If you’re like me – at some point as a kid – you pushed all the buttons in an elevator, making life a bit more miserable for those with places to be.
Elevators are like the stock market – they go up – and they go down. But when markets go down, unlike the elevator, we’re not in control and we don’t know where the bottom is. That can be downright frightening.
So what’s a saver/investor to do?
Ask your ‘advisor’ and you’re likely to get some version of, ‘sit tight – it will come back – it always does,’ or perhaps, ‘if you sell now, you lock in those losses – let’s wait it out.’
Now let’s think about that a minute. That advisor has no more control over the elevator than you do – yet his or her livelihood relies on you ‘sitting tight.’ What other ‘advice’ could they possibly give you? They’re not going to tell you the sky is falling – or run for the hills? They have to put on a brave face (after all, it’s not their money), and hope you buy into their calm facade and their reasonable sounding long-term view.
But you might not find that very reassuring. You may have puffed out your chest and declared yourself ‘risk-tolerant’ at some point when the possibility of market losses was only theoretical – but now that they’re body-slamming you on an almost daily basis – you’ve discovered you may not be quite as brave as you once thought.
In my experience, almost all of us take far too more risk with our money than we should. We do it because we’ve let that same Wall Street world convince us that we have to take risk if we’re going to grow our money at a rate that will get us the outcome we want.
There is no scientific rule that says risk and reward work in an inverse relationship to one another. It’s propaganda. The same propaganda that says things like portfolio diversification and dollar-cost-averaging are important risk mitigation tools. All these things only apply if we insist on putting our money in at-risk investments.
What if – instead – we invested in things that couldn’t go down in value – what if our money could board a one-way elevator that always went up? We wouldn’t need to ride-out uncooperative markets, change our retirement timeline, live with the reality of adjusting our standard of living or running out of money, we wouldn’t lose sleep at night.
Best of all, we wouldn’t have to buy into the false security of things like portfolio diversification and dollar-cost-averaging. We’d just hop on the ‘up’ elevator, start our ascent, sleep better, and watch our daily progress toward the outcome we want.
But does a one-way elevator exist? Are it’s returns enough to get us to that destination? Is is too late to ‘catch-a-ride?’
It does exist.
It offers a very reasonable – borderline exciting – rate of growth.
And it’s rarely too late to climb aboard.
Here’s the reality. Crossing your fingers and hoping markets will cooperate with your investment goals and timeline is NOT a financial planning – it’s chronological roulette. Don’t let markets dictate your outcome or the timing of when and how you can retire.
You get to decide when to get on the up elevator again – not the markets. If you want that day to be today – then make it today! You just have to have the intellectual curiosity to look off the beaten path, find that up-elevator, and climb on board.
If you want to start your financial ascent tomorrow – while everyone else languishes in the Wall Street cesspool, we might be able to help.