“Do I go to all cash at least until after the election?”
More than a few people have asked me this question over the past several months. Even more people have probably asked themselves this question. The answer, if historical data of the S&P 500 index is a guide, is a firm NO.
The chart above illustrates the impact of missing just the 25 best days in the market, the 15 best, 5 best and 1 best day. The days are NOT CONSECUTIVE, they are random best days. If missed, the majority of stock market gains are missed.
Stocks are now officially virtually “the only game in town.” As of Thursday’s announcement by the US Federal Reserve, their benchmark interest rate will remain at near-zero for the foreseeable future. The “foreseeable future” has been indicated as at least 2022 and perhaps beyond. The “benchmark interest rate” set by the Fed dictates interest rates on most money markets, bonds, and CDs – and most mortgages. This discussion is focused on bonds, CDs, and money markets versus stocks.
How many times in the past going on 10 weeks has someone said to you, “Hang in there”? How many times have YOU perhaps said to someone you care about, “Hang in there”?
Hanging in there is often all we can do – and a brave thing to do at that. When it comes to tough markets like the ones we are currently experiencing, “hanging in there” translates to discipline in the midst of bravery. Discipline and bravery are two of the ultimate challenges in life.
Amidst the positive narrative playing out via recent stock market records in the US (including strength in European markets) the “next episode” in the markets and economy could be more of a letdown. Use this time amidst the market’s gains to identify what to worry about and actions that can be taken NOW to craft a better ending to the story.
The following is a non-comprehensive list of “constructive worries” (or concerns) that if managed year-round can greatly increase the ability to cope with inevitable market declines or letdowns – and enjoy more the experience of investing over our lifetimes. Continue reading “What to Worry About”
“10th Anniversary of what?” you may ask. Well, it appears you are not the only one in a state of ignorant bliss – no offense intended! I thought it may have been a bigger deal in the news, but very little has been written or reported about this 10-year milestone.
Newsflash: Things are (mostly) GOOD in the economy, businesses and peoples’ financial lives in the US these days. Don’t take my word for it. Just this week The Wall Street Journal ran an article leading with: “The job market doesn’t get much better than this.”* The title of the article was, “Inside the Hottest Job Market in Half a Century.” Wages on average in the US are rising modestly after “long-term stagnation” (their words not mine), and unemployment is the lowest in 50 years – with women experiencing some of the greatest gains in workforce participation.
BUT – it was 10 years ago this weekend on March 9, 2009 that the US stock market hit its low, with the S&P 500 index ominously touching 666, only to settle around 2750 this week. Ten years ago, the US (and global) economy was in “The Great Recession” and it was ugly. But then, yes, the S&P 500 took its time and has risen in value over four (4) times in roughly 10 years. There have been a few bumps – amidst higher interest rates – but stocks in the US and globally are materially higher which has created and grown wealth along the way. Continue reading “Happy 10th Anniversary?”
Even if you listen only to the first 60 seconds you will get the message. Therein is about 10 seconds of a crazed voice you may have heard on TV of a host shouting stock picks –but then you will be rewarded in the final 30 seconds when you may want to play the video over and over for a bit of “peace.” Turn up the volume, follow the bouncing dot and read along.
One look at the headlines this week and it may leave us lamenting the end of a life “well-lived” by an American icon …or shaking our heads in disgust at a major figure in sports (and the end of a different kind of life well-lived). All this amidst US markets that continue to go UP, UP, UP leaving investors happy, perhaps carefree and with a sense of confidence in their portfolios and savings.