14 Aug 2009 Are You Planning or Reacting?
Posted at 16:21h in The Friday BriefDuring the lifetime of the “Greatest Generation” the market has fallen an average of 40% fourteen times, or once every 5.7 years. In fact the odds of an investor experiencing a loss in any one year are 1 in 3.9. The latest drop from May 19, 2008 to March 9, 2009 took us down nearly 53%. It’s easy to see why so many former investors have been driven to the sidelines. Yet why do others remain steadfastly invested? In short they seek the 11.5% average annual return the market has provided for the past 40 years, along with the added benefit of ready liquidity. They understand the market, while seductively steady much of the time is prone to major emotional swings which require patience and fortitude to endure. Perhaps knowing that the average return a year after a market trough is 46% helps assuage the pain of declines, while understanding that ‘irrational exuberance’ will eventually lead to a hangover helps them remain on course while others fall prey to their emotions.