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Staying In Your Seat… Even During The Hard Times

Posted March 27, 2020

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How to avoid making that big mistake when it comes to your investments

Investing correctly during times of economic stress is a difficult thing to do. There’s no arguing that we are in a challenging time and faced with rapidly evolving information about COVID-19. The world is adjusting to how to live and work during this time of social distancing. While we are experiencing unprecedented events, there is no evidence to suggest that this time will be any different for the stock market and the long-term expected returns of investing in stocks. Despite some of the government’s challenges with a stay-at-home order, we live in an amazing era of technology that allows office workers to continue operating virtually, and manufacturing companies are finding new ways to generate revenue for their shareholders.

The ingenuity of the world’s greatest companies allows these businesses to adapt to worldwide changing circumstances. The objective of publically traded companies is to make money, and the management team’s mission is to maximize shareholder value. So you can count on all these companies to continue figuring out ways to make money during this crisis and every new crisis in the future. This is the brilliance of investing in the stock market, even during times of uncertainty. When you invest in the market, you are purchasing shares of stock, which means you become an owner of that company. This means that you have voting rights and receive a portion of the company’s profits through a dividend (and yes, some companies don’t pay dividends, but that’s because the companies management team believes they can deliver more shareholder value by reinvesting that money back into growing the company versus paying out a share of the profits).

Even during bear markets, these companies continue to pay dividends and invest in their business growth. Most of the time, these companies continue to pay out the same dividend amount even when their stock price is down, and that’s an important factor to remember.1, So depending on your investment goals, bear markets can be a good thing for investors. If you are in the accumulation phase, you continue to invest more in the market, and you are reinvesting your dividends all at lower stock prices. This means that you are buying more shares of these great companies than you would have at the higher market price. This is a good thing for people taking a long-term approach to their investments.

I totally understand that bear markets can be a terrifying experience for individuals who are either approaching or are in retirement. At Thayer Financial, we work with each of our retired clients on creating an optimal retirement income planning strategy that helps our clients stay focused on their long-term goals and the expected returns that investing in the market delivers. Our retirement income investment strategy helps clients stay invested, even in times of market turmoil, all while not missing a paycheck. In comparison, this retirement income planning strategy needs to be started a few years before retiring for optimal results; for those that haven’t, some things can still be done during the bear market to give you the best chance of success.

Many people don’t realize that successful investing requires discipline to stay in your seat during trying times. It is impossible to time the market (when to sell and when to buy), and a much better determination of long-term performance is time in the market. By staying invested for the long run, we can position ourselves to capture the large returns usually delivered unexpectedly in very short windows of time. 

Chart is from Dimensional Fund Advisors 2


Thayer Financial, L.L.C. (“Thayer Financial”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of North Carolina and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. This website’s presence on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by Thayer Financial in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or according to an applicable state exemption.

All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Thayer Financial, L.L.C., unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by our firm as to other parties’ informational accuracy or completeness. All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant or legal counsel prior to implementation.

  1. https://seekingalpha.com/article/439171-has-dividend-growth-kept-up-with-inflation
  2. https://www.mydimensional.com/dfsmedia/f27f1cc5b9674653938eb84ff8006d8c/27544-source/the-cost-of-trying-to-time-the-market/us-one-pager-cost-of-timing-the-market

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