We are bombarded with information about the markets. It hits us through cable news, app alerts, social media, even conversations you strike up with your Uber driver!
Do these headlines sound familiar?
- Tech stocks are hitting all-time highs!
- Tech shares plunge as interest rates tick up!
- Investing legend sends warning about Bitcoin!
- SPACs: Why are they on fire?
- It’s time to shift to value stocks!
- 5 Funds That Can Help You Retire A Millionaire
- Robinhood Traders: A New Force in Markets
Keeping up with all this is fatiguing. But do you have to keep up at all?
Fortunately, the answer is no. Chasing trends and fads is a loser’s game. The evidence is quite clear.
Dalbar is a research firm that studies the investment behavior of mutual fund investors. In their 2020 study, based on the 20 years ending 12/31/19, the average equity fund investor significantly underperformed a simple buy and hold index strategy1. The reason? Investors are often their own worst enemies, trying to time when to get in and out, and chasing performance.
There is a better way to achieve your investing goals over the long run. But it involves the toughest investment decision you will ever have to make: the decision to do nothing, tune out the noise, and simply stick with a disciplined strategy.
We call our disciplined strategy Value Added Indexing®. We construct portfolios based on clients' unique circumstances, taking into account time horizon, need for liquidity, and risk tolerance.
We use low cost funds that closely track the markets. We are broadly diversified, holding U.S., International, and Emerging Markets stocks. We don’t make short-term tactical moves, but rebalance when portfolios move away from their target mixes as the markets go up or down. We invest new cash in smaller increments over a period of several months, rather than putting it all in the market right away.
We remind clients that this approach is going to be in place for decades, or perhaps longer. And that's the point — sticking with a proven, effective strategy over a long time period beats constantly trying to guess what will work over the next quarter or so.
We have clients that have been with us since we started the firm 15 years ago. Their results, through plenty of good markets and a few very difficult ones, have been strong. Most importantly, they are on track to meet their goals – not the goals of their Uncle Harry or someone shouting on CNBC.
When we’re asked how we will respond to one of the above-mentioned headlines, we simply say, "we are going to help you make one of the toughest investment decisions you will face."
"Sit tight. Stay disciplined with our strategy. Don't make any changes based on short-term thinking."
A tough decision? It can be. But it's the most effective way to invest for the long-term.
David Rappaport, CFP®