I am a financial advisor/consultant/planner employed by a major Wall Street brokerage. I reside in the western U.S. and work with individuals and business clients to create and implement a wide range of investment and retirement plans. Everything in this blog represents my personal views, is in no way meant to represent the positions of my employer, and is derived from my extensive daily reading of financial media, not the proprietary research of my employer.
Most of us have experienced the stock market (and real estate investing for that matter) during the greatest bull market in history: the period from 1982 through 2000. Overall, for calendar years 1982 to 1999, the S&P 500 enjoyed an annualized return of 18.5%, according to Ibbotson Associates. Over that same period, inflation was 3.3% a year. Almost anyone, using any strategy, would have seen significant increases in portfolio value during that time.
This is our frame of reference, and it is misleading. The markets do not always go up, sometimes for long periods of time. For example, during the calendar years 1969 to 1981, the S&P 500 had five negative years out of 13, losing as much as 26.5% in 1974. Annualized returns were 5.6%, while inflation was 7.8%. I believe we are in another of these lengthy periods of low returns.
This outlook implies that investing will be a difficult enterprise for some time; one that requires hard work and diligence. This blog records my attempts to research as much as possible and synthesize an amazingly disparate range of views into actionable strategies.
My goal is to create durable portfolios that can sustain growth and income streams over extended timeframes.