Once you’ve figured out what to invest in, you may be wondering how to get started. If you’re like most people, you’ll probably hire a financial advisor. But that’s not the only option.
In this episode, we discuss the three ways you can go about investing, along with the pros and cons of each.
- [03:23] The pros of hiring a financial advisor
- [08:54] The cons of hiring a financial advisor
- [16:01] How you can do it yourself when it comes to investing
- [18:56] The pros of DIY index funds
- [21:02] The cons of DIY index funds
- [24:08] Hiring a financial advisor vs. DIY index funds
- [28:01] The third way you can go about investing
Links & Resources
🟢 @TheDylanBain on Instagram
🟢 @TheDylanBain on Threads
🟢 @TheDylanBain on YouTube
🟢 Intuitive Finance on Facebook
🟢 Intuitive Finance on Twitter
[00:00:00] Intro: Forget the civilized path. It’s time to break the chains of debt and dependency, take control of our financial lives, and live free. This is the Fiscally Savage Podcast.
[00:00:16] Dylan Bain: Hello and welcome to Fiscally Savage. I’m your host, Dylan Bain. And I want to tell you about a time back in 2008, and I’m making money. I’ve moved overseas. I’ve lost my job as a mortgage banker. I’ve gone back to school. I’ve got my teaching license, and I’m living overseas. And now suddenly, I have disposable income. And I’m struggling because I want to do something good with this extra money. Now, my wife and I are living over in Taiwan at the time and we’re traveling. But even then, we had extra money. And so I’m debating. Do I try to go this alone? Because after all, I am a smart man, right? I could figure out investing, right? I could win that game. Or should I hire a financial advisor — somebody whose entire career is dedicated to helping me grow wealth? And I’m going back and forth and back and forth on this. And so I reach out and I call several financial advisors. I asked my dad who he uses and I talked to a lot of people and I expressed a lot of concerns that maybe this person, this financial advisor, isn’t going to have my best interest at heart. But everyone I talked to will tell me that yes, there are fly-by-night individuals, but their guy? Their guy is perfect. He is the one diamond in the rough. You can never do better than that guy. The problem for me, though, was that when I talked to each one of them, most of them were asking me to pay 1% of all the assets I gave them every year. So that means that if I had $10,000 in assets with that person that I’m going to end up paying them a hundred bucks. And as my money grows, that fee is going to increase. And he tells me, well, it’s just a hundred dollars per ten thousand dollars. It’s not that big of a deal. You won’t even miss it. In fact, we don’t send you a bill. We just take it out of the account. Oh, and by the way, you have a commitment to stay in these accounts for a minimum of five years. And I’m struggling because what’s the compound return of 100 a year over the life of my investing life? Like how much money am I going to pay this person, and can I trust them with a five-year commitment? What if they screw me over? And I’m really struggling because I just don’t know what to do.
[00:02:24] Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to talk about what to do. Today on this show, you know, if you’ve gone back and listened to my last two Tuesday episodes, we’ve been talking about investing. What is a 401(k)? What is a stock? What is a mutual fund? How do we know what these things are? So this whole series is going to be on and has been on how do we invest for the long term in a way that’s going to help us live a better life.
[00:02:48] And when it comes to investing, there’s basically three options as to how to go about it. The first option would be hire a financial advisor. So when you hire a financial advisor, what you’re doing is you’re going to somebody, a professional, and you’re saying to that person, “I want to give you money and pay you for your expertise to invest that money on my behalf in a way that’s going to hit my financial goals.” And that sounds great. And for a lot of people, it really is. But there’s a lot to consider. So let’s just talk about the pros and cons of hiring a financial advisor.
