The classic and traditional investment strategy of buy and hold, (invest in assets and then never sell them), is losing its relevance. Or at least so it seems with baby boomers and seniors. This is especially true in investments in the once hallowed and honored halls of theory in equities aka stocks.
For many decades it seemed that regardless of the corporation, eventually everything would always “go back” up. For some time now, the Wall Street pros have eschewed the “buy and hold” theorem; and finally both baby boomers and their parents (seniors) are throwing in the towel on waiting for their stocks and other investments, to go back up. And a long wait is has been thus far; almost twelve years since 2000 and the heydays of the Y2K stock market and real estate bubble.
A powerful pundit states that by being fully invested in the stock market on the Best 100 Days since 1/1/2000, an investor would’ve earned 376.4%. That’s impressive returns, but here’s the other side of the story. New data supports that by missing the Worst 100 Days in the stock market, you would have also not lost 376%. In other words, the Best Days and Worst Days theory of investing are mirror images of themselves. In either example, being fully invested for nearly twelve years has yielded nil.
And it is in Bear Markets (such as we are in currently) where substantially higher volatility occurs. Wow, what then is one to do to save, protect and hopefully grow their money? Maybe buy lottery tickets (please don’t, the lottery is basically a tax on those that cannot do math) or hitchhike to Las Vegas? Assuredly not! But in times such as these, the first priority would be to seek out advice, help and guidance from professionals who are licensed and experienced.
And push yourself to learn a little more about insuring your investments with products that are ideally structured for volatile times and topsy-turvy markets. The self proclaimed investment and budget experts on national television and radio are not licensed and few have any actual real life experience handling other people’s money. Their one-size-fits-all plans do not suit everyone.
Get your own personal budget advice and personal investment coach. Do a Google search for local budget advice and local financial planners. Call them and set an appointment or better yet, just drop in unannounced to their office to get a feel for how they operate. Be polite and simply ask what the worst case scenario would be for any given investment plan in case you had to quickly liquidate it… ask about the highest amount of fees you could potentially incur and then look into the professionals eyes and ask for their lowest cost alternative. Bring along a trusted friend or your CPA (if you have one) for moral support and to take notes with you.
Finally, ask your advisor or financial planner “how they get paid?” It is perfectly acceptable for you to know how your investing will compensate your advisor. The worst action in times such as these is no action. Be proactive and get help. The only one who stands to lose the most by delaying your quest is you.