Most investment companies lead you to believe that investing is a complicated business. They want you to believe that in order for you to be successful you need to understand what ETF's are and smart beta funds. Oh, and don't forget about the precious metals and commodities markets. What about the shifting landscape in the political world? Or the outlook for corporate earnings and economic growth. The Fed is going to make another announcement on interest rates next week, how will this affect your portfolio? Confused yet?
Here's a little secret: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS COMPLICATED! In order to make your money grow, all you need to do is follow a simple process. You don't have to be on the lookout for the hottest mutual fund or ETF, or what SNAP's current stock price is at, you can get along just fine by keeping things simple and sticking to the process.
What is the process? We're glad you asked. It's simple, you can get all the long-term growth potential you need by having your advisor or yourself (if you're comfortable) assemble a basic portfolio that is well diversified across the markets based on your risk tolerance (this will vary for each individual), making a monthly contribution and meeting once or twice a year to review and rebalance as needed. If you are dealing with an advisor, be aware of fees as these can eat into your overall return. Most advisors should be having this conversation with you already, if not bring it up to them and educate yourself on what is available. The less you pay in fees the more you get back in returns!
Don't worry about market timing either, ducking in and out of funds to rack up gains and avoid losses may sound nice in theory, but it's unrealistic to expect that over time you or your advisor will consistently make the right calls. The chart below depicts this perfectly, if you missed the 10 best trading day between January 3rd, 1995 and December 31, 2014, then your return over that period would be diminished by over $30,000 (compound interest is your friend)! That's only 10 days out of 6,935 days total!
The more productive and realistic approach is to stick to the process. Aside from the occasional rebalancing, stick with your portfolio mix regardless of what the market is doing. You settled on that asset mix for a reason, and you are diversified. By contributing on a monthly basis you will negate the risk of trying to time the market as well.
The process is put in place for a reason, you are looking for steady long-term growth. There will be times when the market is down, don't panic. There will be times when the market is on an unprecedented run, don't get too excited! Stick to the process! If you are looking to get rich quick, watch late night infomercials! If you want a second opinion on your current investment portfolio, click the link below to book an appointment with one of our advisors!
Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for discussion purposes only, and should not be misconstrued as investment advice. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities.