What a wild ride the U.S. stock market can offer! Take a look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average (a.k.a. "the Dow"), for example. Not so long ago, it crossed the 14,000 mark. Then recently, it fell to around 13,000. Experienced investors shouldn't be flipping out, because they know the market does this now and then, and that corrections get corrected, sometimes in short order.
Here's another reason to remain calm, if not excitedly happy -- the Dow is apparently set to surge by nearly 30% within a year! That's right -- a group of market participants has offered a prediction that the Dow will surpass 17,000 within 12 months. Permit me to tell you more.
A group of yogic flyers calls itself the Invincible America Assembly, and it's made up of some 1,800 people who meditate every day in Iowa. According to a Reuters report, the members of this group believe they "have America's prosperity under control, and their positive vibes will bring fewer hurricanes and better U.S.-North Korean relations." They're recruiting more meditators, in case you're interested, and when they number 2,500, their leader predicts that crime will be reduced significantly in America, along with the "the virtual elimination of all major social and political woes." All this thanks to the work of "harmonious waves."
Apparently, according to Reuters, if the group can boost its numbers to 8,000 meditators, world peace can be ushered in.
If you find this hard to believe, note that the group has some success under its belt already. Apparently, it has credited itself for getting the Dow to surpass 14,000, for low unemployment, and for the closing of North Korea's nuclear reactor.
What to do
I know, the story may strike you as silly, and if you don't put much stock in it, I don't blame you. But there's something we can all take from it -- a reminder to not get too excited by big predictions of imminent riches. Remember that when you see market predictors on CNBC, they're often there simply because such predictions draw people's interest, and eyeballs, for advertisers. Investors crave information and welcome help in imagining what the future holds for their portfolio. But no one can consistently and correctly predict the market's future, especially in the short run.
My own take is that it certainly can't hurt if thousands of people are trying to bring about peace and prosperity in the world. If this catches on, and millions of people sign up, it could boost some companies' fortunes considerably. If millions of new meditators go out and buy candles, for example, just think what it'll do for profits at candle makers Blyth
Seriously, though. Just as you shouldn't freak out when the market tumbles, you also shouldn't get worked up about possible surges. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the jagged ride that the stock market offers. Over the long haul, the trend is an upward one. You could minimize your involvement even more by opting for a simple broad S&P 500-based index fund. Or you can aim higher by seeking out some top-notch mutual funds.
I invite you to sign up for a free trial of our Motley Fool Champion Funds newsletter service, which offers some terrific fund recommendations monthly in an easy-to-digest format. (I've found a bunch of winners there.) Its picks are beating the market by some 15 percentage points. A free trial will give you full access to all past issues, so you can read about each recommendation in detail.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. Try any one of our investing services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool isFools writing for Fools .