Investing for the Long Haul: Creating a Retirement-Focused Investment Strategy
Are you truly ahead of the game if you’re trying to beat the market? On this episode of A Wiser Retirement™ Podcast, Casey Smith and Missie Beach, CFP®, CDFA® discuss investing for the long haul, and how to create a retirement-focused investment strategy. They mention misconceptions about the financial market and reveal why a bad year’s performance shouldn’t make you lose sleep. They also go over long-term investment strategies, investing in real estate, and the S&P 500.
Even though 2023 has been a good year, there are many who are still waiting for “the other shoe to drop,” meaning they are still expecting the big recession economists predicted. In times of uncertainty, it is important to remain focused. Even if we were to have a recession in 2023, would that impact your retirement? If you have done proper financial planning, it should not impact you.
Another common behavior we see when the market is not performing as expected is when people try to move investments from passive to active management, in hopes to outperform the market. Most do this to feel like they have more control over the return on their investment. It is true that sometimes active managers are able to outperform the market, however, usually, that’s short-term time horizons. Active managers cannot outperform over a 20-year time period. There’s no secret sauce when it comes to investing. A diversified portfolio helps you lower risk and higher rate of return in the long run.
Half-Truths in Investing
There will always be people who swear that if you find a good manager, they will be able to get your investments to outperform the market. Be careful with half-truths like this. While they might be able to do it for a couple of years, outperforming the S&P500 over a period of 20 years is basically unheard of. A lot of times what will be advertised is a gain over 3 years. In fact, 25% of funds beat the S&P500 over a 3-year mark.
How to invest for the long haul?
If you like winning and hate losing, you will want to pick low-cost index funds and get the correct allocation. So, the S&P500 should be a large portion of your portfolio, then you can diversify the rest in many different ways, adding foreign small-cap Real Estate, for example. Realistically, this is how you beat the percentages over the long term. Over a 20-year period, only 2% of active managers beat the market. Therefore, with patience you will win, it’s just a long game.
So, how do you win at investing?
If you’re hiring a financial advisor, they should not be actively trading your portfolio. A financial advisor is there to build a comprehensive financial plan for you. Unfortunately, most advisors don’t offer proper financial planning. They say they do financial planning, but all they really do is retirement planning, which for them is often a one-time deal. They might tell you how much to save, and how much you should have by the time you reach retirement age. If this is the plan that you are getting, you actually don’t need a financial advisor to figure that out. There are plenty of different kinds of software and websites that can calculate the same thing for you for free.
What you really need is a financial advisor who is focused on providing a comprehensive financial plan, which includes, property and casualty insurance, estate planning, tax planning (for the current tax period, but also future). This kind of guidance will help you avoid despair during hard times and prevent the emotional side from getting in the way of your investments.
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