Briefcase Study: Can The Financial Markets Be Trusted?

In Articles, Articles: Kansas City Office, Articles: Salt Lake City Office, Briefcase Studies, Fall 2020, SLC Fall 2020 by Scott Dougan

Quite often, I’ll receive a call or an email that goes something like this:

“So-and-so on the news said the market is ripe for a big selloff in October or November, what do you think?”

I hope you know by now that I always welcome the opportunity to help you with your questions. Keep them coming. This question in particular is one of those that I’m asked frequently enough, I decided that it’s important to share some thoughts on the subject with ALL of you. 

First, let me avoid suspense by saying that as much as I would like to, I simply can’t predict whether the market will experience a big selloff, I can’t tell you for certain what is going to happen in November of this year or January of 2028. After all, who can predict the behavior of millions of people who choose to invest in the market?

Second, let me ask you consider how on earth the guy on TV knows of such things and why he is willing to invest his time in telling the whole world about it? What does he stand to gain from making such a claim?

To be fair, the market may very well drop significantly later this year. Or it may not. If it does, we’ll have one very pleased ‘market forecaster’ on our hands, and likely a new book explaining his brilliance. But, if the market doesn’t drop, we’ll have forgotten about him until he makes his next big prediction with crossed fingers.

Rather than question whether his prediction will be correct or not, it would be prudent to ask ourselves if we trust the market to deliver growth over long periods of time. If your answer is yes, then it makes sense to construct a portfolio to take advantage of that long-term trend.

However, if you don’t think the market will grow over long periods of time, then a reasonable response would be to question whether you should be invested in the market at all. There are other means of protecting and growing your money than just the stock market after all.

For a number of reasons, the market is on my mind. While I’ve been helping people navigate the markets for many years now, I’ve chosen to invest much of my free time over the last few months researching various aspects of the financial markets by asking a particular set of questions to guide my research.

Questions like:

How good are individuals and institutions at predicting the markets, really?

Do stock-pickers and market-timers have consistent track records to support their claims about the future of markets?

Should investors pay a premium to the people who claim to be smarter than the markets?

Based on the findings of this research, how should Elevated Retirement Group clients interact with and participate in the markets?

You see, I’m that guy who is constantly asking questions of the world around me. I strongly feel that this attribute is of great benefit to our clients and their families. I’ll ask the questions and deliver to you the results of my findings.

Circling back to the question of whether the market will collapse or continue its growth spurt, my advice to you is to prepare for either. Prepare for both up and down markets by carefully planning your retirement, securing necessary income from a very reliable source, and remaining in a position to prosper when times are good. This is the strategy behind our retirement planning process. 

Over the long-term, markets can absolutely be trusted to deliver growth and prosperity. As a retired person, or one who aspires to be retired soon, the ‘long-term’ begins to look quite different because you’ll likely need to use some of that money now. Because of this, we plan for various outcomes so you can remain retired whether the market cooperates with your timeline or not. This is what a successful retirement looks like. This is what you deserve.