The Wheel Isn’t Broken
Confucius, 2500 years ago, announced, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
And now, when it comes to investing while retired, it appears many retirees are making the exact same mistake.
While I can’t guarantee what will happen in the future, I can’t help but notice a pretty remarkable history of success when it comes to good, old-fashioned stocks and bonds. It seems we human beings can’t help but try to find the “next best thing.”
Since 19752, if you look over 20-year periods, bonds have always returned an average of at least 5%. I can go back all the way to the year 1800 and show you similar results.
Since 19311, if you look over 20 year periods, stocks have always returned an average of at least 7% (in fact, the average over the past 100 years is nearly 10%).
So why are we making this more complicated than it needs to be? Why are we trying to reinvent the wheel? The wheel is not broken. At all.
During the course of my day to day business, I see a myriad of people just like you with portfolios filled with non-traditional investments.
Commodities: Want to invest in corn futures, pork bellies, and oil contracts? Then this is for you!
Problems: Highly volatile, no consistent track record, doesn’t produce any income, high transaction costs, confusing.
Collectibles: Want to stake your future on classic cars, coins, art, and jewelry? Then this is for you!
Problems: Uncertain pricing, forgeries, doesn’t produce any income, high costs for storage, no consistent track record, no income, limited transparency, high commissions.
Venture Capital/Private Equity: Want to get in on the ground floor of a new business? Do you really like watching the TV show Shark Tank? Then this is for you!
Problems: Illiquid, highly speculative (you could lose all of your money), lack of transparency.
Currency Trading: Want to bet on what direction the dollar is going to trend in relation to the Euro? Have fun!
Problems: Zero sum game, no consistent track record, a short-term trading strategy with no academically provable benefit, wildly volatile.
Shorting the Market: Want to make money when the stock market goes down? Be my guest. But, remember, the stock market has been going up by an average of 10% over the past 200 years. It’s kind of like betting on the Cleveland Browns to win the Super Bowl.
So what am I trying to say?
A diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds is a strategy with an incredibly long, consistent, and successful track record.
Don’t make this more complicated than it is.
1- as measured by the S & P 500
2- as measured by the Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index
Past performance is not a guarantee of future results