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There is no doubt that there is a retirement crisis in America, but the fix isn’t the Dow hitting 150,000. The fix is you.
Indulge me for a moment. I’ve presented to thousands of financial advisors and individual investors over the last several years on what are now four award-winning papers (click here to download) which relate to market anomalies. In every presentation, I make it a point that nearly every index you hear quoted in the media lies. That’s right – if you think you know what “the market” has done by looking at index levels alone, you are missing the remarkable power of compounding and total returns.
Those indices you hear like the Dow Industrial Average (DIA) already far surprised the 150,000 level. Because the Dow Industrials are an ex-dividend market index, you are not seeing the impact of reinvested dividends. Some estimates argue that the Dow level today is well north of 1.8 million instead of the 18,000 level now. And don’t even get me started on the S&P 500 (SPY).
One cannot address the retirement crisis by what level the Dow needs to hit. Stock returns from a buy and hold and reinvestment perspective would likely make anyone retire comfortable (depending on expenses of course). Maybe the problem isn’t markets, but human response to it. It is remarkable how so many chase performances instead of process. Yet, study after study shows that doing this and overtrading based on subjective analysis results in significant underperformance over very long cycles (and sorry folks, 1, 2, 3 years is a small sample). A casual look at the data when it comes to mutual fund flows proves this.
Maybe to retire comfortably, we shouldn’t be focused on a target for stocks, but on the discipline of not chasing, or panicking out of a strategy/investment at the wrong time. More likely than not, that might give you a chance at non sabotaging your own retirement more than what the market itself actually does day to day.
This writing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation regarding any securities transaction, or as an offer to provide advisory or other services by Pension Partners, LLC in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. The information contained in this writing should not be construed as financial or investment advice on any subject matter. Pension Partners, LLC expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken based on any or all of the information on this writing.
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