[00:03:23] So I think top on the pros is the idea of expert guidance. One statement I’ve made on the show a lot is that professional money managers don’t beat their benchmarks very often, and that’s true. But when we’re talking about experts, it’s not necessarily somebody who’s always right. Experts just tend to be someone who knows more than you. And so when you go to a financial advisor, I will promise you that this person, over this subset of the economy, will know more than you do. And in fact, many financial advisors know more than I do. And I, in part, do this for a living. They’re experts. That’s what they do. Their job is to understand on a granular, almost atomic level the ins and outs of funds and market movements and risk that you, as a retail investor, would probably have no idea to even think about, let alone how to actually navigate it. That’s the role of these financial advisors is to provide expert knowledge to you, the consumer.
[00:04:22] Another pro is if you end up with somebody who is a fiduciary — what the fuck is a fiduciary? I hear you asking, dear listener, and Dylan is here to explain it to you. A fiduciary is somebody who is legally obligated to act in your best interest. So when they are investing your money on your behalf, they have to do so in a way that is most beneficial to you. Now, there are financial advisors who will tell you they’re a fiduciary. In fact, the vast majority of them say that they are, and some of them actually are. If you were working with a certified financial planner, somebody who has the CFP designation, part of their license is they have to attest to their professional organization that they are acting as a fiduciary for every single one of their clients if they’re going to be using the CFP title. It’s very similar to like me, as a CPA, I’m bound by the rules and regulations of the AICPA, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, who set the rules and standards for my profession. If I step out of line, they can yank my license. And the same thing is true for a CFP. The difference here, though, is that while I have an entire regulatory body that actually checks up on me from time to time, well, financial planners, not always. And there’s always the debate of what was in your best interest. Maybe this fund that was just robbing you blind, you know, we could concoct some story as to what that is. So one of the things that you should know is that if you’re not working with a CFP and you haven’t signed a fiduciary agreement — that is, a legally enforceable contract that this person will act as a fiduciary — do not assume that they’re a fiduciary.
[00:06:03] But if they are, it’s a huge benefit to you because — here’s point number three — a fiduciary who’s going to help you with comprehensive planning is probably worth their weight in gold. Comprehensive planning is looking at your entire life and your entire goals and all of your financial picture and figuring out, okay, what do we need to do? So you might be like, well, I got to manage my 401(k). But they might say, well, hey, hold on. Have you considered the Health Savings Account and its triple tax advantage? You have kids. Have you considered a 529 for college savings? What about estate planning? Like heaven forbid that you or your significant other, when you meet your early demise, we want to make sure that that transition from a world with you to a world without you is as easy as possible for everyone that you leave behind. And, of course, there’s always insurance. How much do I need and what do I need it on? A financial advisor, as an expert, should be taking you through all of these things.
[00:06:57] Number four is a financial advisor — and I know several financial advisors that I admire very much. And when I ask them, “How do you do what you do?” They never say, well, I pick good stocks or I have great analysis or blah, blah, blah, blah. They always say, “I’m just a therapist for your money.” And that’s because what — they’re getting paid based upon how much money they’ve invested. And let’s just have a side note here. There are two ways that people can get paid in the money markets, okay? There’s the upfront fees that they charge to you. So like, if you go to get a mortgage, you might end up paying a 1% origination fee to the loan officer. That’s you paying them for their services. So that 1% fee that we talked about at the top of the show, that’s me paying for this person’s time and expertise. That’s what I’m doing. The other side to this, though, is some funds, when they invest you in those funds, those funds are paying them on the backside, okay? So it’s in their best interest to keep you in those funds. Just like if they put you in a whole life insurance contract, they’re not going to end up getting the big payouts for that unless they can keep you in for a certain period of time. So there is this idea that if you’re like, Oh my god! The dollar’s gonna die! Everything’s on fire! Sell! Sell! Sell! They’re gonna stop and go, okay, hold on a second. Breathe. Breathe. Get a bag if you need to and breathe into the bag. Let’s talk about this. That is a huge benefit because they’re an impartial third party, in theory at least. And as a financial coach, granted, I’m not doing the financial advising side of things. But I have clients who call me under the same conditions and money’s emotional, so they’re there to help you with that. They’re there to help facilitate conversations between couples, too. A lot of their work is psychological in nature.
[00:08:39] And then, of course, I think the last pro that needs to be said is the time savings. They read it so you don’t have to. They learned it so you don’t have to. They, in theory, spent all of their time perfecting their craft so that you don’t have to. That is, of course, why you pay them.
[00:08:54] But there’s got to be some cons, right? So when you look at the cons, the question I would ask is: if you looked at this guy across the desk from you and they’re saying, well, we’re going to charge you 1% of assets under management, how much — you think, well, okay. That’s just a hundred dollars per $10,000. Well, the whole goal here is to make you a millionaire. So my question is: as they take out that 1% every year, what would be the compounded rate of return? Or what would be the end result of that compounded rate of return in terms of the entire fee over the lifetime that you’re with these people versus if you didn’t have them? And the answer is easily six figures. Depending on how much money you’re putting in, you can go anywhere from $250,000 all the way up to a million. It’s obviously variable for a lot of different reasons. But, I mean, even the hourly rates or the fixed fees on some of these people will put you into places where you’re locked in. Like the guy at the top of the show, he came highly recommended, but he told me that I had to have a commitment to him and the funds he puts me in for a minimum of five years or he got to take 20% if I were to withdraw. That’s hard to swallow. And his whole thing is like, well, you know, if I do my job right, you’ll never want to leave. Well, I’d never want to leave because you’re going to charge me 20% of anything that is under five years old. And that’s how that went. I waited the five years. No one’s like, okay, I want to move my funds. And he’s like, well, everything you invested after that five-year market, you know, it’s 20%. That’s not a great thing to do because I still have that account. I just don’t put any money into it and I’m waiting for it to hit its five years on everything in it, and then I’m pulling out of it, and I’m never going to go back to them again.
[00:10:28] Another con that goes with hiring a financial advisor is their performance. One of the things that financial advisors do is they benchmark against something like the S&P 500, which we consider to be the market. So my question is: do financial advisors actually meet or exceed that? That is to say, is it worth it to pay them 1% of my assets under management to be above the S&P 500, which I could just buy in an index fund that’s going to cost me a lot less money? And if so, are they high enough above the S&P 500 to more than make up for their fee? And the answer is, well, yes, some do but very rarely. And we talked last week about like, you know, the Fidelity Contrafund. It’s outperformed the S&P 500 just barely once you consider the fees, but it did do it. Nobody knew that that’s what was going to happen 20 years ago. And so one of the things that you see so very frequently is the regression to the mean. Fund managers who do really, really well in one year typically do very poor in the next year. And the reason for that is they did well because they had some sort of competitive advantage. When the year is done, the other fund managers look around and go, what is it that that guy knew, they replicate it, and now he loses his competitive advantage. And you might say, well, but they’re gonna they’re gonna figure out something new. Well, everybody can be right once in a while. That’s not surprising But can they do it consistently? And the answer is the vast majority — about 88% of them — don’t. So you might be saying, well, I’m gonna find one of the guys in 12% Yeah, yeah. I hear that. But most of them operate closed funds that you and I, as retail investors, aren’t allowed to invest in. So yeah, just something to think about.
[00:12:14] Another con is they’re not always a fiduciary. Frequently, they will act as a fiduciary during the planning phase, but then not act as a fiduciary during the money management phase. This is one of these things that’s weird and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, that two-step shuffle can be really hard to catch. And I’ve seen it happen, where they come in and they say right now I’m going to function as your fiduciary while we do this planning, blah blah blah blah. Here’s the planning. Okay. We’re cutting that off. Now, you’re going to work with the money manager hat. This is where I’m going to buy and sell your funds, and I’m going to act now in my own interest by putting you in funds that pay me a lot on the backside. Basically, anyone who sells you a whole life insurance is not acting as a fiduciary. Now, there are plenty of fiduciaries out there who will argue till they’re blue in the face that whole life insurance is the best investment for you. And my response is, yes. Yes, it is — only if you have maxed out your 401(k), HSA, IRA, and all other tax-advantage accounts, and your taxes are just getting you killed at this point, then maybe some, maybe whole life insurance makes sense. But whole life insurance is very expensive. Term life insurance is very cheap. And the difference between that, if you took and invested the difference of cost between whole life insurance and term and just put it in S&P 500, there’s literally no period of time that’s five years or greater in which whole life insurance outperforms that. That is to say, it’s not a great deal. Load funds are another great example. Funds where you gotta pay 1% of every dollar that goes in there, you’re paying 1 to 1.5% to get into the pleasure of having that fund in your portfolio. Well, those load fees go real great if you’re getting them off the backside as a financial advisor, but not necessarily great for you as a client because you might have gone to invest in the money and you lost 1.5% off the top. Then this is where the back-end payments for fees and stuff come in. So this fiduciary thing is actually a huge deal, and there’s a lot of shells moving around on the board to make sure that it’s purposely confusing for you to know what to do and when this person is acting as a fiduciary versus not.
[00:14:24] Which then brings us to number four — is the lack of personal control. I mean, I don’t know about you, but like the one thing that I’m very leery about in this world is my own personal money. I want to know where it is. But people will hire financial advisors with the idea that I’m going to pay that guy and then he thinks about it and I never have to. Okay, well, that’s great. But do you know what your risk is? Like, do you know where your money went to? Is it actually invested within your goals? And you might say, well, yeah. They explained to me how these funds are. Okay, well, do you even know what’s in those funds? You probably don’t. And that’s part of the issue if you’re somebody who wants to understand what’s going on here.
[00:15:03] And then last but not least — and this kind of goes back to my main complaint when it comes to financial advisors or really anything that’s actively managed — is complex fee structures. I’m a CPA. I’ve worked in capital markets for most of my career. I still interface with them now in my corporate job. And some of these fee structures take me a second to get my head wrapped around. But then again, I went to school for this, ended up with a CPA and an MBA. This is not my first rodeo and I’ve audited many of these firms. And some of these fee structures I can’t understand, which means that your average retail investor doesn’t stand a chance. So my question is: do you even know what you’re going to end up paying? And this kind of goes back to the, you know, five-year commitment that this gentleman tried to lock me into. It’s a complex fee structure and one that, at the time, I did not fully understand. I do now, but that’s years later after many years of CPA experience and having earned an MBA.
[00:16:01] So if not hiring a financial advisor, well, what else can you do? Well, this is the DIY, do it yourself. And how do you do it yourself when it comes to investing? That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Index funds. So just like with the financial advisors, we’re going to go over pros and cons. So what are the pros of using index funds? I mean, maybe we should stop for a second. I did explain it last week, but let’s just talk about what the hell is an index fund. The stock markets and the bond markets and basically any financial market that you could possibly dream up has a benchmark within it. What that means is they’ve taken a collection of various assets that are trading in that market, and they have created a composite in which they’re looking at it and saying, okay, well, you know, this is about what we expect to be representative, and if that benchmark is up, then we consider the market up. And if that benchmark is down, we consider the market to be down. An index fund just buys whatever those assets are. So when we talk about an S&P 500 index fund, it is a fund that holds stock in the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the United States. That’s what it is. And so as Apple, say, expands, if you have an S&P 500, you know, fund, you’re getting some of that upside from Apple. And as, you know, Tesla’s now in there, Procter & Gamble’s in there, travel insurances are in there, you know, Dow Chemical, you have 3M — lots of different companies and, you know, that you’ve heard of and many that you haven’t. But the point is is that that’s what we gauge the stock market by — the S&P 500. And so when you look at and you say, okay, so, you know, well, the S&P 500 closed up three points today. What does that mean? Well, the S&P 500, that number that you’re seeing, well, that’s just the total cost if you were to try to buy the stock of all the companies in the 500. That’s all it is.
[00:17:46] Okay. So these index funds were pioneered by Jack Bogle with a company called Vanguard that everyone knows and they’re extremely cost-effective. That’s their whole thing. If you go to Vanguard right now and you buy VTSAX, which is the Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund, that is, this fund tracks the entirety of the United States stock market. If it goes up, the fund goes up. If it goes down, the fund goes down. And for that, they charge 0.04% just to manage that fund. And if you’re like, oh, that’s way better than 1%, congratulations. Now, you understand the difference. That 0.4%? You’re really not going to notice that and it comes out to be very low cost over 20 years versus the 1% which is actually going to cost you a lot of money. And if you’re sitting here saying like, I don’t even want to pay that. Okay, cool. Go over to Fidelity. They have funds that they actually allow you to invest in at a zero cost. They don’t collect anything on those funds. It’s kind of a setup because what they’re doing is they’re trying to entice you with the zero-cost funds so they can sell you other advisory services. But you could still do it.
[00:18:56] The other pro that goes along with this is instant diversification. How do you manage risk? Well, you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. How do you not put your eggs in one basket? Buy an index fund. Your financial advisor might sit down and go, “We’re gonna create you a great portfolio,” and they put in all these stocks and then they put in Apple in the portfolio. It does really really well, but you’re not diversified because your wealth is really tied to Apple. And I had an example last Tuesday of a portfolio where that was emphatically the case. So that gentleman is not diversified. His entire wealth is tied up in Apple. And if it comes out tomorrow that they were sacrificing babies and they’re going to be completely shut down, he loses everything. And to be clear, Apple is not sacrificing baby. They’re not doing that to my knowledge. Like, don’t, please don’t sue me.
[00:19:42] Okay. So index funds allow you to have this instant diversification, which helps you lower risk. Which then brings us to point number three is they’re easy. Like VTSAX, you set it and forget it. You just sit there and go, yup, that’s my fund. I put money in the fund. I don’t think about it again. I go live my life. It’s low stress. It’s easy. I can just do it. And you’re like, well, but I want a little bit more diversification. Okay. Well, buy a bond fund in parallel. It gets pretty simple. And, of course, there’s the performance part. The performance, like these funds are what your financial advisor is trying to beat. Like, your performance is literally the standard that everyone else is trying to achieve. Like, stop and think about that for a second. You could hire somebody at a higher rate to try to beat the standard or you could just buy the standard everyone else is trying to beat. So there is a nice performance thing.
[00:20:36] And then, of course, the last is transparency. Because it’s the S&P 500, like everybody knows what’s in the S&P 500, whereas the XYZ fund from fly-by-night fund advisors, well, unless you’re going to pop open the prospectus and actually read what that fund holds, you’re not going to know what you’re invested in. And, you know, let’s hope that it’s something that you’re not going to find out later is really problematic from a legal perspective.
[00:21:02] Okay. So then there’s the cons. So the number one con with index funds is there’s a limited upside. You’re going to get the benchmark. That’s it. No more, no less. So in the case of this portfolio I talked about last week where they had individual stocks picked and then Apple was there, well, that person’s outperforming my portfolio because Apple is outperforming my portfolio because it’s the flyer. And like I pointed out last week, if in 2000, you had told me Apple will be the most valuable company in America and this online bookstore that’s over here that’s selling books online, they’re also going to be huge but in the tech sector, that’s when they go, yeah, nice. And then, they call the guys with the white coats and the net and then take you off to the loony bin because nobody would have believed that. And, in fact, they are, in fact, that’s Apple and Amazon, right? And if I would have told you like, yeah, there’s going to be this company that sends you DVDs through the mail and they’re going to be a huge entertainment giant, you know, in a few years, you also would have laughed at me. And that, of course, became Netflix. So if you were lucky enough to pick one of those companies as part of your portfolio, you would have had amazing returns. But what’s the probability someone’s going to pick it? A hundred percent. What’s the probability it’s going to be you? Well, it’s a lot lower. So there is a limited upside potential because you’re locked into the benchmark.
[00:22:25] Which brings you to point number two, which is a lack of customization. You get the index. No more, no less. You can’t just sit there and go be like, yeah, I kind of want to have a little bit of extra Apple here. Well, you could do that, but you’re not going to do that in the index fund. So you’d have to have the index fund plus Apple. Now, we’re introducing complexity, and that’s kind of what you’re trying to avoid when you have index funds.
[00:22:45] Which brings us to number three, which is market risk. Well, what’s market risk? Remember back in March of 2020 when everyone was panicking because the stock market dropped 30%? Yeah, that’s market risk. When something happens and everybody just kind of dives off a cliff, that’s market risk. And index funds, because they just track the market, that’s really the only risk that they have, but they are completely exposed to it. Their very nature is to track the market. So if the market tanks, they’re going to tank. And that’s just that.
[00:23:18] Which brings us number five. There’s lack of a professional, which means that when you’re panicking and you’re going, Oh my God, sell everything, sell, like there isn’t another professional you’re paying to go, hold on, breathe. It’s just you and your anxiety, unless you hired somebody else to help you out with that. There are clients that have come into Fiscally Savage to get coached by me, who we have a quarterly check-in, and they pay me for that quarterly check-in to help keep them in the market. That’s the whole point. And financial advisor operates the same function but significantly more in depth than what I do.
[00:23:51] Which is the last one — potential blind spots. If you’re doing it yourself, are you going to think about things like 529s and HSAs and, you know, estate planning and all that other stuff? Probably not because you don’t know what you don’t know. And so if you’re doing it yourself, who knows where your blind spots are?
[00:24:08] So let’s just end today’s show by talking about like, let’s just pit financial advisor versus index and ask ourselves, like, okay, so like, where do these two things come up? Or at least, Dylan, as one of my people on Instagram has so frequently liked to tell me, dude, take a stand on something. Okay, so I will. The thing about financial advisors in my mind is that they regress to the mean. The ARK fund by Cathie Wood is a great example of this. She figured out something in the market that gave her a competitive advantage over everyone else. And so for a brief moment in time, she had some of the best returns with her strategy. The problem was is that everyone else then looked at it and go, how did she do what she did? And if you look at the ARK fund, well, it tanked. And what ended up happening was a lot of retail investors were like, well, she’s been amazing for the last three years. I want in. So they bought at the very height of the fund. And then, it fell down, which, of course, goes into, you know, this other idea of like, well, the stock market only loses money. Well, we’re going to get to that in a second. So just keep this example in mind.
[00:25:10] Also, financial advisors, for the fees they charge, they don’t beat their benchmarks — hardly ever. They might beat the benchmark. But the question is: do they beat the benchmark enough to give you a superior return net of fees? And the answer is extremely rarely, which means you’re not actually paying a financial advisor to provide you with superior returns over an index fund. You’re paying them to hold your hand. And that could be really valuable. But for my money, it’s a little bit easier if I just say, well, hold on. I understand the game I’m playing and we are all playing a game, and it behooves me to understand the rules and how to play it well. I think that I can just set it and forget it in an index fund.
[00:25:55] Which brings us to this next point, which is if you actually took the entire population of retail investors and ask, “Do retail investors do better in the market than those people who have financial advisors?” The answer would be no. And here’s why. Because the financial advisors serve as an emotional buffer. They will stop you from doing something horrendously stupid, like pulling all your money out when COVID hits and the stock market drops 30%. Any competent financial advisor would be, well, hey, baby. Right now is the time for you to buy, buy, buy while everything’s going down, down, down. Why is it that stocks are the only thing people don’t want to buy when they’re on sale? That’s exactly my message as well. So that’s exactly what I did in March of 2020. Because if the market’s going down, that’s my buying opportunity. Everything’s on sale right now. And most retail investors, they don’t do that. They instead go with their emotions, thinking that they’re making logical decisions. Right now with the debt ceiling debate, I am inundated with people who want financial advice, not that I can give that. But they want me to come in and tell them, like, how do I defend myself against dedollarization? And we have to have a long emotional conversation. So why is it that retail investors don’t do better than those with financial advisors? Well, because they do things like that ARK fund example I had. The ARK fund went up and they bought into it right at the top. A competent fiduciary financial advisor would sit there and go, well, yeah, she’s had a great run, but everyone else has figured out her secret sauce. So let’s stick to something else a little bit better. And so this is what happens that a lot of retail investors are darting in and out of the market trying to time it. But time in the market will always beat timing the market. And most financial advisors will help you navigate that. And most retail investors don’t have a sufficient amount of ice water in their veins to be able to handle it when the market drops 30%. That is to say, DIY index funds might not actually be for you.
