Time in the market, buying at a discount, and other things us financial professionals shouldn't say.
Updated: May 19, 2022
Well, here we are. The first quarter of 2022 stunk for your retirement accounts. The S&P 500 Index was down over 4% and the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was down closer to 6%. As of mid-May, that same S&P 500 Index is down about another 13% and the bond index is down another 3% or so. Brutal!
And while you are getting those quarterly statements or checking your account online to see if you can age in place or if you are now going to have to go live in a van down by the river with Matt Foley, here come the talking heads telling you it's your time in the market vs. timing the market that matters. Or they are telling you that you are now buying those same companies but at lower prices. All of this is true, but it does nothing to assuage our anxiety about investing in the here and now.
So what is a retirement investor to do? It starts with planning. If you haven't sat down to really evaluate what it is you are doing, it is impossible to know where you are going. Are you saving enough? Do you have the appropriate asset allocation to get there? Does your risk tolerance support your asset allocation and vice versa? Sometimes the answer to these questions can be revealing. If you can't stand much risk, then you probably need to save more, potentially a lot more.
Investors can also get too far out in front of their skis and come to "expect" certain consistent rates of return. The results of that can be dangerous. Like the ski jumper in the introduction to ABC's Wide World of Sports, the damage of taking on diversifiable risk can set back the best plans. So if you are sick of the same talking points that us advisors tend to mention every time a correction or recession hits, start with planning. Your retirement plan advisor is here to help!