As Alexander Green discusses in today’s article, investors can never be too prepared.
That’s why Alex recently teamed up with Chief Income Strategist Marc Lichtenfeld to share some strategies that will help you kick 2022 off right by minimizing risk and maximizing profits.
Alex and Marc could help boost your Oxford Club returns by as much as six times in 2022.
Despite the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and the highest inflation in nearly 40 years, 2021 was another good year for equity investors.
The S&P 500 returned 28.7%. And I expect 2022 to be another good year for stocks.
However, there are three steps you can take now to earn higher returns this year no matter what the market does.
No. 1: Save More
The 2021 Retirement Confidence Survey revealed that millions of Americans are woefully unprepared for retirement. The single biggest reason is they haven’t saved enough.
Nearly half of Americans without a retirement plan have put aside less than $1,000 for retirement. Sixty-five percent have saved less than $10,000. And 72% have accumulated less than $25,000.
I’ve been an avid saver since I was an indigent young man in my 20s. I drove a beater car at the time. (The stereo was worth more than the vehicle.) I shared an apartment with friends. I had no health insurance. I had no employer-sponsored retirement plan.
But I saved. Frankly, I was terrified of what might happen if I didn’t.
Yet millions of Americans today believe the government will deliver the material happiness they deserve, sparing them the trouble and discomfort of striving.
That is no path to financial security.
The average recipient will receive $1,657 a month from Social Security, starting this month. It’s hard to live fully on that.
To ensure a comfortable retirement, you should save as much as you reasonably can, starting as soon as you can and continuing for as long as you can.
Unlike the performance of the stock and bond markets, saving is under your control.
No. 2: Cut Your Investment Costs
In most walks of life, you get what you pay for. This is emphatically not the case when it comes to investment managers.
(There are a few exceptions, and we recommend some of the best in The Oxford Club’s Pillar One Advisors program.)
Every year, 3 out of 4 active fund managers fail to outperform their unmanaged benchmarks. Over periods of a decade or more, more than 95% of them underperform.
Do you really want to pay hefty fees to someone with less than a 1-in-20 chance of delivering the goods?
Investment fees and returns are inversely correlated. The more your advisor makes, the less you do.
This is particularly true in the fixed income area. Ten-year Treasurys currently yield 1.6%, for example. If you plunk for an income fund with a 0.75% expense ratio, it may take almost half your return.
That makes no sense. The goal is for you to get rich, not your broker.
No. 3: Rebalance Your Portfolio
The U.S. stock market has made a remarkable run since it bottomed during the financial crisis almost 13 years ago, returning 16% annually.
That means you may now have more in stocks than you’d be comfortable with in a prolonged downturn.
So rebalance your portfolio.
Rebalancing means you sell back those asset classes that have appreciated the most and put the proceeds to work in those that have lagged.
This is a contrarian exercise. And the main effect is that it forces you to sell high and buy low. This adds to your long-term returns while reducing your risk.
Over the last several years, international markets – and particularly emerging markets – have delivered much lower returns than domestic equities.
Yet history tells us that will not always be the case.
Foreign markets often generate much higher returns than our own market. And if the greenback weakens due to higher inflation, your dollar-based returns will be higher still.
So fight the urge to keep riding U.S. stocks higher and spread your risk.
Yes, I often tell readers to hang on to their winning stocks and cut their losers short. But there’s a big difference between trading individual securities and rebalancing your portfolio.
When it comes to asset allocation, you flip the script and sell back the asset classes that have surged the most and add to the laggards.
When the cycle turns – as it always does eventually – you’ll be glad you did.
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