[00:28:01] Which brings us to option number three. Because at the top of the show, I said that there were three options when it comes to investing: hire a financial advisor, do it yourself with index funds. So Dylan, what is option number three? And the answer is, well, you don’t invest. Like, that’s it. You don’t invest. And people will say, well, I don’t want to invest because what if the market goes down? Well, I can tell you what happens when the market goes down. I just told you. Buy more, right? So but some people they’re too afraid to do that. And they say, Oh, I’m just not going to invest. Ladies and gentlemen, to not invest, to not play the game is actually the path of highest risk. You are taking on more risk than you could possibly know by sitting on the sideline.
[00:28:49] And so what I did is I went over and I started looking for reports because I’m always interested in what the data says. And I found this report from JPMorgan, JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the world, if not the largest bank in the world. And I found this report from their investing arm that did an analysis of the S&P 500 over a rolling 20-year average from 1929 all the way to present, asking the question, “Was there any 20-year period of time in which the S&P 500 returned a negative return to investors?” and the answer was no, which is, you know, a fancy way for JPMorgan to say that over the last hundred years, there has never been a 20-year period of time ever in which you’ve lost money by just being in the S&P 500 whatever the makeup of it was at that time. That’s incredible. That essentially means that your likelihood of a positive return over a 20-year time horizon is 100%, at least based upon historical data. And it’s important to note that prior performance is not indicative of future performance; that historical results can lie to you. But it’s one of these things that’s like, well, there’s a lot of momentum here. And if not this, then what? Well, I’ll just hold it in cash. Well, here’s the deal. Over any 20-year period of time, you’re losing out to inflation. Well, not if I buy gold. Well, that doesn’t actually work out either because there are, in fact, 20-year periods of time where you would have lost money being in gold or cash or basically anything else.
[00:30:17] And so this is one of these things where like, if you’re not in the market, if you’re sitting on the sidelines, you’re losing value. You’re losing purchasing power. And ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be our topic for next Tuesday. We’re going to be doing a deep dive on what to do when the market goes down or you are afraid of loss inside of the market. How can we frame this up, and how can we help manage our emotions on the front end? I was originally going to try to shoehorn it into this episode, but as you can already see, we’re at 30 minutes as it is, and there’s a lot to say about this. And ladies and gentlemen, if you’re listening, this idea, the reason I’m going to do a deep dive on it instead of shortening up this episode was because I had a listener email me in a response to one of the emails I sent out on my emailing list — you can get on that email list at fiscallysavage.com — and he said, well, I’m afraid. And so I’m going to do an episode specifically talking to that individual and I would love to do the same for anyone else who wants to respond. You know, sign up for my email list, respond to my emails with episode ideas, or find me on Instagram @fiscallysavage.
[00:31:23] And I know how complicated this can be because when I was proposed to have this financial advisor at a 1% fee plus a five-year commitment, man, there had to be something else. So I started listening to podcasts and reading books. And I found this book called The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins — link to that in the show notes. And he showed me the logic that is DIY index funds, and that’s where I’ve invested my money since. I have enjoyed a low-stress investing environment following the simple path to wealth that has given me excellent returns over the entire time I’ve been in there. And has there been some up and ups and downs? Totally. And I don’t sweat them. In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that I fill out a balance sheet for myself every month, I wouldn’t even think of my investments because I’m not investing because I really want to spend my time managing my portfolio. I’m investing so that I have a secure future so I can spend it with my grandkids. And I want that for you, too.
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