11 Financial Questions with Uncommon Answers

By James E. Wilson via Iris.xyz

With few exceptions, the individuals that come to us seeking advice are stressed out. Some of this stress is owed to our general cultural taboo of talking about money issues. An even larger part, however, is generated physiologically and is simply part of how our brains process information.

Successful individuals have many questions about financial planning, investing, and retirement.

Here are a few that we hear often and my short, perhaps uncommon answers.

1. Can I “beat the market”?

No, except by chance (luck).

2. How much of my earnings do I need to save/invest?

Very likely more than you are currently. I can count on one hand the number of pre-retirement clients who are truly saving enough.

3. Do I have to invest in the stock market?

Yes, if you want to retire and sustain your lifestyle beyond your working years. Simply put, stocks have been (for more than 90 years anyway) the most reliable way to offset increasing living costs (inflation).

4. Can I get out of the market when things are unsure?

No- not if you want to be financially secure. Trying to time the market is a fool’s errand. The broad stock market is positive about 54% of the months but 75% of the years. The key is to have enough in cash and bonds to ride out the inevitable temporary pull backs, some of which last last a couple years or longer.

5. Isn’t real estate a safer investment than stocks?

No- the data for most timeframes tell us differently. Residential real estate provides enjoyment and utility but the long term returns adjusted for inflation are very small.

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