It’s only natural for someone invested in a poorly performing active equity mutual fund to wonder if it’s time to make a change. Should an investor sell a fund if it trails its benchmark for a year? Three years? Five years?
Investment time horizon is a critical concept in building wealth. Most investors have very long investment time horizons, typically decades or more. Investment managers also require long time horizons to deliver on their investment thesis.
Planning is a powerful tool to help investors succeed and achieve better outcomes. The table below highlights the benefits of planning taken from a study on retirement planning among Americans over age 50. The results show that having and sticking to a plan results in three times the net worth when compared to those who don’t have a plan.
Even though we all know market fluctuations are a normal part of equity investing, large market declines can be scary because they often happen rapidly and feel random.
We are experiencing a new peak in the rhetoric around trade, geo-politics, the economy and the business cycle. We have also seen increased market volatility. It can be hard to know when to be concerned and when to tune out the noise. Having a consistent framework for viewing markets with a long-term perspective can be a valuable tool to help avoid costly behavioral mistakes. While there may be a heightened sense of fear in the headlines, based on our Market View, there is no reason to sound the alarm.
“Now’s not a good time to invest,” or “I’m waiting for the right conditions” are familiar refrains we hear from investors and advisors alike. Fortunately for long-term investors who don’t take regular withdrawals from their portfolios, the sequence of returns doesn’t affect the ultimate investment outcome.