Other so-called advisors may try and sell you on their ability to predict the market. We’re going to stick to time-tested methods.
Proven over decades
Let’s start with the basics, a little history on how our financial markets have performed over the past century.¹ Since 1928, the average annual return of large US Company Stocks has been a little better than 9.5%. Over that same time frame, the return of safe, short-term (3 month) US Treasury Bills has been about 3.4%.
The difference is real
At first glance, the difference between these two may not appear that significant but when we look at both of these from a different angle, the difference becomes massive. $100 invested in 3-month US Treasury bills back in 1928 would have grown to be worth $1,928 by the end of 2016. But had you invested $100 in a basket of large US Company stocks (the S&P 500 to be precise) back in 1928, it would have grown to be worth an astounding $301,239 by the end of 2016.¹
Market roller coaster
Now granted, that $100 investment into stocks would have taken you on a pretty wild ride of ups and downs over the past 88 years, whereas the investment into the 3-month treasury bills would have bored you to sleep with consistent (albeit small) returns year after year. But if you don’t need to access any of that $100 investment you made, should the ups and downs in the stock market really affect you? We think not. This is precisely the attitude all young people should have concerning their retirement account. This is money that is 100% intended for that glorious day in the future when you can smash your alarm clock for good. Endure the temporary downs so you can be around long enough to reap the rewards of the ups.