Business Insider and Barry Ritholtz both had posts in the last few days contributing to the same big idea that time is a valuable asset not just in and of itself but also as part of a financial plan and an investment strategy.
The graphic is obviously from Business Insider. The positive message here is that there is hope for people who take a while to start saving for their retirement. One issue with the table is that unfortunately it assumes 12% annualized returns. A 50 year old putting away $26,000 and annualizing at 6% (even that may require some luck) would have a little over $413,000 at 65.
The income safely generated from that amount plus Social Security would not equate to a lavish lifestyle but would be enough for the basics and at least a little fun, all the more so with some sort of part time income like from a successfully monetized hobby.
Barry’s post was about the inability to predict the future or more specifically once you realize you can’t predict the future you are in a better position to understand that time and a simple investment strategy that ignores the short term can be the difference maker to a successfully executed financial plan.
The way I try to put the issue of time and the advantage of longer term perspective is to ask “without looking, how did your portfolio do in the 4th quarter of 2013 and how did that compare to the market?” No one knows, without looking, because it doesn’t matter, it is just some random quarter in the past just as the current quarter will soon be some random quarter from the past.