Timing Matters  

Timing the market can improve your odds of investment success, but it is impossible to do. Since 1998, the S&P 500 has produced an average annual return of 7.6%, but if you missed the best thirty days in the market, your yearly return dropped to 0.28%![1] The best days in the market usually follow the worst, so riding out market storms to generate positive returns is necessary.

We are conducting first-quarter reviews for our clients, and the returns are mixed. If a client joined us during COVID, the returns would have been spectacular because we invested near market lows. If we started investing after April 2021 or before June 2022, the account values would have been down. Timing matters.

April 2021 to June 2022 is a short window and will eventually be a blip on a long-term investment chart. Investors who stay invested can ultimately experience gains, but patience is required.

Dollar-cost averaging is another victim of timing. When markets rise, investors buy stocks at higher prices, and if they initiated a monthly investment program in 2020 or 2021, the account values are down. The key to successful long-term dollar cost averaging programs is volatility and falling markets because you can purchase stocks at lower prices. In time, markets recover, benefiting the patient investor.

If you began your investment program two years ago, have faith and keep investing.

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. ~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

April 19, 2023

Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM’s custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on your asset level.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren’t suitable for every investor. Prices and yields are for today only and are subject to change without notice.

[1] YCHARTS, Time in the market, March 20, 2023