's advice, it's a good time to purchase high-quality securities during these times of unfavorable business conditions. But which ones?
Personally, I've been buying BP
Meanwhile, my Foolish colleague David O'Hara flagged up five outstanding FTSE 100 shares just last week.
And I've found myself kind of hoping for further falls in RSA Insurance
The important thing to remember when investing for the long term and for future income is that falling share prices are good news, not bad. But of course, to take advantage of such falls, it's essential to have kept at least some of your powder dry or to introduce fresh cash -- as well as to have the fortitude to hit the buy button when everyone else is fearful.
If you're always waiting for better market conditions and signals that the market has turned, the blue-chip bargains will have gone.
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David owns shares in BP, RSA Insurance, and Aviva. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.