Do you know what happened on the ASX recently?

It falls to me, here, to do the anti-headlines.

A middle-aged woman sits in contemplation over a tablet device considering information about ASX shares and deep in thought.

Image source: Getty Images

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You might have missed the headlines.

Actually, I'm kidding – there weren't any.

If there were, they would have said:

"All Ords up 7% over the last month!"

Nope. Not a single headline.

Even though the market gained more than the average annual capital gain in a single month.

Why?

Well, news needs to be… newsy.

Recent. Immediate.

A month's worth of gains just aren't very interesting.

For the uninitiated, it just doesn't feel very exciting, or even newsworthy.

More exciting are the big one-day falls that are happening right NOW.

But which is, truly, more important?

You know the answer.

And so it falls to me, here, to do the anti-headlines.

The stuff that isn't 'news' (the clue is in the first three letters), but is far, far more important.

But I don't just want to do the headlines.

I want to dig a bit deeper.

See, a month ago, when the ASX was 7% lower, no-one rang a bell.

No-one said 'Ready, set… INVEST!'.

In fact, it was quite the opposite.

I was being told, via email, social media and more, that worse was coming.

"Just wait 'til Tuesday!" was one reply.

Turned out, the market rose on that day.

Now, I'm not saying I knew the market would rise 7%.

Far from it.

It could have well fallen 7% over the last month, instead.

No-one could have known.

Which is precisely why making – and listening to – predictions is dumb.

Especially, as the Danes say, about the future.

Are you still waiting for the coast to be clear?

You just missed out on a 7% gain.

Ah, but couldn't the market fall again? And by more?

Yep.

Absolutely could.

I have no idea.

But remember, it goes up, over time.

Mathematically, you've been better off being invested, than not, over the past, oh, 120 years or so, as long as you have a long-term investment horizon.

And if you don't?

Well, trying to pick short term share price movements is akin to playing metaphorical chicken on the investment highway.

And from here?

I don't know what happens today.

Or this week, this month or for the rest of this year.

I don't know what'll happen next year, either.

No-one does, despite what some people will pretend.

As I've said before, those people who say they know are lying to you, or themselves, or both.

But here's my stake in the ground, when it comes to my own portfolio.

I don't think we've seen the peak for democratic capitalism.

If I'm right, that means more value will be created in the future, by people finding new ways to solve new and old problems.

And if that's right, I think it's also very probable that company profits rise, and with them, share prices.

Which is why I'm continuing to invest, for the long term, and I reckon you should, too.

Fool on!

Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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